updated march2009

this month: what to do updated every month

next month: what to do updated every month

practical details on how to begin

Vegetable Guide

Companion Planting

Crop Rotation

herbs

weeds: common annuals& perennials

slugs and snails

a fresh, detailed, topical item of interest updated every month

photo review of the year

recipes from our chefs Basil and Doyle

fellow plotdiggers share their pictures with us

content and photos updated every month



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digthisheader

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

In 'Dig This' I look at a specific item of interest in detail. This month it is a slightly different take on being guided by the weather.

Broad Beans later in the year

~ broad beans later in the year ~ march When to sow seeds?

Seed packets, gardening books, and newspaper columns all offer helpful advice on when to sow your seeds. Being in the north donít forget to add a couple of weeks. One experienced allotmenteer advised me to keep a diary, which I did, but is every year the same? Another said garlic on the longest day, shallots on January 1st and early potatoes on Good Friday. This perhaps implies more about how little difference it makes than when to plant, because Easter is a moveable feast. A novice helpfully proffered this little nugget: 'Watch everybody else and plant when they do'.


march Nature is the guide not charts

I reckon the key to it all, including when to sow, is the weather. Science would back me up because for virtually anything to grow the temperature of the soil needs to be at least 5įC . All the above methods offer a rough guide, but I try to understand nature and go with the flow, being guided by the weather.


Onions and Shallots await planting

~ Onions and Shallots await planting ~ march He who hesitates

At its simplest this means the beginner has to learn what the farmer grows up with. Itís an extended version of 'make hay while the sun shines': 'get out while you can'. Work outside when the weather permits. Inside work may be fitted around it. If you get up early and itís a lovely day, get out there. If you read the paper and eat a leisurely breakfast, as you leave the house the spots of rain begin to land on you. Seize the hour!


march Weed when it's hot

Weeding is a waste of time unless it's followed by a hot day. Weeding by hoe or hand followed by dry conditions and the plot is clear of weeds and the veg can relax a bit. So, satisfying. The weather is the key with sowing seeds too. Why plant seeds if there is no water to germinate them or the soil is too cold. It makes sense to plant early when conditions are right, but if not, wait. Be patient. Sow just as a dry spell breaks, if possible and only when the soil is suitably warmed up. In this way I try to stay in touch with nature. I never get to being as one with it Ė but I get as close as I can. My Diary reveals that over the last few years I have planted shallots & broad beans on 11 March (2001), 10 March (2002), 23 February (2003), 15 February (2004) 12 March (2005) 25 March (2006) ,March 4 (2007) February 28 (2008). And this year March 3rd, weather permitting, but it could have been earlier if I had taken the plunge.



updated february2009 this month: what to do updated every month next month: what to do updated every month Vegetable Guide practical details on how to begin Companion Planting Crop Rotation herbs
weeds: common annuals& perennials slugs and snails a fresh, detailed, topical item of interest updated every month photo review of the year recipes from our chefs Basil and Doyle fellow plotdiggers share their pictures with us content and photos updated every month


Isn't Walter a star? Any questions or comments? Don't get in a flap, send an e mail winging its way to me.

URLhttp://www.digmyplot.co.uk
© Chris Smallbone march2009

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