The lambs and calves are taking their first wobbly steps and the fruit trees are in full blossom. It is time to put all the planning of the previous months into practice. If this leaves you feeling a little run down, this month’s foraging section holds some great natural remedies which you may be able to find on your land.
- Trees and Shrubs: Transplant evergreen trees and shrubs.
- Roses: Apply a mulch consisting of manure, garden compost, or ½ inch of grass cuttings, perhaps collected from your FTS or Winton Flail Mower.
- Perennials: Support with pea sticks or canes.
- Vegetables: Plant onions, artichokes, and early potatoes in the North. Sow salad crops, late summer cauliflowers, carrots, globe beetroot, winter cabbages, French beans, as well as purple-sprouting and spring-heading broccoli. Remove rhubarb flowers in the South. Order tomato plants.
- Fruit: Neutralise the chemistry of soil. Protect blossoming trees from late frosts with netting.
- Cut the grass with blades set to medium height using an FTS or Winton Flail Mower.
- Beds: Mulch beds and borders when the soil is warm, after destroying weeds and ensuring the ground is moist.
Farm Animal Care
- Sheep: Gimmer hoggs (ewes that have finished weaning) dosed against worms and dipped. Lambing mainly finished but young lambs are still vulnerable to foxes and crows.
- Cows: calving season continues.
- General: Fertiliser spread on grazing fields to aid spring growth.
- Brambles: soak the leaves in hot water for five minutes and you have a treatment for mouth ulcers, gingivitis, and sore throat.
- Cow parsley: can be used in the same way as parsley, but be aware that it looks similar to other poisonous plants.
- Garlic mustard: as its name suggests, a great herb to season dishes, but also as a salad leaf in a sandwich.
- Birch: young leaves can make a peppery minty tea, high in vitamin C.
- Blackcurrant: the young leaves can be infused in hot water for an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory digestive aid.
- Mallow: the young leaves contain double the protein of spinach, as well as calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A, B, C, and E.
- Ground ivy: antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, but also clears catarrh.