Around the Garden

Adding compost to your soil now will help your spring garden.

Adding compost to your soil now will help your spring garden.

Spring is a good time to dig your garden so that you can plant vegetables and flowers.

Don’t dig the soil if it is too wet because it packs together, then as it dries all moisture and air leaves and it turns into brick-like clods.

Before you start to dig, squeeze a little soil in your hand and if it makes a shiny mud ball wait a few days for the soil to dry. If it crumbles then you can start to dig.

Also take a close look at the soil’s texture – is it too sandy or too clayey?   

If it is too sandy, water will run through too fast and take away the food plants need.   

If it is too clayey, it will be cold and hard to work and water will run off instead of soaking in.  

In either case you will need to add humus in the form of composted plant material. Spread this thickly over the ground before you dig and let it work down into the soil as you dig. 

One of the most efficient ways to control weeds is to mulch garden beds with a thick layer which smothers weeds by blocking out the sunlight.

Green Leaves

If you're looking for an easy vegetable to cultivate, you can't go past the lettuce.

If you're looking for an easy vegetable to cultivate, you can't go past the lettuce.

Lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to grow.  

Head-forming lettuces prefer cooler conditions while the loose leaf varieties tolerate higher temperatures. The ‘pick-and-come-again’ types are the most productive and will continue supplying crisp leaves over an extended growing season.

Plant in a sunny, well-drained position and feed every two weeks with a soluble fertiliser otherwise lettuce tends to be tough and bitter and may prematurely run to seed. 

Watercress belongs to the same family as cabbages, broccoli, mustard and rocket. 

The mustard oils in the leaves give it the peppery flavour that is released when the leaves are chewed. Rocket is another herb with peppery leaves used in pizzas, soups and omelets as is Mizuna which gives a kick to salads and stir fries, much the same as nasturtium leaves.     

Pak Choi is a fast-growing Asian green with juicy, milder tasting leaves.  

Weed Control 

One of the most efficient ways to control weeds is to mulch garden beds with a thick layer which smothers weeds by blocking out the sunlight.

Being waspish

If you are starting to wasps in your garden time to get out the wasp traps.

If you are starting to wasps in your garden time to get out the wasp traps.

I noticed a wasp hanging about in the garden so it’s probably time to get out your wasp traps to trap the scouts who go out from the nest searching for food supplies. A jar half-filled with a sugar solution and hung from the branch of a tree should do the trick.

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