Last month saw a right mix bag of weather, bright sunshine and blue skies but pretty cold dropping to freezing at night, then rain and more rain for days on end, plus a good dollop of snow thrown in as well. Just about 12 months I was advising people to prepare for hosepipe bans and drought, so of course, we had the wettest year ever. However, I still think we should be prepared for a long dry spell (yes I know we only get one of those every 2000 years).
I am often asked if growing your own food can save you money, well the answer to that is to look at what has happened to food prices in the shops, they have gone through the roof. Mainly due to the wet year, we had last year, it wasn’t just gardeners who were underwater but farmers too. There are thousands of acres that are only just drying out enough to cultivate now.
I can only see food prices continuing to go up, as the world population increases, more land used for housing and not growing, plus the changing climate will mean more extreme weather which does not help farming.
There is another reason for growing your own and that is you know what has been done to produce the food you are eating. Given the latest news about horsemeat appearing in so-called beef products, plus other stories of food not being what the label says it is can we really trust the food supply chain?
You do not need to go totally organic as long as you know what has been used and are happy with it.
Unfortunately, it is not viable for all of us to produce our own meat but we can at least control what is used to produce our fruit and vegetables.
Ok enough of the moaning on with the gardening.
If the weather permits now is the time to be planting the onion and shallot sets, mid March should be the start of planting those early potatoes you have been chitting.
Broad beans, Brussels sprouts, early peas, and parsnips can all be sown this month.
Indoors you can sow tomatoes and peppers.
Now is the time to harvest any leeks and parsnips that are still in the ground.
You can still plant bare-rooted cane fruit bushes.
Right until next month