Now, since few of us are foolish enough to leave the house these days, I think we can really safely encourage people to focus on their gardens.  Mine is looking relatively tidy.  And since there are no weddings and I can garden all weekend, in some ways I’m not only ahead, but I’m managing to do jobs I’ve let fall by the wayside for years. 

Watch out on Youtube for the making of compost tea, for example. I’m just waiting for an order of lovely alpaca poo from Lou's Poo (any pasture grazing animal poo will do,) and I’ll make a post about that.  If you can make compost tea and then inoculate your garden beds with it, it’s like giving your earth very smarty pants expensive live yoghourt – adding all sorts of good bacteria to help keep the soil in good heart. 

We aren’t sowing seeds directly in the soil yet, but will be from next weekend (first weekend in April,) and we’ll soon be taking out seedlings which have been under cover (again, first weekend in April,) to harden off, before being planted out into beds in a week or two.  If you’re looking for cut flower seed I cannot recommend more highly our friend and colleague Ben at Higgledy Garden

And more fun things to plant: find some acidanthera bulbs, or perhaps, more correctly, gladiolus Murielae, and pop them in a pot for late summer, scented white flowers, which bob so beautifully in the breeze.  Bulbs for late summer colour can be planted all through April and into May: glads, acidanthera, nerine lilies.  Try Avon Bulbs or Peter Nyssen, both top notch suppliers who, so long as the couriers are collecting, they are delivering.  Other good plant nurseries delivering still: Hardy’sTodd’s BotanicsFibrex (treat yourself to scented pelargoniums for you mental health,) Pepperpot Herbs for high quality herbs. 

And in other gardening news: I’ll bet we aren’t the only people growing veg this year.  See Mark Diacono at Otter Farm for a fab veg garden starter kit, or Marshalls seeds where I go because that’s where my mother always ordered her veg seed, and who am I to argue with my mama? And wonderful Franchi seeds whose lovely mix will certainly suit a Mediterranean palette.  

My only caveat with all this veg seed sowing is, don’t sow too much!  No family needs more than three courgette plants.  No family needs more than three tomato plants. And re salads and radishes and spinach and other quick growing crops, sow little and often so that you have really delicious fresh leaves, rather than leathery old stock to chew on.  For compost we recommend Dalefoot for mulching your beds, and Sylvagrow for seed sowing.  And if you have no garden at all, a few pots of salad seed, sparsely sown on a sunny windowsill will soon give you deliciousness to graze on.