Thing’s got off to a late start this spring. Late February and early March were exceptionally cold. Our early plants for the polytunnel were delivered two or three weeks later than we expected and so the first plantings of the season we’re behind schedule.
Then came the rain. Fortunately we’d just got the muck spread in the field when it started but soon the ground too wet to plough and even the soil in the polytunnels was saturated as the water level was so high. It took a few weeks for land to dry out enough. Planting outside was almost a month late however given how cold it was in March waiting a few weeks for the soil to warm up was probably no bad thing!
Bit by bit we got things in the ground. First the early plants – which had been delivered weeks before and were desperate to be planted – and then potatoes and onions. Plants have a habit of catching up. As we head into the spring light levels and air and soil temperatures increase week on week. Lettuce planted at then end of March may take around 8 weeks to mature but planted a month later it takes more like six weeks. So the month delay in planting this spring may only have set us back a couple of weeks. Also the cold weather means that the over wintered crops such as cauliflower, spinach, leeks etc all last just a little bit longer which helps to bridge the gap.