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Getting on With the Job

April 1945

IF April lives up to that reputation, she will please readers of this Guide, though we shall look to her to be judicious in her weeping. We shall want useful spells of sunny weather throughout this busy gardening month. But let us sound a word or two of warning.

Good Friday is the traditional day for potato planting; but the wise gardener knows that it’s risky to stick to traditions: he pays more attention to soil and weather conditions. And although we shall be only too anxious to get on with arrears of clearing up; digging, seed sowing and planting, we shall find that “hasten slowly” is still sound advice when soil conditions are not right.

Easter usually falls in April and Easter is the traditional planting date for potatoes, which is more to do with holiday time for the workers rather than anything else. As Easter is a movable feast, you can see it little matters exactly when you plant them as long as it is around this time.

The Irish sensibly plant on St Patrick’s day – 17th March – which isn’t a moveable feast. Although wetter, their climate is not as extreme with cold temperatures and frost

Getting on with the job

But once weather and soil are right, we should take time by the forelock and get on with the job – not leaving everything to the week-end, if we can help it, but seizing any opportunity of an evening – when it’s fine – to put in a little time on essential work on the plot. Little and often will help us along far better than crowding a lot into the week-end that may turn out wet. But, of course, we may yet be far off from those happy, free peace-time evenings.

Excellent advice for today’s allotment holders and gardeners – you never know with British weather!

Although we know in hindsight the war in Europe was just a few weeks from ending, the writer is warning his readers not to ‘count their chickens before they’d hatched’. Although the German capital – Berlin – was surrounded and allied forces pushing in, it was quite possible for them to have held out in Bavaria for months more.


In Spring, though, many little jobs come along that need to be done when the time is right. A few days’ delay may spoil things: thinning seedlings, for instance; a wet week-end makes the young seedlings romp away. More about thinning next month.