What to do
The soil is finally warming after the coldest recorded March since 1962. It does feel as though the growing season has been compressed, and that lots of tasks have to be completed immediately. But there is still plenty of time! If sowing seeds, especially small ones, make sure that the bed has been hoed to cut off weed seedlings and raked to remove stones. Sowing in straight lines makes it easier to weed and harvest, but you could try wavy lines, circles ……..for aesthetic effect. Spinach, carrot, radish, peas and many others are available.
Potatoes are chitting (being stored in the light to encourage the growth of strong green shoots) in the big shed. We have an early variety, Orla, and a maincrop, Lady Balfour. I also have a few Sarpo (pronounced “sharpo”) Mira, a variety which has been developed to exhibit especially high resistance to potato blight. Putting a lining of newspaper in the bottom of a potato trench can help to retain moisture if the summer is dry. Any newspaper will suffice, although I understand that Lady Balfour potatoes prefer copies of The Times.
There will be some lettuces and salad leaves to plant out too
Jane C reports on heritage seeds
My heritage broad beans Mr Jones are ready to plant out now (I sowed them indoors to beat the awful spring weather, as the seeds are so precious).
I need to make sure they aren’t cross-pollinated with other beans, so that we keep the resulting bean seeds pure, so I’m planting them as far away from other beans as possible. Next, I’ll be sowing heritage peas before the end of the month (two varieties).
Nicaraguan permaculture project – Guardabarranco
One of our growers, Max Onslow, will be spending the next academic year performing voluntary work in the mountains of Nicaragua. Guardabarranco seeks to cultivate a deeper connection between small rural communities and the land they farm by encouraging the use of permaculture techniques. See www.eco-nic.com for more details, or talk to Max.
Norfolk Organic Group Monday 29th April 7.30 pm
with pictures and graphics from Jim