Cold spell

by Jane Moore

What a freezing start to 2009 it's been. It's absolutely perishing down here in Bath and must be almost unbearable further north, or east for that matter.

jm_winterWhat a freezing start to 2009 it's been. It's absolutely perishing down here in Bath and must be almost unbearable further north, or east for that matter. The watering can outside my back door is solid with ice and even the curly kale is looking under the weather.

I think I'll just stay indoors and browse seed catalogues while waiting for things to thaw out.

I'm surprised at the state of the curly kale, it's normally as tough as old boots and looks lush and perky regardless of the temperature. But it's uncommonly cold at the moment and everything is suffering. The leeks and parsnips are frozen into the ground and are impossible to harvest, but a good frost is thought to sweeten the flavour of parsnips so the wait should be worth it.

My Brussels sprouts have been superb this year and are still going strong although I can't remember what variety they are.

The only job I've really been able to do has been to top up the bird feeders. I've got a couple of peanut and seed feeders hanging in the shrubby blackthorn tree at the edge of the plot and I've been religiously topping them up since the beginning of the cold snap in December. This has been greatly appreciated by my resident robin, which has lately been almost spherical it had puffed up its feathers so much!

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Gardeners' World Web User 09/01/2009 at 17:57

The cold weather is good for soft fruit in particular Raspberries. There was a worry some years ago, that with rising temps, Kent would become unsuitable for such crops that need cold to trigger profuse flowering. No doubt of a good crop next year?

Gardeners' World Web User 10/01/2009 at 14:37

its been frezing these last few weeks and although usually feed the birds, i find they are appreciating it more than ever. in jst this week i've seen loads of different species such as the greater spotted woodpecker, blue tits, great tits, blackbirds,robins, and even a heron visited although i do not have a pond or fish! I think that it is important that we all feed the birds, as not only have we developed and destroyed their habitats but with climate change the weather is even more harsh, people are even saying this is the coldest winter in 30 years! (i'm only 13 so i don't know, but it sounds realistic!)

Gardeners' World Web User 10/01/2009 at 14:42

plant onions/spring onions or garlic next to carrots deter carrot fly!- and use cut grass as mulch to protect them from carrot fly eggs or larvae!

Gardeners' World Web User 10/01/2009 at 14:45

I'm growing garlic,spring onions, carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, blackcurrants, chille peppers, leeks cabbage and curly leafed parsley and mint, this year! Its like livin on a farm! hehe!!!! Any other suggestions are always welcome!

Gardeners' World Web User 11/01/2009 at 20:50

It was absolutely freezing on our allotment yesterday, but we had a really good day. we had our annual manure heap delivered last week so we made a start on moving it yesterday. The allotments are beautiful when it is icy, the trees are especially, just like a picture postcard.

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