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Half Mag / Half Zine

It’s finally time to spring into action

A full moon and the long weekend mean it’s back to life on the allotment – and there’s lots to do

Easter. April, the month of showers, the last threat of late frost – mostly absent already in the south. Wednesday’s full moon was a seed moon, also paschal moon, the first after the equinox, the one by which Easter is calculated. But it is seed time we are focusing on here. This is the long weekend when many of us remember we have a garden, start thinking about plant shopping and plan what to grow when.

The list for outdoor sowing is impressive: leeks, broccoli, cabbage, brassicas, salsify, spinach, chard (we have sown Fordhook Giant, Bright Lights and Ruby), lettuces, oriental and salad leaves. Root crops, too, though we will stick to radishes, beetroot, perhaps turnips if we can find room. We don’t tend to do well with carrots. It is time to finish planting potatoes: second early and main crops can all go in now. Earth up any from earlier.

For herbs, we will sow chervil, a couple of varieties of dill found in Denmark (it is a big deal there), flat-leaf parsley and some of our saved coriander. All should now be safe to sow outside.

Remember to water regularly (far better than an occasional drench) and keep on top of weeding if you can. Wild plants are good at what they do.

Thoughtfully thin through seedlings. Handle them gently by the leaf. I almost always oversow so I’m trialling a new tool and will report back.

Put up pea sticks and canes for climbing beans. It is easier while earth is soft. We are using hazel poles for peas, sweet peas and French beans (ours as always: blue Blauhilde, Gold of Bacau and Cherokee Trail of Tears).

Other communal gardeners will start coming back from today. It may be worth organising a couple of people to help clear up. We’ll be sure to keep our distance. And please let me know how it grows.