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The patient gardener

Veggies 1 rdI expect you thought you had seen the last of me.
I can sympathise with my reader who, having heard I was going on holiday, hoped that there would be a new hand producing this MUWAGA article. I have had similar feelings, but here I am again. The positive side, for me, if not for you, is that one of the many good things about going on holiday is that you return home with renewed enthusiasm to tackle the more mundane jobs you were putting off before you went away. Such a job is cleaning the greenhouse in preparation for the new growing season. I can’t say I like doing it, but I like the result with the glass clean and the inside tidy. When you read this in April all those pepper, tomato and aubergine plants will need the greenhouse space so, at least this year, I will be ready.

Watch the weeds
I have said before that I am always tempted to sow seeds too early and the mild weather in late February made me think spring was on the way; of course, it was still a way off and reluctantly I waited. A good way to judge the right time is to wait until the weeds start to grow and then the soil temperature is probably getting to the right level. Even so, you may still have to watch out for a late frost and provide some protection when needed.
I am sure across Milton and Shipton you will see every approach used to make our gardens grow. Linda and I try to grow organically without the use of sprays or other petrochemical products. We are not perfect and would no doubt fail to meet the formal definition, and it does mean we use a lot of fleece and netting to try and keep birds and bugs at bay (I know, you will ask, how are the nets produced?). Some people take it further and grow biodynamically, a system which coordinates growing activities with the phases of the moon. I remain unconvinced that the special preparations they use are really effective.

Looking forward to forthcoming talks, on 26th April we have a talk by Andrew Bullock on ‘Growing Lavender and Buddleias’’, and on 24th May we hold our AGM with a Cheese, Wine and Pate Extravaganza which will be free to members. All our meetings take place in the Milton Village Hall on a Wednesday and start at 7.30 p.m. Both non-members and members are equally welcome, and I look forward to seeing you there. In addition, if members have any questions or suggestions for the AGM please let me or any committee member know, as this is your opportunity to shape MUWAGA for the future.

Happy gardening
Tony Lewis

April – May 2017