NET MANDARIN TREES
Satsuma mandarins are ripening en masse now, so cover your trees with mesh netting to stop opportunistic birds pecking holes in the fruit. A single peck is enough to cause the whole fruit to start perishing and pecked fruit won’t keep once picked. When harvesting, always cut with secateurs – don’t pull – so their “belly button” stem stays intact. This helps them last longer in your fruit bowl. Cut the stems just above a side bud to keep the outside foliage of the canopy neat and not too dense.
Plant Brussels sprouts
You can still plant seedlings now but they won’t heart up until late spring or early summer as they take 4-5 months to mature. You can help your crop along with fortnightly applications of organic liquid fertiliser. Do this now, while the weather’s still warm-ish. Covering seedlings with a cloche/
polytunnel is also useful in speeding up establishment. When plants are 30-40cm tall and the buds up their upright stalks are starting to swell, pinch out the growing tip at the top of the plant (in the middle of the tuft of green leaves). After that, they’ll expend all their energy on fattening the sprouts. .
Plant flowering bulbs that suit an autumn planting. Extra-keen growers of garlic can pop some cloves in now too but don’t sow plants that produce their edible parts above the ground. The full moon beams down upon the first few days of May, and little can be done by way of seed sowing during this phase. Cultivate and dream. Gardening by the moon It is time for action but not for sowing. Weed, tidy, cultivate, build and make compost.