The free online magazine for news and views from Cradley, Storridge & Mathon
editor@okcradley.com editor@okcradley.com editor: Ken Nason features editor: Harold Armitage
GARDENING  CHAT Let us have your gardening tips and tricks and even host a regular gardening column. We will continue to seek out the most informative videos from the web but feel free to let us have a video tour of your garden or a video of how you do things. Wonderful things smart phones!
This Month’s gardening videos
Send us your garden pictures and or videos
editor@okcradley.com
okcradley.com
48
Apr 2024
It’s that time of year when the schedules for the 2024 produce show will be available to download to enable you to get your produce and crafts ready for 14th September so watch this space
Spring has Sprung! Officially that is, but I’m not sure if the weather has been told – what a month or two! Water-logged lanes, fields and gardens too spongy to walk on. But don’t despair! Instead of looking out miserably at lush overgrown lawns, sprouting weeds and pots waiting to be filled with flowers, why not start sowing those seeds bought in joyful anticipation earlier in the year? It’s certainly time to sow such seeds as tomatoes, chillis, aubergines, sweet peas etc but hold off on later crops such as runner beans, courgettes, squash etc for a few more weeks or so. If you have a heated propagator, then it’s easy. Simply sow into damp compost in trays or individual cells and once germinated move the seedlings onto a light windowsill or heated greenhouse, if you are lucky enough to have one. If you have a greenhouse but unheated, then you could cover the seedlings with horticultural fleece or do as I did, which is to place them in an old trolley (purchased when Woolies closed!) wrapped around with bubblewrap to make an improvised cloche. I do make sure that there is still ventilation, otherwise the seedlings could dampen off. If you do not have a propagator then sow your seeds in damp compost in a seed tray and cover with cling-film or a plastic bag. I used to place my trays of seeds in the airing cupboard where the gentle warmth encouraged germination. But anywhere gently warm should do. Take off the cover as soon as the seeds have germinated and place in light but not direct sunshine. All right, no chance of that, hey?! Nights are still quite cold and we can have frosts for quite a while yet so do keep an eye on your sowings. Lightly water when needed but do not soak or the seedlings could dampen off and die. And while we wait for Spring to really arrive why not enjoy the wild flowers which are emerging now. Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum) with their luminous white flowers – check out the lane behind Brookside which will be a stunning display in a few days – Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna) with cheerful yellow flowers and Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa) flowering in shady places. Such plants are vital for insects such as bumblebees, hoverflies, beetles and butterflies emerging from winter sleep to provide a much needed feed as well as a boost to our own well-being. And keep a lookout for the sun and some much needed warmth! Gillian Lowder March 2024
editor@okcradley.com
Let us have your gardening tips and tricks and even host a regular gardening column. We will continue to seek out the most informative videos from the web but feel free to let us have a video tour of your garden or a video of how you do things. Wonderful things smart phones!
Send us your garden pictures and or videos
This Month’s gardening videos
editor@okcradley.com editor: Ken Nason features editor: Harold Armitage
okcradley.com
The free online magazine for news and views from Cradley, Storridge & Mathon
48
April 24
Spring has Sprung! Officially that is, but I’m not sure if the weather has been told – what a month or two! Water-logged lanes, fields and gardens too spongy to walk on. But don’t despair! Instead of looking out miserably at lush overgrown lawns, sprouting weeds and pots waiting to be filled with flowers, why not start sowing those seeds bought in joyful anticipation earlier in the year? It’s certainly time to sow such seeds as tomatoes, chillis, aubergines, sweet peas etc but hold off on later crops such as runner beans, courgettes, squash etc for a few more weeks or so. If you have a heated propagator, then it’s easy. Simply sow into damp compost in trays or individual cells and once germinated move the seedlings onto a light windowsill or heated greenhouse, if you are lucky enough to have one. If you have a greenhouse but unheated, then you could cover the seedlings with horticultural fleece or do as I did, which is to place them in an old trolley (purchased when Woolies closed!) wrapped around with bubblewrap to make an improvised cloche. I do make sure that there is still ventilation, otherwise the seedlings could dampen off. If you do not have a propagator then sow your seeds in damp compost in a seed tray and cover with cling-film or a plastic bag. I used to place my trays of seeds in the airing cupboard where the gentle warmth encouraged germination. But anywhere gently warm should do. Take off the cover as soon as the seeds have germinated and place in light but not direct sunshine. All right, no chance of that, hey?! Nights are still quite cold and we can have frosts for quite a while yet so do keep an eye on your sowings. Lightly water when needed but do not soak or the seedlings could dampen off and die. And while we wait for Spring to really arrive why not enjoy the wild flowers which are emerging now. Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum) with their luminous white flowers – check out the lane behind Brookside which will be a stunning display in a few days – Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna) with cheerful yellow flowers and Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa) flowering in shady places. Such plants are vital for insects such as bumblebees, hoverflies, beetles and butterflies emerging from winter sleep to provide a much needed feed as well as a boost to our own well- being. And keep a lookout for the sun and some much needed warmth! Gillian Lowder March 2024
It’s that time of year when the schedules for the 2024 produce show will be available to download to enable you to get your produce and crafts ready for 14th September so watch this space