>’Little spring’ work / Le travail du ‘petit printemps’

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At last we’ve had some milder weather and a day of sunshine yesterday.  One of our garden neighbours walked past with his dog and, as usual, stopped to chat – he knows all about the weather and can predict when it will rain all through the year.  He tells us when it’s the right time to sow tomatoes, peppers, salads and when to plant trees.  Now, he says, is the time of the ‘petit printemps’, the little spring, but it will be followed by colder weather in March.  We’re making the most of the good weather while it lasts.

Enfin il a fait plus doux et hier le soleil brillait.  Un de nos voisins du jardin a passé avec son chien et, comme d’habitutde, il s’est arreté pour bavarder avec nous.  Il sait tous du temps et il peut prévoir quand il va pleuvoir pendant l’année.  Il nous dit quand c’est le temps pour semer les tomates, les poivrons, les salades, et quand il faut planter et tailler les arbres.  Maintenant, il dit, c’est le petit printemps, mais il fera froid encore au mois de mars.  On profte du beau temps quand ça dure.

The cold frame is finished and ready to use.  Lo Jardinièr filled in the gaps between the planks on the sides with wood and plastic sheeting and covered the floor with terracotta tiles which we hope will store some warmth.

cold frame 1_1_1
plastic sheeting on the sunny side to let in more light ….
cold frame 2_1_1_1

tiles on the base, and a bamboo prop to hold it open.

La petite serre est prête.  Lo Jardinièr a mis du bois dans les interstices entre les planches et du plastique sur le côté ensoleillé pour faire entrer plus de lumière, et il a mis des carreaux de terrecuite sur le plancher, qui conserveront la chaleur.

While he was doing this, I prepared one of the two planned tomato beds.  I dug a trench about half a metre wide and about 4 metres long, filled it with goat manure and forked it and watered it well, then covered it over with soil again to leave until we put the plants out in May.  This bed will hold 24 plants.  We’ll prepare another similar bed for 24 more plants.  We may have more plants to find room for, and the cherry tomatoes will go in a separate bed.

J’ai preparé un des deux parterres pour les tomates.  J’ai creusé une tranchée d’une longuer de 4 metres et une largeur d’un demi metre.  J’y ai mis du fumier de chèvre et l’a arosé, puis je l’ai couvert de terre pour laisser jusqu’au mois de mai.  Il y aura 24 plants et nous allons préparer une autre parterre pareille.  Les tomates cerise seront dans une autre parterre.

tomato bed 1_1_1 tomato bed 2_1_1
tomato bed 3_1_1 tomato bed 4_1_1

3 thoughts on “>’Little spring’ work / Le travail du ‘petit printemps’

  1. >In Greece we call this little spring as “the days of halcyones”. We have it the second half of January or the first half of February. The legend says that halcyone make her eggs these days and need good weather and sun.I love these days in the middle of winterYour tomato beds and coldframes look very good

  2. >We often get a spell of beautiful weather in January and or February. This year it was in January. This month has been fairly cold and wet – a good thing, it’s been too dry the last couple of years.That’s a lot of tomatoes! How many varieties are you growing?

  3. >CityGarden : thanks for your comments and the lovely legend of the halcyon bird.Michelle: thanks for your comments. We’ve had some welcome rain too, but even so I think it must have been a dryer winter than usual as everything still looks brown rather than green.We’ve sown 4 varieties of tomatoes so far: Roma, St Pierre, Ananas and Coeur de boeuf. But we’ll probably be given some plants by friends and may buy some from a local farmer. We grow enough tomatoes to last through the next winter, in bottles.

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