Organic Gardening


From now on I will be periodically posting a blog of what we are up to in the gardens at Sheepdrove Organic Farm.

With snowdrops and winter aconites out Spring is at last on the way.

All the fruit plants and trees are now pruned including cutting the autumn fruiting raspberry  canes (Autumn Bliss) to the ground. All the fruit has been mulched with cow manure and compost. We have started forcing rhubarb keeping them in the dark with terra-cotta pots with straw added around these for extra warmth.

forcing rhubarb

Forcing Rhubarb

Some seeds are sown in the glasshouse borders to get some early radish and carrots. In the propagator we have underway a selection of cabbage, cauliflower and calabrese, various lettuces, beetroot (to plant out under glass), tomatoes ( for an early crop under heated glass), peppers and  Parsley (Italian Giant, Plain French and Moss Curled).Also in are the first batch of broad beans and some dwarf French beans to grow in the polytunnel. We are already harvesting Giant Red mustard, Endive ( variety Markant), Mizuna and Claytonia (Winter Purslane) which were overwintered in the glasshouse borders.


Endive 'Markant'



Giant Red Mustard

Having purchased a new shredder ( we are now recycling more waste. All pruned material up to 40mm now goes through the shredder and is added to the compost bins and anything bigger is used for firewood. Although it heats up very quickly on its own it is mixed with manure and vegetable waste. With all the extra material we needed more compost bins and while we were preparing for this clearing trees and roots and digging holes for the posts we accidently created a man trap. A holly needed trimming to make space and the branches were piled on the ground. My colleague then walked across the holly and fell straight through it into one of the holes we had just dug. This is a quick return of karma after he hit me in the face with a  wheel barrow handle while unloading it from the back of the truck last week.

On going jobs are the spring pruning of shrubs , roses  and herbs and cutting down the dead growth of any remaining  herbaceous perennials and herbs. The Potager and other borders are to be mulched with leaf mould and well rotted compost.


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3 Responses to “Organic Gardening”

  1. Serena Culfeather Says:

    It’s wonderful to see all the first things appearing from the groun and I’m looking forward to summer salds now seeing all your pictures of greens.

    Does sound a little dangerous however what with mantraps and aggressive wheelbarrows!

  2. Todd Says:

    So little time, so much to do. About the pic of forcing rhubarb: Can you explain? I’m not familiar with that technique.

    • sheepdrovegarden Says:

      The picture is of forcing rhubarb in situ rather than lifting the crown and moving inside to a warmer area.
      All light is excluded using the terra-cotta forcing pot so the rhubarb is searching for light and the straw around the pot is for some added warmth and protection especially in cold and exposed areas as we are here.

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