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March 30, 2023
April, hoping for sunshine, many plantings

March has been remarkably dull, one of the least sunny months I’ve ever recorded, at a time when we are hoping for the first rays of warm sunshine. Nonetheless, it has been mild (nights average 5C, days 11.5C), and growth is okay if not brilliant. There are tons of plantings you can make now, as in transplants 3 to 5 weeks old, and new sowings direct. See my newsletter update for those details.

Until late April, I cover all new seeds and transplants with fleece, as in the photo. While under cover, we have huge pickings of new salad from 6-7 month old plants.

Multisown onions transplanted and with fleece on top for two weeks
Multisown onions transplanted and with fleece on top for two weeks
I pulled back the cover, just to show you what the onion seedlings look like, they are a little flat, but fine!
I pulled back the cover, just to show you what the onion seedlings look like, they are a little flat, but fine!
Under cover, growth continues to be abundant, this is in a polytunnel. Wallone endive and Red Lace mustard, garlic too all planted October
Under cover, growth continues to be abundant, this is in a polytunnel. Wallone endive and Red Lace mustard, garlic too all planted October
Last August, we collected chard seed, and it's the first time I had saved some. The results have been quite extraordinary with the healthiest plants all winter and remarkably productive.
Last August, we collected chard seed, and it’s the first time I had saved some. The results have been quite extraordinary with the healthiest plants all winter and remarkably productive.
Polytunnel no dig salads picked for 4 months already, of outer leaves
Polytunnel no dig salads picked for 4 months already, of outer leaves
Red Russian kale which I sowed a month earlier than other plants in the tunnel, same as the chard, for a larger root run through winter
Red Russian kale which I sowed a month earlier than other plants in the tunnel, same as the chard, for a larger root run through winter

Knowledge Packs

From the online courses, we have created these bundles of information. The two completely new ones are Pests, and Diseases.

The most common pest currently here, is slugs. No dig makes a huge difference by allowing higher populations of slug predators such as toads and ground beetles. Also it helps to have no weeds, so there are fewer leaves for slugs to hide under. We are also seeing many rabbit holes this spring, and fleece covers are great against them.

August view and already these are second plantings, Brussels sprouts after carrots for example
August view and already these are second plantings, Brussels sprouts after carrots for example
Planning example of three strip trial, end November with the year's second and third plantings, including broad beans sown in the empty beds
Planning example of three strip trial, end November with the year’s second and third plantings including broad beans sown in the empty beds
March 30th, calanrese bed now has turnips under fleece, most spring onions survived winter, broad beans look strong, lettuce recently planted after kale and spinach after parsnips.

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