April 2014 Update

Hurray, the good weather is here again. I am aware that for some, snow is still falling, or it’s still very cold, but for us in Hampshire UK, April for the most part has been a lovely spring month.

So, once again, the season starts.The overwintering Garlic, Onions and Shallots have come through the winter very well, I have run a hoe through the ground,weeded, top dressed with Fish, Blood and Bone fertiliser and they are now looking full of promise for the coming season.

The Aquadulce Broad Beans have survived the winter and are now covered in Flowers. It’s great to watch the Bees gathering their Pollen and Nectar to start their Hive expansion; I stood and watched a massive Bumble Bee the other day, I found myself thinking 'you are getting your food from the flowers and making sure that I get my Broad Beans later this year; the cycle of life, how wonderful is that?'

Probably a bit late, but I have all my seeds in the greenhouse after replacing a pane of glass that was broken in the storms of winter, the Parsnips are now set in the ground on Allotment one, along with the spuds. I have some beetroot and some Carrots set as well, so I am well on the way to an enjoyable season, fingers crossed, touch wood, or whatever it is you do for good luck.

The crops have all been set on a rotation basis around the allotment, so that each area gets a rest and or gets manure, as required. I manure two crops, the potatoes and my Italian garden section, these are the crops that can take being planted in a recently manured ground, others such as Carrots, Parsnips, Salsify etc. don’t take well to freshly manured ground. I put Manure in my Bean trench and my Leek trench, but everything else gets planted in ground that was manured the previous year.

On the other allotment, I have removed the last of the greens (sprouts, broccoli etc.), Leeks and Parsnips and I have now spread manure on half of the plot and it has all been turned over ready for the Italian garden and other crops.

In the fruit cage, the Gooseberries are starting to form and the currants are starting to put leaf and flower buds on their stems. The Cherry tree has blossom on and that’s about it for April; everything is starting to recover from what was a dull, wet, miserable winter. See you in May when I have another cheese making course too.