There are signs of spring all round. In the garden, Snowdrops are at their peak in the orchard and there are crocuses all over the park and in the walled garden. With many trees budding and the equinox just 5 weeks away we’re getting ready…

We’ve been cleaning and tidying. In the greenhouse we’re clearing out all the things that have accumulated both on and under the staging – pots, old boots, hanging baskets – you name it. And in the garden we’re clearing away all the debris that might provide cover for slugs and snails. Of course we want these as food for our hedgehogs, toads and newts. But not near our vegetables.

We’ve also been installing systems in the greenhouse. This year we will be watering much more automatically using spray/mist systems. And we’ve a variety of heated propagators to provide differing temperatures for the various seeds we’re trying to germinate.

Last Sunday Chris’ Kitchen Garden group had it’s first sowing frenzy sowing chillies, a variety of frost hardy vegetables and the first of our range of annuals that will be for sales in the spring. All these were sown into modules. It’s still a bit chilly for outside sowing and we’re p[probably 3-4 weeks off direct sowing. We’ll be doing that when the soil warms up a bit more. But this week Cat will be sowing more chillies and starting on the tomatoes.

We need to grow loads of plants this year both for our own garden and to sell at the greenhouse and at the various markets we attend. You can help. We’d really like to see more volunteers on Thursday, Friday and Sunday ready to help out sowing and caring for these plants. We hope you’ll join us