Page 41 - Simply Vegetables Winter 2020/21
P. 41

 Spring Forward, to 2021
Experience from last year can be recalled as “To gain practical knowledge by observation”.
Will we ever fail to remember the deplorable soil conditions in the allotment during the spring of 2020? Hopefully it was a situation not to be experienced again. Remember to recall a winter of continuously waterlogged soils. The drought of a dry spring. Week after week of hot days
and cold nights when the soil was so
hard gardening felt as if we were tending concrete.
So what should we now set about doing after considering last year’s problems? I am OK with good preparation, so let’s put the soil into acceptable condition for the new growing season.
Tending the plants in the summer gives a special thrill of success when taking food home for the table, or taking up the challenge of growing exhibition vegetables for competition, size, and appreciated quality.
During this summer’s lock-down, there has definitely been a resurgence of vegetable growing, it has encouraged us to eat more home-grown, healthy produce. There is something special about taking treasured vegetables home, from our very own plot.
Can you remember the old gardeners saying, “The answer lies in the soil”?
Now we have moved-on into another century there are other questions to be considered. “Will the bagged compost be any good, or will it be short of plant food”? “Which is better, liquid or granular fertilizer”? If you may say granular, then, “Should it be slow release”?
I knew what I wanted and why, or I thought I did!
By the end of November I will have completed my digging, to make use of
any winter frost to break down the lumps and avoiding the soil from being saturated all winter. I will need to do some double digging to bury the contents of my compost heap in a trench, ready for the roots of next year’s Runner Beans to go down and find some moisture and food to feed on. On my cabbage patch; I will need to work in some lime, preventing the plants looking like a hen and chickens down the rows.
The garden will be planned. Ready for the Christmas catalogues to land on the mat requesting orders for fertilizer, seeds and plants.
My next big job will be cultivating and breaking down the winter digging to make the seedbeds.
There is a big decision to make this year. “Am I to use a rotary cultivator in the spring”?
The first question I have to ask myself “Is
it a tiller, a cultivator, or a rotavator”? To keep everybody happy. I tell them, “I would like my soil to be tilled by a rotary cultivator”.
I can see advantages in such a machine. In addition to the tilling it will let me mix nutrients directly into the ground. It may save me hours of labour by crumbling clumps of compacted soil, ready for when I am to start planting. I am aware that I will have to vary the depth of work to prevent making a pan.
I just want the roots to go down for me, and explore the rich top soil.
The disadvantages could be a long list. As always, number one will be the expense. Once I have got over the shock, I will be dependent upon the weather and worried that I do not prepare the soil to early and too fine. If it rains, the surface could just crust over giving me another problem.
It is now approaching summary and decision time. I have been advised that,
as a dedicated gardener rather than a professional, there will be a machine to suit me. Fancy that now? I will be looking for something relatively light-weight, suitable
for use all the year round, particularly in the vegetable plots. It will have to be easy to use, transport and store, and start in an instant. That isn’t asking for too much, as I recall the difficulties experienced in last year’s spring.
products of
the season
Jardin De France garden tools
With a ratchet system, and ten times easier to use than ordinary tools.
Use the code: Shows2020 to get an amazing
25% discount on
our whole range.
You will wonder how you coped before you owned a Hori Hori knife!
A classic Japanese multi-purpose garden tool for working all round
the garden including weeding,
cutting, planting and sawing (i.e. roots).
Get yours from Japeto. Comes with a robust belt hung faux leather holster.
DP1038 Expert
Bypass Pruner
A top of the range
ergonomically designed
pruner of exceptional
quality. SK5 carbon steel
titanium coated blade
for extra strength and
smoother cut. Slim profile
handles and two position
catch suitable for large and small hands. Incorporating a wire cutting notch. Cut Capacity 25mm.
Visit to find your local stockist

   39   40   41   42   43