Stuttering Spring

We don't have to tell you that spring has yet to appear. You know that, you may be looking out at your backyard, garden or allotment and wondering, 'What the hell has happened?' Already whispers are on the internet that 2013 could be as bad as 2012. Even the media are firing up the debate and a wet spring may lead to a wet summer, and that would be devastating to not just gardeners but to some of the bugs we depend on. We could also face similar problems, as we did in 2012, a wave of slugs. Now, take a deep breath and read on, if you don't want to end up knitting your own garden (the image below is taken from a wonderful knitted garden display by Wooly Knit, a company local to us) and read on to find your positive mojo again.

The future won't be knitted, though we may need jumpers to garden.

We have in the UK for the last two decades had mild springs, and to some extent until the last four years mild winters. You may have read that we are entering a Mini Ice Age, this may or may not be true and if it is, it will take two hundred years before we'll truly know and many of us won't be growing food for that long (though we should probably all start to learn to knit for it). Weather and nature does not follow a seed packet. If that was the case, we'd have sown our Broad Beans (Feb), Runner Beans (March) and Brussel Sprouts (March) by now for our Wartime Garden (following the months the plan dictates) but you only have to sink your thumb into the soil to see it's not ready. It's cold and claggy, and no one would want to bare their bum and sit in it (an old technique employed by some growers in previous decades). However, there are signs of spring, there are buds on the trees and today we saw that our lupins were sending out shoots. The glasshouse is reaching over 25c during the day but plummeting to zero at night, as we desperately fight to save our autumn sown sweet peas under fleece and organic feeds. Therein lies the positiveness, no matter what the weather throws at us we will fight on, maybe this is the wartime mentality, the make do and mend, the carry on attitude of the British but we think it is something more. It is our desire to survive as humans, to live and to do that well we connect with the seasons. 2012 was a washout, 2013 may be a washout but we don't know that and we shouldn't be suckered in by those fears. No matter what the weather throws at us, we will grow, we will survive, we will eat. We all have windowsills, and hopefully they will all be overflowing with seedlings by now. We may have to learn to knit our own jumpers if it does get colder but we will always have windowsills and warm places to grow in. Sod the seed packets, plant your bum in the earth, if it's wet go indoors and have a pot of tea and wait for spring to explode, which it will.