Monday, 9 April 2012

It has to be said, the British people have the most inspiring amount of persistence and hope regarding the weather in the highly predictable United Kingdom.
Every year, Spring comes along and confuses millions of people into believing it is actually it's brother, Summer.
It's an alarming thing but the same thing happens every year, regardless of previous disasters. I was slightly bemused to see the number of semi-naked day trippers and swim suited children during the last two weeks of March. It's understandable, considering the recent hosepipe bans being imposed across parts of the country but April is still technically early for a lot of things in the garden. Whether you are sowing half hardy seed or planting out runner beans or peas, there is a reason for the terms 'half hardy' and 'hardening off'. It's very possible to get hard frosts as late as May.
I've learnt over several decades just what I can get away with locally. I know I can sow my broad beans in October, my onions in November and my runner beans later than most for a later crop. I wouldn't try it further up country or further down towards the Lizard but I know MY locality. I make the mistake every year the same as ever, the one which involves me sowing/planting too much too early and then finding myself twiddling my thumbs and looking or spaces for those little patches of lettuce, tomato plants, all the stuff I suddenly can't do without. I forget that all the early stuff will be up and out early too, leaving me with room or the catch crops to go in.
Catch crops are those that go in late or early and fill the gaps between other main crops. By starting my crops early, I get a short break before the autumn sowings start in earnest.

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