It has been good to see so many of you on Calico Field: the warmer interludes have certainly brought everyone out and the site has never looked smarter. There is an air of expectancy as Spring marches forward and the blossom starts to appear!
May I remind you of a few house keeping rules:
- Please could you ensure that manure payments are now made to our HSBC account. Please could you settle up for what you have used so far and then make a further payment if you require more. Thank you. Please mark your donation ‘Manure’.
- If you are using the wheelbarrows for transporting manure, please leave the barrow, especially the handles, in a hygienic state for the next user.
- Please number your plot! You only need a simple sign or a painted brick. The following plots do not appear to have any numbering: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9,11,12,13, 15,16,17, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 29 and 30.
- Please do not move or remove the white corner posts which demarcate your plot.
- If you use the generator, it is your responsibility to buy and top up the petrol or contribute to the Honesty Box in the shed.
- As the weather improves, please remember to mow the paths surrounding your plot.
The Committee is hoping to hold a Plant sale if we are not allowed to host our usual Open Morning in May. Clearly, it is still too early to predict what might be possible. However, assuming that you would like to have the opportunity to buy seedlings for yourselves, neighbours and friends, we would like to ask you if you would sow extra tomatoes, beans, peppers and chillies, courgettes and cucumbers. The excess can eventually be stored in the polytunnel. Thank you for your contribution. We shall keep you informed as to our plans.
Thank you to whoever ordered extra wood chippings. It’s great to have a constant supply!
APRIL is a busy month for sowing seeds but there’s always a risk that the weather will not be warm enough to germinate them so why not sow a handful to keep on the windowsill or in a heated greenhouse and then sow more later on. Don’t forget to pick up your packet of free flower seeds in the open shed to sow now to encourage the bees!
SEEDS TO SOW INDOORS: Aubergines, tomatoes, peppers and chillies need a long ripening season so get ahead with these sowings now. Also sow cabbages and cauliflower; celeriac, celery, courgettes, marrows and summer squashes, cucumbers, endive, Florence fennel, French and Runner beans, kale, Kohl rabi, sprouting broccoli and sweetcorn.
SEEDS TO SOW OUTDOORS UNDER COVER: Beetroot, lettuces, rocket, salad leaves and turnips.
SEEDS TO SOW OUTDOORS: Broad beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots, leeks, parsnips, peas, radishes, spinach and Swiss chard.
WHAT TO PLANT OUT IN APRIL: Asparagus, vegetable seedlings such as French and Broad beans, kale and peas which you have previously hardened off; Globe artichokes, onions sets, lettuce and other salad leaves. Plant second early and maincrop seed potatoes after chitting them. Plant out grape vines and strawberry plants.
JOBS FOR APRIL:
- Continue preparing seed beds. Water and weed round new seedlings, protect against frosts;
- Earth up new potatoes
- Put up peasticks and bean canes
- Divide Globe artichokes to create offsets (suckers with a short length of root).
- Pull up brassica stumps and dispose of them.
- Cover and feed strawberries to bring on the flowers but uncover in the daytime for pollination. Pick flowers off new plants planted last autumn or spring as you should not let them fruit in their first year.
- Feed blackcurrants and blackberries.
HARVEST: your forced rhubarb, sprouting broccoli, the last of your kale and last year’s leeks, spring onions – and start picking your rocket!
Best wishes for Easter!