Monday, 24 March 2014

Waiting to Spring into action

So we are still waiting for the contractors to come and plough and prepare the land for planting. They came last week and mowed down the weeds and old crops but wanted to leave it a few more days to let the land dry out. Apparently land in the locality is still really wet and people have been getting stuck trying to prepare the soil, which is not surprising considering how much rain we had in the winter. It can be very hard to tell how wet underlying ground is so there is a chance that even though it seems pretty dry underfoot the big tractors may hit a wet patch and get stuck. So we'll be keeping our fingers cross that it all goes smoothly and I hope that when I next write we will have ground ready for planting.

The first few plants were delivered last week - lettuce, beetroot and pak choi for the polytunnels. These were planted straight away alongside the carrots and peas I have already sowed. I will also sow rocket, mizuna, radish and spinach - beans too when the soil is warm enough. At this time of year I'm always looking for anything that will grow quickly and give a crop in the 'hungry gap' which falls around late April to early June in between winter and summer crops. If all goes to plan then things shouldn't be too hungry really. Last year bags were lighter but full of leaves such rocket, spinach, lettuce and spring greens which are particularly lush in the spring. To help us through the hungry gap this year, Marina at the Apricot centre in Lawford is kindly letting us use her cold store to keep the last of the winter roots through the spring. We'll also have plenty of cauliflowers, spring onions, green onions and spring greens which have overwintered so there's plenty to look forward too as we await the fruits of summer.

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