Winter planting – Broad beans, lettuce and onion

Freezing temperatures and grey wet days are not the best incentives to take yourself outside and into the garden, but it can never the less uplift the spirits. Bulbs are usually well above ground by now and the snowdrops and hellebores should be in full flower. Primulas benefit from a bit of a tidy as do pulmonarias and winter flowering heathers. When we do get bright sunny days it is always worth opening greenhouses and cold frames and giving them an air. Cuttings and overwintered plants can soon rot off in damp conditions.

Hopefully by now you have browsed the seed catalogues and decided what to grow in 2018. The early schedule for Birstwith show should be appearing on your doormats with lots of new and exciting classes to enter. Broad beans, lettuce and onion seed can be sown now under cover for an early crop. Also sweetpeas will germinate in an unheated greenhouse if light levels are good.

Native birds now start becoming more vocal and busying themselves looking for nesting spots. Continuing to feed them helps top up their meagre winter supplies and bring the joy of them into our gardens. Don’t forget they love to eat the very things that can decimate our garden plants. B.H.S and B.I.B have once again taken part in the Great British Bird Watch.

B.I.B have begun 2018 by tidying the brambles on the show field and planting the last of our bulbs.The programme for this year is already looking full and with so many jobs to do we are always keen to have more volunteers (especially some more men to weald the power tools). B.I.B meets on the first Saturday of the month, 10am at the village shop.

Lastly, the Birstwith Horticultural Society would like to start this year by thanking so many of you for your continuing support, and we look forward to another exciting, busy and productive year.

Happy gardening,

Maureen Smith

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