We will start sending out orders from late April onwards. We operate using quite a complex IT process to schedule each delivery based on plant availability and order date, and number of staff working on any one day, and this allows us to deliver as many orders as possible in as short a timeframe as possible. We’re expecting to ship the majority of pre-ordered plants between late April and end of May. We will keep you posted!
In the meantime, these last few weeks of waiting give an opportunity to get the plot ship-shape ready for spring planting. Here’s a handy checklist of things to do…
- Roughly sketch or jot down where you plan to plant everything
- Check that you have enough pots/containers and beds
- Make sure beds are weeded, dug over (unless you are no-dig) and topped up with compost or other organic matter/fertiliser.
- Pull up winter veg plants that have started to bolt – land cress, mizuna, mustard leaves etc may well have gone over by now. Harvest what you can and add excess foliage/roots to the compost pile.
- Clean pots/containers and check they have enough drainage holes (you can put a few crocks in the bottom to help)
- Order in enough compost to fill pots and containers.
- Make sure you are prepared to protect plants from cold weather/wind if they arrive in unfavourable conditions! A homemade cloche tunnel is perfect, or some horticultural fleece will help.
- Build supports for climbing beans & peas – bamboo wigwams for beans, twigs or chicken wire for peas/mangetout
- Get bamboo canes/supports ready for tomatoes, broad beans and other tall veg plants.
- Get some insect-proof mesh netting ready to protect plants – this is a good idea for brassicas (to protect against pigeons and butterflies) and carrots (to protect against carrot root fly). You could use horticultural fleece instead. You can support the netting on bamboo stakes topped with jam jars, then weight it down at the corners and sides.
- Make brassica collars You can cut a 10cm disc out of cardboard and then cut a slit into the centre. You can then wrap this around the base of each brassica plant to protect them from cabbage root fly.
- Clean greenhouse windows/polytunnels to let as much sunlight through as possible during early spring. If they are very dry, it may be worth watering the soil thoroughly a few days before plants arrive and again the day before they arrive, so that your plants can go straight into the soil.
- Dig over beds that will be growing root veggies and potatoes and rake over to remove stones etc.
- Clear the garden of debris – a clean plot is less hospitable to slugs, snails and other pests
- Get a compost bin ready if you don’t already have one
- Are you collecting rain water? Why not install a water butt (and check your water butt/gutters aren’t blocked if you already have them)
- Make plant labels
- Buy some cheap beer for putting in slug traps