April 2012 Newsletter
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Dear Fellow Gardeners,
For good reason, these last few months we have been obsessed with the weather. First, there were the winter gales, which really put us on our guard. Then came the record breaking hot, dry spell that seduced us into a false sense of security. And now, cynically it seems, we are having frosty mornings and cold temperatures. And this is just down south, where the climate is quite amenable. What it must be like in snow-covered Scotland and Northern England we can only imagine. And then theres the drought that covers the whole the country – has ther ever been a hosepipe bane in April before?
But we are gardeners, which means we move on from the vagaries and cruelty of the weather and think only positive thoughts of better things to come.
April gardening jobs
The time for sowing seeds of peppers and aubergines is now gone. However, if you hurry, you can still sow seeds of both indoor and outdoor tomatoes. For other gardening jobs in April, click here.
There is still time to sow seeds of both indoor and outdoor tomatoes, but hurry, and used a heated propagator to germinate the seeds. Above: Ferline, Sungold and Green Zebra.
For those of you who missed out on sowing peppers, we have plenty of varieties available as plug plants. There are both sweet and chilli types, and they will be sent out at the beginning of May, which is when peppers should be planted up into their final growing place.
Chilli plug plants: Rooster Spur, Dorset Naga and Fairy Lights.
Choosing the right lettuce variety
Now is the time of year to start sowing lettuces, but which variety will suit your palette and needs? We have just written a short article describing the different lettuce types to help you choose. Click here to see the article.
Lettuce trial at Sea Spring Seeds.
Growing and cooking Thai vegetables
We are very pleased to announce that we have just partnered up with our good friend Pheeraya Hill to hold a course on growing and cooking Thai food. Pheeraya is an avid gardener and cook, and runs courses in Dorset and Somerset on all aspects of Thai cooking. Our friendship with Pheeraya goes way back and Michael has done cookery demonstrations with her at both the Eden Project and River Cottage HQ. We are very excited to be working with her again, and if you are interested in taking the course then click here.
For more information about Pheeraya have a look at Michael's blog (click here). If you are interested in growing Thai vegetables click here to read an article Michael originally wrote for the RHS magazine, The Garden.
Pheeraya Hill holding luffa fruit at Sea Spring Farm (left) and with her container grown salad crop.
We have now listed all the shows where we will have a stall. Click here for the details. In particular, you should put a note in your diary for our open day, which is on 26th August.
Two weeks ago we had a stall at the River Cottage “Get Growing in the Spring” show. This was great fun, especially since we had such wonderful weather. Next week we will be at the RHS Spring Show in London, and then over the weekend (13th -15th April) at the Exeter Food Festival. If anyone is going to either of these shows, please do drop by.
Proud sponsors of Portesham United Football Club
Well our team is still doing great, having risen from fourth to third place in their league (division 3 of the Dorset Football league) since last newsletter (click here for full details). However, the big news is that they are semi-finalists in the Dorset League Cup. Their opponents have not yet been determined as it depends on a game to be held on Saturday. The venue is also still to be decided, but the date is set: 28th April. The final is on 5th May; so lets hope they will make!
Good gardening and best wishes,
Michael and Joy Michaud
For Growing Vegetables
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