The Hungry gap is well and truly here. It always seems particularly cruel as May and June are two of the busiest months in the garden, yet they are the months when we have to buy most produce in. There is always a dilemma when faced with the decision of what to buy in – Do we anticipate the seasons and buy in from abroad – tomatoes, cucumber, aubergines? Do we see what other local growers have to offer? Or, do we put spring cabbage in twice in a row? Instinctively I would veer towards the latter two, but I have to confess that I do sometimes succumb to the idea of a tomato or a courgette this time of year; somehow forgetting that they never come anywhere near our seasonal tomatoes and courgettes. I hope you are enjoying the asparagus from Kenson’s Farm, Salisbury and the new potatoes from Cornwall.

Lots of Planting

Work has been full on in the garden and we are lucky to have had Anna, since March, and Pim, for the last two weeks. We have, however, lost both of them – Pim has returned to his placement in Sweden and Anna has gone with him for two weeks to see what she can learn. So, just Tony and me. Tony, Anna and Pim have planted out much already; most recently borlotti beans, French beans and runners.

A new crop of strawberries, taken as runners last autumn, have been planted through mipex and main crop carrots have been drilled. Preparations for the squash are complete – holes dug for each plant and filled with compost into which we will plant the squash.

In the tunnel tomatoes and basil have been planted and the winter crops (mainly salad leaves, spinach, spring cabbage and chard) cleared ready for cucumbers and peppers.

Our celeriac and celery transplants have arrived from Delfland nurseries. So now we are waiting for the soil to dry out so that we can get onto it with the tractor and prepare it for the next round of planting out.

In Need of Sunshine

I think I make daily trips to the broad beans, the strawberries and the outdoor lettuce to check on progress. We have had the rain, we just need a bit of sunshine and warmth and there will be no stopping them. I am only just about able to stop myself from digging up the new potatoes – Milvas – to check on their progress. It is probably late spring that I love most in the garden, doing everything for the first time before repetition makes it tedious. Digging carrots, weeding, hoeing, planting out the first tiny lettuce, even cutting the grass…