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This month in the garden - 2020

April in the garden

As I write this on day four of Spain's corona virus lockdown, I imagine that the April issue will not even go to print. Is the printer even open? Just about every small business that advertises in the mag has shut down for the time being. If by some miracle the mag has gone to print on time, you are reading this after the two week lockdown. Or we are day 20 of lockdown.

Luckily, corona virus has coincided with spring so it is the best time of year of to start a garden, if you haven't already. All the summer veg can go in now. Radishes are fast growing and you will have an edible crop in a matter of weeks. Plant beans now, lots of beans. French beans, soya beans, mung beans, runner beans, chick peas. They can be eaten fresh in three months and if left longer to dry on the plants they can be stored for months as dry beans. Don't forget to freeze them for a few days once they are dry to kill off that pesky bean weevil that will chomp its way through your stored beans. Courgettes will also provide a quick and steady harvest. Pumpkins can be planted and left to fend for themselves. They are very little work and will provide a food that can be stored for a long time. Plant lots and lots of them.

For summer greens think amaranth, Malabar spinach and New Zealand spinach. Also think about a few medicinals, ginger and turmeric.

Tomatoes, aubergines, cucumbers, melons, water melons, okra and peanuts can go in too. They can all be direct sown if you don't have potting compost to bring them on in pots. By April, it's warm enough to put them straight in the ground without worrying about frost. Look around your garden, especially near the compost heap, for plants that have self seeded. These can be transplanted or, if they are not in the way or too overcrowded, leave them where they are and don't forget to water them.

If you don't have a space to grow a garden, find someone who does and give them some help to expand their garden. Or look for an unused bit of land and get growing. It is imperative that you know how the land is watered and that there is water available there. Don not waste your time and break your heart by putting a lot of energy into something that will die when summer hits because you don't have a water source.

And if growing or working in a garden is out of your reach then please, please support your local farmers and small business. By day three of the lockdown most businesses closed and many of us have already lost our jobs. Our only way through this hard time is to support one another in every way we can. Be generous with your time and if you still have some money, be generous with that too.

None of us know how this will end. Maybe it will all be over in two weeks, maybe we're on the brink of economic collapse, maybe the aliens will land. What ever happens, it's never a bad time to grow a garden so get going. THE REVOLUTION IS IN THE GARDEN.

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