Gosh! What a week. I was going to try and avoid going on about the weather; there’s been enough of that on the news. Plus I always start my blogs with some mention of the sun, rain or snow. However, as David Knott, our Associate Director of Horticulture (Living Collection) would say – always keep one eye on the weather. His advice to Scottish vegetable gardeners is to watch the forecast and learn to work with the weather. This week is a good example of that. A beady eye on the forecast prompted us to cover the veg with horticultural fleece to protect it from the cold.
I made my notes for this week’s entry while sitting in the polytunnel with the wind and snow battering the sides. Contemplating what is traditionally known as the hungry gap while looking over our little green paradise. The hungry gap is the term used to describe this time of year – when the winter crops are over, the stored vegetables are nearly all used up and the spring vegetables are not yet ready. By manipulating the conditions in your garden you can get over this period. Our polytunnel protects the winter vegetables and helps the newly sown seed along quickly. The polytunnel is full to bursting with radish (only sown a month ago), purple sprouting broccoli, spinach, rainbow chard, carrots, parsley and spring onions all ready for harvest. Hungry gap? What hungry gap? Protected conditions can be achieved in the garden using cloches, horticultural fleece, a greenhouse, cold frame or even an upturned plastic bottle placed over individual plants.
The Garden’s Science on a Plate event is well underway this week. On Monday the 9th April the Edible Gardening team will be on stage with top chef Neil Forbes. Neil is a keen vegetable grower himself and even has a small plot outside his restaurant in Café St Honore in Edinburgh. He’ll be cooking up all sorts of delights using our produce. You can’t get fresher and more local than that! For more info and to book tickets click here.