The cold weather continued throughout March and is now set to stay with us until mid April, so progress in the garden has been relatively slow. However, the propagating tunnel is full of plants which will require planting over the next month. This will mean cultivating and planting thousands of plants in a relatively short time and once this starts work begins to get a little manic. Longer day length also means longer working days.
I have finally got round to purchasing a weather station which will collect information about all of the basic weather measurements and upload it to a computer. So from now on I can indulge you all in my slight obsession with the weather. Growers are often innately engrossed in the weather as was proved at a recent meeting with other members of the Organic Growers Alliance. Weather facts and figures were being thrown about willy nilly. Rather than continually moaning about the weather it feels good to be able to now provide solid data to back up my moans. I imagine this is a geeky obsession that few others will be interested in, but as so often happens with such obsessions I will nonetheless endeavour to bore you with our weather facts in future updates.
The Organic Growers Alliance is a collection of growers across the UK who share experiences and as a group have a voice to represent organic horticulture. It is a great resource for newcomers to growing and the combined knowledge of its members is used to produce a great journal which consists of technical articles along with organic news and other information related to organic horticulture (http://www.organicgrowersalliance.co.uk/ ). It is important to feel a part of something and be in solidarity with others who are often experiencing the same joys and woes. The generosity of other growers who are so willing to share their knowledge is great, unlike so many other businesses who may regard this sharing as a chance for competitors to glean information about how their rivals work. The organic movement has always had a strong ethical and moral code at the heart of it and is a strong community, and this still seems to be the case.
Anyway, back to the weather. Although it has been cold it has also been dry and windy, which has meant that the soil is drying out well. As I write this we have had a wonderfully sunny day and sown the second batch of broad beans along with radish, turnips and spinach all direct outside. The lettuce, spring onions and beetroot are all hardening off outside ready to be planted by the end of the week (6th April). We will continue planting chard, onions and shallots amongst other things through April and perhaps get our new tunnel up by month's end.