With the weather improving, lawns and paddocks will need plenty of maintenance. Pastures are full of growing lambs and calves, but it is also time to start planning for growing and cutting silage, to keep your animals going through the rest of the year. The warmer temperatures may put you in the mood for salad, so the foraging opportunities for this month are just the ticket!
- Shrubs: Prune early flowering shrubs.
- Roses: Spray roses against pests and apply a general rose fertiliser.
- Vegetables: In case of frost, cover potatoes. Prepare sites for marrows, pumpkins and cucumbers. Sow runner beans and erect supporting canes. Start cutting asparagus. Begin removing cloches from spring cabbages, carrots, lettuces and broad beans. Sow sea kale beet, after soaking the seeds overnight, as well as sweet corn.
- Fruit: Remove shoots from fan peaches and nectarines, and thin when fruits are marble-sized. Fertilise figs with liquid manure and mulch. Lay straw around strawberry plants. Control pests.
- General: Control slugs.
- Cut the grass and any overgrown areas with blades set to medium height using an FTS or Winton Flail Mower.
- Spike badly drained areas using the Fleming Aerator.
- Level the ground with an FTS Roller for the increased comfort of your horses.
- Mow at least once a week, maybe using an Agrint or Winton Finishing Mower.
- Feed with sulphate of ammonia, with the Fleming PTO Spreader, then water copiously.
Farm Animal Care
- Sheep: All lambs tailed (to prevent rot and flystrike), ear-notched and tagged. Some lambs castrated. Sheep with long tails shaved.
- General: Clean out all livestock buildings. Fencing and walling repairs, perhaps with a Winton Post Hole Borer. Stock removed from silage fields and fertiliser spread to allow six weeks growth before cutting.
- Lime: the leaves are tasty, especially raw in a salad.
- Oxeye daisies: the leaves are ideal for salads, before it flowers.
- Red clover: the flowers can be a sweet addition to a salad as a garnish.
- Horsetail: the leaves can be used for a tea which helps to strengthen cell walls, so bones, hair, skin, and nails can grow strong.
- Daisies: the leaves are bitter raw but can be cooked, whereas the flowers are much nicer and help to improve circulation.
- Herb Robert: rub on your skin for an effective bug repellent, or consume the leaves for an immunity boost.