That brief period of spring euphoria-when everything seems possible-is already beginning to wane. The raspberries we moved started well and are now dying. The potted lupins I was hoping to sell have succumbed to mildew and aphids-although the lupins planted in the ground are doing well. A flat of lovely spanish lavender was infested with spider mites-I think that is beat now. Sunflower seedlings have been devoured by bugs and a planting of spinach has just disappeared. And so it goes. But it’s not all bad. We are currently feasting on rhubarb crumbles and fresh salad greens. The strawberries have bloomed well and are full of the beginnings of a good crop of berries – I can’t wait!

But there is so much to do! Weeds are almost as high as my onions and the paths are a mess. I can’t get near my outside potting bench for the accumulation of ‘stuff’. And stones and pots litter the ground. Worse, there are plants in small pots crying ‘Get me out of here’. I really like a tidy garden but at this time of year I know that the food I hope to produce is more important than looks. And when vegetables & fruits are in their early growth, they should be encouraged, not neglected. If you can’t get those tomatoes into the ground, then get them into bigger pots. Likewise if it is too cold for the squash to go out, get them out of their tiny pots, but do try to get them into the ground before long, even if you have to protect them for a bit at night. Hill the potatoes. Then protect the tomatoes from the rain and net the berries. When the rains begin to ease and the temperatures rise – mulch. Mulch the tomatoes, the squash and cucumbers, the garlic and the strawberries. It’s alot of work but worth it. When summer arrives, everything should be off to a good start and then I’ll get back to tidying.

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