Gardening: Jobs for the weekend

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AS for what to do this Easter weekend, traditionally the start of the gardening year, here’s some sage advice.

I was reading Monty Don’s column in Gardeners’ World magazine (worth the cover price for him alone) _ and we think we’ve got it bad!

His garden at Longmeadow floods and is awash with a sea of mud.

His advice was, there’s nothing you can do – you have to be patient and let nature take its course.

That’s the soundest advice you’ll ever get. Only work on the soil when it will let you, otherwise you’ll ruin its structure you’ve worked so hard to create.

The earth is far too cold and wet to sow directly, so get round that problem by sowing in modules in an unheated greenhouse, cold frame or even a bright windowsill.

Just make sure there’s good light intensity, out of direct sunlight and it’s not too warm (an unheated spare bedroom is ideal).

Remember the tales of old farmers and allotmenteers who tested the soil temperature by dropping their trousers to sit bare-cheeked on bare earth. If it felt comfortable for them, they sowed! (I’m not advocating this - you’ll get arrested.)

Plants will catch up, they always do.

Patience is a virtue!