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What to do now on the plot

There’s quite a lot you can start at this time of year. Beetroot, spring cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrots, kohlrabi, lettuce, rocket, peas (use an early variety so they’ll mature before the season ends) French beans, spring onions and radish.As your early potatoes come up, give the soil a quick fork over and then rake roughly level, Bet you find some spuds you’ve missed! You can sow French beans for a late crop or you could use a green manure like mustard – there’s more in my book Vegetable Growing Month by Month.and on the site here: Monthly Guides

Keep a close eye on your main potato crop. There have been a few scattered reports of blight, which really depends on the weather. So far, touch wood, not in our area but you never know. There’s an article on potato blight here: Potato Blight

The year has turned and the days are growing shorter. Hardly seems possible does it? Yet the plants know. That’s why Chinese cabbage like Pak Choi and salad rocket are ideal for sowing now and the garlic and onions are bulbing up. Your garlic should be nearly ready now. You may well think of garlic as a strong flavour, but when it’s slightly immature and freshly pulled, it’s actually quite mild and can be eaten as a side vegetable. It’s lovely roasted with a little olive oil and it still wards off vampires.Don’t leave garlic too long in the ground though, the bulbs start to split apart as it prepares to grow again next year.

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That’s nearly it for this except for this quote from an email I’d like to pass on.

“Tell Val I have managed to combine small quantity easy jam making and being able to go out in the garden at the same time thanks to my bread maker. Athough my garden isn’t that big I do have veg and fruit among the flowers and as it has been such a good year for strawberries we have been almost fed up with them.

Looking through recipe books I noticed there was a jam cycle function on my Kenwood breadmaker so gave it a go. Well talk about easy; 9oz sugar 9oz fruit 3 teaspoons water, switch on machine to jam settings – go out in garden to try and keep those pesky weeds at bay and 1 hour later 1 pot of delicious jam – Good eh? I’ve tried it with some blackcurrants and a mixture of tayberry, strawberry – perfect set every time.”

Jam in the breadmaker! We’ll be buying our electricity from British Gas next!

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