March 2017 has been very benign and spring-like. As a result, many of the natural markers of spring have already occurred. Here is a list of a few:
1. The appearance of weeds. Although my garden is now pretty clean, you will always get a few weeds emerging. For me, this accelerated in 2017 in the second week of March.
2. Appearance of potato plants from tubers remaining from last year’s crop. You never avoid leaving the odd tiny tuber in the ground. My first tuber emerged on March 28th, which says that a St Patrick’s day sowing of First Earlies would have been worthwhile this year. Last year this phenomenon only occurred in late April. One very mild autumn saw potatoes emerge in November!
3. Appearance of first asparagus stalk – this occurred on March 28th.
4. Appearance of blossom on pear, plum and cherry trees – this started on 25th March and now in full swing.
5. Appearance of leaves on apple trees – first noticed on 27th March.
Not surprisingly, the garden is more planted than usual and all main beds will be planted up by April 9th with first crops, allowing me to focus on leeks, cabbage and beans for planting out in May and June.
The compost piles built in the past few days are now up to temperature and will be turned tomorrow, 31st March. The larger pile reached 70C today, representing my best pile to date in terms of heat generated.
The forecast here for early April is dry, sunny days with spring temperatures by day and chilly nights. I will be putting fleece on beds and taking them off again a lot in April…..