||And March is the
month when gardeners really begin to get busy putting their plans into
effect and starting work to produce this wholesome abundance. Now, abundance
in summer is easy, but sufficiency in winter末especially late winter and
early spring末is another kettle of fish. Too many gardeners still fall
down on winter production, due to lack of planning. Your local Parks
Superintendent or your local allotment or horticultural society may have
produced a plan that suits local conditions and makes adequate provision for
winter vegetables. Or you can still get the Ministry's cropping plan, not to
follow it blindly, but to use it as a guide that you can adapt to meet your
family's likes and dislikes and modify in the light of your knowledge of the
kinds of vegetables that can be grown satisfactorily in your neighbourhood.
And it may be worth your while re-reading what was said in the February
issue of this "Guide" about the importance of crop rotation.
Any week now, when weather and soil are right, you will want to start sowing
and planting. But one word of warning: don't try to sow seed when the soil
sticks to your boots. Wait for a fine spell. When it is fine and the soil is
workable, you will perhaps be making successional sowings of broad beans and
spinach as described in the February "Guide". You will also be sowing seeds
of Brussels sprouts and leeks末both in a special seedbed; parsnips, peas,
onions, lettuces, radishes and parsley末where they are to grow on. And you
may also be planting autumn-sown onions.
Clear away those old stumps of Brussels, cabbage and so
on and get the land prepared for another crop.
SEEDS You have no
doubt already got the seeds of the vegetables just mentioned末also your seed
potatoes, which should have been "sprouted"; but during April and May you
may be sowing beet, carrots and turnips, as well as runner beans (perhaps
French and Haricots too), kales, savoys, cabbages and spinach beet. Marrows
must not be overlooked either, if your family likes them. Make sure you get
all the seeds in time.
FERTILISER* You have probably got a supply of a suitable fertiliser
containing the three necessary plant foods末nitrogen, potash, phosphorus末
with which to dress your land before sowing and planting. If you haven't,
"National Growmore Fertiliser"末a Government recommended product末 would
suit your needs. 42 lb. will be enough for a 300 square yard plot. The
January "Guide" described how to use it.
STICKS AND STAKES In April you will be
sticking your peas, in June your runners. If you intend to grow tomatoes,
you will need stakes for them at the end of May when you plant out. Have you
got your sticks and stakes or ordered them?