The weather changed considerably as March began with the unseasonably mild conditions which now returned to what might be ‘normal’ for the time of year. The unusually mild conditions brought forward early emergence of both plants and, worryingly, some insects such as queen Bumblebees. Although there may have been some sources of nectar and pollen from early flowering of Prunus (Cherry) species, wild flowers such as Coltsfoot as well as our ornamental planting of Crocuses and Narcissus, the return to much colder conditions may have disrupted both the pollination process and perhaps the survival rate of the insects which had ‘awoken’ too early from hibernation. Latest episode of Radio 4’s Costing the Earth does a nice job of explaining the consequences of climate change induced shift in seasons.
With lots of help from the regular volunteers, work carried on to prepare for the season ahead. The new deep beds were filled up and are ready to be planted soon or perhaps being adopted by some Tayport residents who would like to take the opportunity to have a go at growing their own if they don’t have a garden or the space at home. Get in touch with Jessie on email@example.com if you are interested in taking one on!
The first outdoor plantings began with some over-wintered broad beans which are growing away nicely, although whether the early flowers will be successfully pollinated remains to be seen.
In the polytunnel, the super early tatties are growing away strongly, enough to warrant re-connecting the automatic overnight irrigation system. The benches are now filling up with trays of seedlings of both veg plants and summer flowers for our newly acquired up-cycled wooden shipping crates which were donated free for the collection. Ian has been busy painting them with wood stain and Bill has helped with lining the insides to prevent compost loss through the narrow gaps.
Another project got underway recently with the construction of a solar-powered heated propagator, many thanks Will and Sven for doing this. It has still to be completed at the time of writing this but it will be ready when it is time to pot up the tender summer crops such as tomatoes, peppers, chillies and aubergines which have been growing on in my conservatory – we need the space back!
The delux compost bays have now been filled and the process is all explained in my most recent video on pro tips for perfect humus.
Remember that the purple sprouting broccoli season is now in full swing and it’s delicious! There is also lots of great rocket, spinach and some early radishes so pop by the Garden to pick some up during our open work days. Hope to see you soon!