Will it ever stop raining?
Oh yes it will and in no time at all we will be busy catching up, even if this very strange winter runs into early summer, maybe forgetting that we are supposed to have spring in between! In a recent conversation with another ‘old weather watcher’, he told me of a saying by his grandfather - “In a wet mild winter, when the rain stops there is going to be a drought because all the rain has fallen and there is no more left up there”. It is interesting to also note that the long term average rainfall rarely changes significantly, so, with over two thirds of our average rainfall already on the ground maybe he is right? One thing for sure: I think, with all the aquifers overflowing surely we can’t have a hosepipe ban!
A very obvious casualty of the winter storms are our fences and hedges. Some will need replacing and any late plantings will need regular watering. Those hedges that were badly damaged should respond with a hard pruning to stimulate strong re-growth. Some of these hedges are also overgrowing adjacent pavements and now is a great opportunity to cut them back and keep them within their boundaries!
We will have some frost this month, we always do, and maybe we will have a wintry shower or two possibly into April that could cause damage to spring bulbs and early soft growth. Even though we are going to be late
sowing and planting, we need to take care and be ready to protect our vulnerable plants. We are not yet able to assess the damage to our wildlife but we can be sure that many species will have suffered. We need to take extra care not to disturb nesting sites and do our best to help to give them the best chance to recover.
As soon as the ground is workable sow parsnips, early carrots, early lettuce varieties, spring onions, plant onion sets, shallots, start chitting potatoes, but wait until the ground is warmer before sowing peas and