Hot tips on prioritising what do do in the garden each month – by Jon Gunson of TTL.
In June we should have plenty of sunshine, and no frost. (It says here). So plant out your runner beans and tomatoes, your maincrop peas and carrots…but be ready with a watering can, in case it is dry, and a hoe, in case it rains, and the weeds flourish.
In May you can sow, or plant out: beans, dwarf and runner: beet, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, and cauliflower: courgettes, cucumber, and kale: marrows, melons, parsnips, peas, pumpkins, radishes, spinach, spring onions, squash, sweetcorn, swiss chard, turnips, and watercress. But sort the weeds out first, please.
April, then. Time to sow more peas, the last broad beans, and the first runners – but these last are vulnerable to late frosts, so it is perhaps best to start them in pots and plant out in May. Still time to get some onion sets in, and shallots, if you are quick. Easter is the traditional planting date for potatoes, but they are not very fussy. Get them in when and where you can, but don’t forget to feed and water. Sow beetroot, chard, perpetual spinach, land cress, rocket and spring onions: plant out spring and summer cabbage, garlic, horseradish, jerusalem artichokes and cauliflowers.
I cannot remember what name was given to March in the French revolutionary calendar. Something to do with potatoes, I imagine: this is the month to buy, chit, and plant your first earlies. I understand that traditionalists would put things off a little longer, and certainly it is true that seed potatoes will rot in cold, wet ground: also, the young haulms are vulnerable to frost.
Winter Gardening: January & February
You can drive Nature out with a pitchfork, but she will always return. The modern equivalents of the pitchfork are, I suppose, the gruesome armoury of horticultural chemicals – pesticides, fungicides, and postemergent herbicides… There is another way of coping, and it involves working with the natural world, not against it…
Winter Gardening: December
December is perhaps the best month for that important job, winter digging. The soil should be warm enough to work, and dry enough to walk on without causing compaction. And at other times of the year, of course, it is likely to have stuff growing in it…
Food Growing Tips for November
Presumably anyone interested in Transition is also interested in growing their own food; however, some may just be learning how to do so, and the rest of us, being busy, might profit from the occasional seasonal tip. November is a good time to plant the alliums – onions, shallots, and garlic…