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Nurture now and nourish later! Herby Ideas:


Sow some herb seeds now to really enhance the flavour of your veggies later in the year. Basil is a must-have if you’re growing tomatoes, and a few chopped fresh basil leaves will liven shop-bought sauces.


Coriander will thrive in most UK summers. If winter isn‘t too cold, coriander will sometimes re-seed itself, saving you the trouble next year!


Start preparing the ground now for summer vegetables. Dig over, remove any large stones and perennial weeds and rake over to a fairly fine consistency. Seedbeds will need to be raked over more thoroughly.


In April, the days can be warm enough to get young plants growing but the nights are often still cold and most fruit and vegetable crops will need some protection at night.


Planting out:


The young plants you started from seed should be kept indoors or in the greenhouse until the end of April, or until all danger of a frost has passed. In the UK, mid-May is usually the ‘safe’ time.


The soil needs to have warmed up a little to avoid damaging the roots of your plants. Leave a cloche over a patch of prepared soil for a week or two to warm the soil. Rake over the surface every day or so to avoid mildew forming under the plastic.


Water the plants well just after planting out, to allow their roots to penetrate the soil and start drawing up the nutrients straight away.


If sowing seeds isn’t an option, buy or beg a few young herb plants now and keep them warm and watered until they’re ready to go out in the garden - or re-potted for the windowsill.


There are loads of healthy crops in ‘Grow Your Own Pharmacy’ published by Findhorn Press. Find out more at...


http://www.flower-and-garden-tips.com/gardeningbooks.html


 Slugs and snails - Protect the plants as soon as you plant them out. Lay crushed egg shells around the stems of each plant - not too close, but leave no gaps


 Birds - can pull out newly planted crops - hang a bird scarer or cover with a wildlife friendly netting for a few days, until plants are firm in the ground


 Frosty nights - as mentioned before always protect your plants from the cold.


 Weeds - pull them up before they seed


 Hot sunny weather - Plants can suffer in the very hot midday sun. Shade delicate plants for an hour or two a day if necessary.


 Lack of water - In the early stages of growth a day or two without water could be harmful to plants.


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