What to do this weekend?

You could sow a few broad beans or a row of parsnip seeds and there are white and red onions to plant.

You might even risk sowing a row of peas. Choose smooth-skinned ones as these germinate better in cold weather. There will be seeds and sets for all the above in the Big Shed.

Find ways of warming the soil ready for sowing more tender seeds.
This week I constructed a cloche from sheets of clear plastic to cover a small section of my plot. It’s rather rickety but, if it stands and does its job, I’ll sow a row of beetroot next week and maybe some sugar snap peas (wrinkled seeds as it gets warmer) as well. Covering the soil with black polythene will also warm the soil and has the advantage of suppressing weeds.

Join the watering (and snail hunt) rota

The seeds sown in the greenhouse are doing well and it won’t be long before the young plants require daily watering. We need volunteers to take on one or more ‘slots’ in a rota. The job doesn’t take long; it involves checking and watering if necessary and then a quick inspection of pots and modules to search out any snails that have found their way into cracks and crevices. So, if you can come regularly on the same day each week, either morning or evening, let us know. There is a technique involved, to avoid under- or over-watering, so, if you’re unsure, we’ll show you how. Hunting out snails needs less skill.


Because of the disease, ash dieback, threatening our ash trees nationally we’re unable to get bean-poles from our usual supplier. We have some left over from last year but there won’t be enough for everyone. We prefer not to buy imported bamboo canes so need another source. If you’re intending to grow runner beans this year keep an eye open for anything, in skips or stacked behind garden sheds, that could be used as poles, for your own plot or, if you know of a good supply, for the rest of us.

Happy gardening


Recipe for Fennel and Pea Risotto

Don’t I wish I could succeed with growing fennel! I’ve tried and it was a dismal failure. BUT if I had succeeded, I could be making this lovely dish with my own home-grown fennel (have to wait a few weeks for home-grown peas though).

Jane C.