And so to business! The distraction of COVID had disguised the advance of another month and there is a gentle easement on daylight. Nature teases and whispers of better days ahead. There is evidence of buds filling and bulb shoots are spearing out of the ground. In just two months we will be tweaking the clocks all over again. I think spurred by the successes and the distraction of last year’s garden, the populus are already looking to get gardening. It’s there to do and there’s plenty of variety.
I am pruning and redefining a tired hedge at the moment, cutting away rubbish and slipping in bits of bare root hedging to fill gaps. My plan is to move on this month to finish pruning. I have some fruit to tidy up and towards the end of the month will cut back a couple of roses. I have a rambler that has gone mad. Whilst any regular roses can be cut back hard, I will be more modest with the rambler. With the sap on the rise, I don’t want the plant producing masses of new vegetation, so will just restore some order.
I am going to get some onion sets and shallots out, indeed most bulbous vegetables are available this month including Garlic and Artichokes. Asparagus and rhubarb can also be considered. Rhubarb is a great plant to have around. It’s easy, prolific, edible and it looks good even in a border. Don’t rush to harvest it in the first season and with care you can have a crop that harvests for years. This month I will be seed sowing. Make a start on a few bits and pieces, it’s so uplifting. Vegetable seed sowing should be modest and regular, creating a succession of cropping. Everybody gets carried away, just sow a pinch at the time, nobody wants 100 lettuce in one go. Try running rows of different items across a seed tray on a window sill. Just fill a tray with some good compost and then create five or six lines across the width, depressing the line with your finger tips to create a shallow channel. Then spill a few different seeds along each line, lightly sweeping the compost back and firming over the seed. The method is great for lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and spinach. Lightly watered, you’ll see new growth within a fortnight. The journey has begun.
And finally, remember, it’s just a game, sometimes we may lose, but when we win, what joy.