Patience is a virtue but Spring is a time when nature seems to want us to join in and get active. Difficult as it is for us to bide our time and wait for planning permission and rubbish clearance, there is much to do before we can get out in the sunshine and start laying out the garden, organising helpers and planting out. With this in mind I went along to our local Gardeners Question Time at Stade Hall on Friday night and put in a couple of practical questions about container growing and how to cope with the impending drought.
I’m so pleased I did because I now know that the large containers can be part-filled with broken up polystyrene fish boxes before the compost is added. It makes containers much lighter, aerates and insulates the soil and roots gain strength from finding their way around lumpy objects. And we can get the boxes free from the fish traders on the Stade.
On the drought front I discovered what I already knew – most vegetables have a high water content and that water has to come from somewhere. Our soil will need plenty of organic matter to absorb and hold onto moisture and a good layer of mulch on the top to counteract evaporation. Watering is going to a challenge and water butts are high on the list of things we need to get hold of and in place right away.
Theory is important but yesterday I needed to counterbalance it with a bit of dirt under the fingernails, so I potted up the runners from my strawberry plants. I’ll be doing the same with three types of mint and hope to encourage everyone who has a garden to sow and grow as much as they can at home this month.