Training this Sunday

May is the busiest month for planting. Find out the best way to do it with Jane Chittenden on Sunday, May 11th from 11.00 to 12.00. A practical hands-on session that will help you get the most from your crops.
Meet at the big shed.

Clive’s Tips

Sweet corn – try sowing a low growing green manure, such as trefoil, around the base of these plants. It will help to provide ground cover, and may be left to grow over the winter once the sweet corn has been harvested. It will also help to fix nitrogen in the soil, aiding the growth of the corn.

Potatoes may be earthed up once they begin to emerge from the ground. This helps to protect them from any late frosts, and ensures that any tubers near the surface remain in the dark. Tubers that are exposed to any light turn green, and become inedible. As the season progresses I place grass and nettle cuttings around the growing potatoes to retain moisture, suppress weeds and provide nutrients.

Fruit: I have noticed a few gooseberry sawfly caterpillars (see picture) on my gooseberry bushes. Check the bushes at least once a week, and remove any caterpillars by hand.

Straw may be placed under strawberries to prevent the growing fruit from touching the soil. All fruit trees and bushes will benefit from regular weeding, and grass cuttings, straw, newspaper etc placed on the ground around the plants as a mulch will help their growth.