My bare patch!

It’s almost mid-May now and I have this huge pang of concern that I haven’t planted my veggies yet. I have to keep reminding myself that they’re happily growing in the Rocket Gardens polytunnel and that they will be with me soon. My veg patch looks horribly bare and it’s strange to have spent time out there over the sunny Bank Holiday weekend without seeing anything growing in the beds apart from my strawberries from last year and some last onions and garlic that I planted in autumn.

That said, yesterday night was COLD. And today has been chilly enough that I’ve got the heating back on this evening, so I’ve comforted myself by realising that it is indeed quite cold for veg plants. The leaves have only just come up on the oak tree in the next door field – later than I’ve ever observed before – and the local farmers have all mentioned that they’re at least 3 or 4 weeks behind and my neighbours haven’t planted anything yet either. I am not alone…we all just want to get planting!!

What is great though is how much time I’ve been able to spend on getting the plot completely ready to go, especially since I’m going no-dig this year. It’s given me ample time to get compost mulches for the beds sourced and layered on top of the soil (I must have shifted a fair few tonnes of compost in the past couple of weeks!) and I’ve been able to sort out the greenhouse properly and clear the garden of debris (thus reducing slug hiding places!). I think that by doing this I will actually be giving my plants a real head start when they do arrive (hopefully the first delivery will be here early next week!) as the soil will be that much better, and warmer, with fewer slugs to contend with.

I’m also hoping that by both being prepared this season (for the first time ever!) and going no-dig I will actually be able to keep on top of things like weeds and pests and spend a bit more time on nurturing my veg rather than constantly digging out dock leaves and pulling up bindweed. So in fact, I’m grateful for the extra time, and, having planted late a few years ago (I was away for the first three weeks of May so couldn’t plant until around 20th/21st), I know that there is plenty of time for my babies to catch up and give me a great harvest as normal!