Friday, 6 February 2015

Bare Necessities

The rather cold spell continued on Wednesday and Thursday but some pleasant sunshine made Wednesday a much nicer day.

For the last few weeks we've been expecting a delivery of soft fruit and some roses from Ashridge Nurseries. As the weather’s not been too good the order has been delayed but the nursery has kept me updated about delays in delivery and finally notifying me when the plants were lifted, packed and ready for delivery.
As notified by e-mail the package containing our plants arrived first thing on Thursday morning. It contained strawberry, raspberry and rose plants. All these came bare rooted which means we get the plants much cheaper than if we bought them all container grown a little later on in the season.
This is how our strawberry plants Royal Sovereign looked once they had been unpacked. Whilst it’s good to get these at a reasonable price my problem is I haven’t got their new bed prepared on the plot. I suspect our ground is much too wet to dig in the middle of February. Digging our heavy clay soil when it’s too wet can do more harm than good so the plants needed to be potted up for a few weeks. 
Our strawberries are now potted up and in their new home until their bed down on the plot is prepared. Once I think they've got established in their pots I will move them from the greenhouse into the cold frame as I don’t want them to put on any soft growth due to early warmth in the greenhouse. That might be wishful thinking as it was only 5°C (41°F) in the greenhouse on Thursday afternoon as I potted the plants up.
The raspberry canes (Glen Ample) have got some of the longest roots I've seen. These too have been put into some temporary accommodation for a few weeks until they can be planted out.
Our three new climbing roses have been heeled in next to the three bought last autumn. As soon as conditions improve I’ll be aiming to get these planted in their allocated spots in the garden.

As I heeled in the roses, it started to drizzle a little bit. It was dull, cloudy and cold and I was certainly ready for a little bit of indoor warmth and a cup of coffee. It wasn't really a gardening sort of a day either in the greenhouse or outside. All that’s required now is some decent weather to get the ground in a fit condition for planting.

It’s good to tell we’re starting off new plants in the greenhouse as the weather has put in its coldest night of the year. The Met Office warnings of snow and ice have gone but that didn't stop the temperature dropping to -2.7°C (27°F) as dawn broke on Friday morning.

Next to arrive will be our seed potatoes but their arrival will need a blog post to themselves. 


  1. I've no idea how old the strawberries we inherited last year are, but they gave a decent crop last year so they're being left again this year, they need a good tidy up though. I hate the cold weather so I don't tend to do much until the weather warms up a bit.

    1. Our old strawberries certainly aren't as productive as they used to be so we've decided to start a new bed. I think the plants let you know when they need replacing.
      Like you I don't see any fun in gardening when it's cold like yesterday. It was more a case of needs must. At least they should be okay for a few weeks now.

  2. I've got strawberries in pots waiting to go into a raised bed in the garden, as well as a new bed of strawberries at the plot. I'm hoping there'll be a decent crop from the plot plants this year, but the garden ones are new rooted runners potted up in late summer so I'm not expecting much, although I can't ever bring myself to pick off the first year's flowers.

    1. Neither of us can remove flowers or thin fruit as suggested by the "experts". It seems so wrong even if it is the right thing to do!


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