The soil is warming up; it’s time to start sowing.

Have you noticed a rash of newly germinated weed seedlings on your plot? The weed seeds have been dormant during the winter but now their germination is a sure sign that the soil is warming up and that sowing of seeds can start in earnest. The weedlings can be hoed off – best done when it’s sunny so they dry out and shrivel – and the soil raked to a fine tilth.
Click for video
At GO2 Bluebell, there’s plenty to sow. Radishes, beetroot, parsnips and carrots can be sown in well-watered narrow drills. Broad beans, mange tout, sugar snap and traditional peas are sown in wider drills. All seeds can all be found in the Big Shed on the table at the back. If you’re not sure what do, or need a reminder, there are people to ask on Wednesday and Sunday mornings when the shed is open. There are also sowing guides in the planting manual kept in the shed and on display in the window.

In a week or so there will be potatoes to plant. The first earlies, Orla, are developing shoots – chitting – in boxes in the shed, almost but not quite ready to go out.

We have been sowing seeds in the warmth of the greenhouse for several weeks. The first batches of Brussel sprouts and purple sprouting broccoli, lettuces and oriental salads, parsley and thyme, several varieties of flowers are growing fast. The first, probably salad plants, will be ready to go out sometime in late April.

Bridget
for Seeds and Plant Team at Bluebell South

Return to top

Vegetable Growing – Monthly Calendar – April

General Tasks Sow/Plant Harvest
Provide support for peas using pea sticks. Outdoors: Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Chards, Kale, Kohl Rabi, Lettuce, Peas, Potatoes (earlies first and main crop towards the end of the month), Radish, Spinach, Turnip, Herbs Broccoli Purple Sprouting, Cabbage (spring greens), Lettuce, Leek, Rocket, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Turnip Tops, Rhubarb
Keep watering young plants; water well before sowing seeds if the soil is dry.
Keep hoeing the area around broadbean, onion, garlic and any other vegetables Under cover -ubergine, French Beans, Courgettes, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Marrows, Peppers, Pumpkins, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes
Beware weeds – don’t let them take over your crop!

March May

Growing Information for March

General Tasks

Continue digging, cover bare grounds with compost or cardboard.
Mulch around the base soft-fruit using compost or dried materials.
Cover all brassicas and spinach plants with suitable netting (to protect from wood-pigeons)

Sow/Plant

Broadbeans, Beetroot, Onion Sets, Parsnips, Pea, Radish, Turnip, Spinach, Oriental Salad, Raspberries, Strawberries and First Early Potato (after mid-March depending on weather)

Harvest

Chard, Kale, parsnips, leek, Brussels sprouts, purple sprouting broccoli, spring greens.

Return to top


Growing Information for October

General Tasks

Clear all plots without any outstanding crops and prepare the soil for overwintering crops.
Draw up soil around brassica (kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, purple sprouting broccoli) plants to provide support to the plant; mulch around the plant base using compost or dried materials.
Cover all brassicas and spinach plants with suitable netting (to protect from wood-pigeons)
Cover empty plot (plot without any overwintering crop) with layers of cardboard or black polythene sheet (not carpet).

Sow/Plant

Garlic, onion-sets, broadbean.

Harvest

French Beans, Runner Beans, Beetroot, Carrots, Courgettes, Cucumber, Lettuce, Marrow, Radish, Rocket, Chard, Potato, Sweetcorn, Swisschard, Turnips, Kale.
Fruit – Raspberries.

 

A Time to Read…

The Tenth Anniversary Annual Report is published – click here →pdf (or here for a summary)


… and a Time to Sow

Now is the time to sow beetroot, Radish, Parsnip, Spring Garlic and Broad Beans, if you missed out last Autumn, and don’t forget to mark each row of seeds! The seeds are in The Centre (the green shed) at the back. It is important to try and rotate your crops, there are charts to explain this on the Seed and Plant notice board (and here on our website).

Tessa

________________________________________
Keys

The keys to the shed and loo are missing from the pot with the blue lid. Have you taken them away by mistake? If so, please bring them back as it is quite expensive to keep having keys cut.

Official re-opening!

On Sunday 15 February we open again from 10 – 1 pm for the new growing season.
Please come and see us. Phil, Rita and Christine will be there. We would like to see familiar faces and meet people who’ve joined recently.

Clive’s Tips for April

  • As the soil warms weeds will grow more vigorously. Hoe and hand weed regularly to keep them in check. If you use cloches or fleece to protect your seedlings, check underneath for weeds and slugs!
  • If you’ve just taken on a new plot and can’t cultivate all of it, cover the unused ground with cardboard. Soak the cardboard with water and weigh it down with bricks or other heavy objects to stop it from blowing away in the wind. This will stop weeds growing until you have time to dig them out. “Volunteer” potatoes that have grown from previous years should be removed and composted because they carry the risk of spreading disease.
  • If you have planted your potatoes already, keep track of the weather forecast, and be prepared to cover any emerging shoots with soil, leaves, grass cuttings or fleece if there is any risk of frost. In any case you will want to earth up potatoes once their stems begin to emerge from the ground.
  • Green manure that has overwintered should be dug into the soil three to four weeks before you plan to plant your crops.
  • Aphids flourish during warm weather, so check fruit bushes and remove them by hand or by spraying water (not washing up liquid solutions which will harm beneficial insects too). Gooseberry bushes will need to be inspected for gooseberry sawfly caterpillars. They too may be removed by hand, or by shaking the bush. If you pruned your gooseberry bushes during the winter and created an open structure, this will encourage birds to eat the pests.
  • Continue to weed and mulch around trees, bushes and canes. A small amount of well-rotted manure, compost or grass cuttings will all be useful. Ensure that the mulch does not make contact with the stems of plants because this may encourage fungal diseases.

Last Sunday

P1630295-7
Thank you everyone who helped last week to install the extended water system. It was a lovely morning followed by fabulous food. We’ll be running the same type of event next month. Keep your eye on the newsletter for details.
P1630347
One of the new water-cisterns


Last Wednesday we had a big clean-up

P1630356


This Sunday: one to one advice

We still have some half-hour slots available between 10.30am to 12.00pm which you can book for a one-to-one consultation with Mahesh. He will come to your plot and advise you on anything you want to know. Booking is essential! Just hit the reply key and say which slot you’d like. First come, first served.


P1630298P1630303
We still have several pairs of wellington boots: come and claim them.


If you have anything you’d like to submit to GO2 News, please send it to

newsletter@grow-our-own.co.uk.