What a washout - or snowout this Easter was. This is one of the most
unpleasant ones I can remember. Snow, biting cold winds, frosts and
sub-zero temperatures. They all combined together to make me feel more
inclined to stay indoors and eat Easter eggs and hot cross buns.
Saturday, I braved the snow, sleet and horrendous driving conditions on
the M11 to shoot down to Chelmsford for my monthly slot on Gardening Plus
on BBC Essex. I think most of the good people of Essex had decided to
stay indoors too, as we were really busy with phone calls, texts and
We had a wide range of questions, but strangely, most of
the discussion was about wildlife - the unwanted sort that can make a
mess of the garden - squirrels, foxes, moles and deer. We came up with
our stock answers, but the favourite cure of the listeners was male
urine! Yes, it has to be male, but apparently to those in the know it
really works as a deterrent.
We also had a couple of guests in the
studio. The first, Aydin Tanseli, is the Director of Cropaid. The
company's product of the same name is a natural plant antifreeze that
increases plants' resistance to heat, cold and frost - how timely! It
contains a mixture of friendly bacteria, minerals and vitamins and is
sprayed on the plants. Apparently, it is widely used commercially on a
range of fruit and veg to produce earlier and bigger crops from those plants that are weather dependent. I'm going to give it a whirl at home. Find out more at www.cropaid.com.
holiday weekend plans had included lots of outdoor seed sowing, but the
weather just said no. So I listened to what the weather said and
decided that it just wasn't worth the risk - for the seeds or for my
Instead I spent most of my gardening time spreading BOM -
bulky organic matter, which kept me warm. Ever hopeful that the Met
Office would get the forecast wrong I had ordered a tonne of compost
for the front garden. We'd decided it needed a complete revamp, so had
dug everything out in autumn and dug over the soil for the winter
weather to break it down. The weather had certainly done its job and
the soil was ready for some invigorating BOM. It arrived at 7am on
Thursday - which kind of upset one of the neighbours! It was good
stuff, really well rotted, so I spent the time working up a sweat
shovelling it in place.
Maybe, just maybe, next weekend will be better and I can get on with that all important seed sowing. Fingers crossed.