The Oyster Catchers have returned to the Walled Garden once again.
We didn’t see them until the end of March last year so they’re a good fortnight early. I’d like to think that it’s a sign of a good growing season ahead; their distinctive high-pitched calls echoing around the garden are a sure sign that spring is on the way.
With warmer weather rapidly approaching it’s really important for us to be well prepared for the spring and summer; whether you have an allotment, a veg patch in your back garden or just a few pots, it’s well worth taking the time to plan it all out. Here are a few simple tips to help you make your garden as productive as possible this year:
- Roughly measure and draw out the space you have, photocopy it and keep the template. We draw up plans for our four vegetable beds every year, it makes it so much easier to get the rotation and spacing of crops right and gives a good idea or how many seeds to order.
- When you know what you want to grow and how much space you have, sit down with a seed catalogue or write a list of all the varieties you want. Try not to get carried away and cram too much in, its always best to aim for quality rather than quantity.
- Make a sowing plan to get your successions right, this is really important for crops like salads and peas, a calendar or wall planner makes this much easier. Start the season with longer intervals between crops and then shorter ones as the days get longer and warmer. For example we leave 6 weeks between our first and second crop of peas and then just 4 between our second and third crop.
- Keep a diary, it doesn’t have to be elaborate, just a note of what you’ve done in the garden and the results you’ve had, it’s so easy to forget little details from one year to the next. We have records form the last four years and I regularly check to see when we sowed our seeds or when the fruit trees started flowering.
However you decide to plan your garden, be flexible. Nature is unpredictable and every growing season is different so always be prepared to abandon you plans and use some common sense! Take advantage of early warm weather to get a head start but don’t sow your seeds in a snow storm just because your sowing plan says you should! Whatever the weather this season we wish you the best of luck and happy gardening.
That’s all for now, Ed.