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OUT IN THE GARDEN: Don't get bummed out this winter...

January is over and we are now entering February which means just one thing... We are well into the new series of Death in Paradise; other murder mystery TV dramas are available.

The warm colours and vibrant greens of the Caribbean island the series is set on warms the heart in these cold soggy winter months. This week the detective leading the drama was admitted to hospital and in one scene his gown fell open at the back to reveal his bare bottom which my little girl found hilarious.

After she regained her composure she said it reminded her of my bottom. Tight, firm and virial I thought. “No” my daughter said “it looks just like your bum which always pops out when you’re gardening.”

Caribbean scenes are helping Baytree Mark Cox through winter (44239489)
Caribbean scenes are helping Baytree Mark Cox through winter (44239489)

Well I had no choice but to chase her around the house didn’t I? The following day after her home schooling I told her to get wrapped up warm as we were going to do a spot of digging in the garden.

I made it clear that everything would be done to prevent said bare bottom from making another appearance.

Spring is not that far away but please don’t get over excited, as February often tends to have a sting in its tail.

Remember the ground is still cold and will not significantly warm up until March / April.

I plan on planting my first early potatoes out in mid-March and before they can be sown, the ground needs preparing so that we have the best chance of success.

Wearing pretty much every item of clothing I owned we both headed out into the garden to dig and weed the new potato bed.

Using a fork I turned the soil over to a depth of about 8 inches and my daughter followed behind me picking out the weeds from the soil. The fewer weeds in the soil, the less competition for nutrients there will be for the potatoes.

Digging the soil over in this way can be hard work so after 30 minutes we stopped for a hot chocolate and a Kit Kat, other wafer biscuit snacks are available.

Once the soil was completely worked over we then raked the soil to as flat a layer as we could achieve.

To the top of the potato bed we covered it with a black weed membrane which will stop light from getting to the soil and therefore kill off any weeds that have been left in the soil and also provide a layer of insulation.

This black membrane will also absorb the sun’s heat and help raise the temperature of the soil and give our seed potatoes a really good start when we plant them out later next month.

Pleased with our work I took my gloves off, placed them in my back pocket and we made our way back towards the house.

I could hear sniggering coming from behind me, but every time I turned around to look at my daughter the sniggering stopped. It wasn’t until I was inside the house when my wife took my wet, muddy and heavy gloves out of my back pocket did I realise that in-fact my daughter was right as the top of my bottom was once again making an appearance.

Note to self, buy a belt!

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