ALL ABUZZ on the plot
Kitchen Garden|April 2020
It’s all go on the plot as Stephanie Hafferty starts sowing but finds time to listen to the birdsong and the busy bees

April truly heralds the spring: longerdays, warmer soil and a dynamic energy that lifts the spirits and fills me with the urge to spend as much time as I can outside. I take my morning coffee into the garden to listen to the birdsong and buzzing bustle of nature responding to the call to raise young. Every day there is something new to discover – blossom, swelling leaf buds, the first asparagus shoots pushing up from the earth.

My kitchen is filled with mostly overwintered vegetables: home-grown spring cabbages, carrots from the polytunnel, leeks, chard, kale and trugs full of purple and white sprouting broccoli. I love the burst of flavour from new peas eaten straight from their pods, spicy radish and the first small harvest of asparagus, eaten al fresco for lunch on a sunny spring day (usually with my coat on!).

April is the busiest month for sowing and I am grateful for the preparation I did during the winter months, which means that my no dig beds are ready for planting. It’s still too early for tender plants such as runner beans: no matter how bright and mild the days, here in Somerset our last frost date is mid-May. There’s enough light now to be able to visit the allotment again in the morning before work, or in the evening afterwards. I find that even 15 minutes of pottering at the plot, hoeing or trowelling out the odd emerging bindweed roots, can boost energy levels and clear my mind.

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