Time to prune apples, pears, plums and roses if you haven’t already done them. Goosegogs too. It’s a beautiful warm day today, just right for those buds to start into life.
I’ve sown some potatoes this week – probably a bit early, but as we don’t get much frost, I might get away with it. And even if we get a late one, they’ll just get set back a bit if their shoots are up. I’ve layered on a thick layer of mulch from shredding my fruit tree prunings to protect them from the wet and cold. Jim bunny enjoyed a few apple twigs too. If you want to get a head start with your potatoes you can ‘chit’ them by leaving your seed potatoes in a light, cool, frost-free place until the shoots are a couple of inches long. Then plant them as usual. Top of the wardrobe used to be a favourite place when I was growing up, but with built-in New Zealand wardrobes that location doesn’t exist. Don’t put them in a shed unless you can keep out the mice. I’ve given more advice on potato growing in the current issue of FishHead magazine.
I remember reading the obituary of Alex, the African grey parrot in the Economist in 2007. I was delighted to find a copy of the book ‘Alex and me’ by Dr Irene Pepperberg. The story of her 30-year relationship with a talking parrot. I’m not sure which was more fascinating – the scientist or the bird. Another great find is ‘Mindset’ by Carol Dweck. Compulsory reading for anyone who has a child, or has once been a child. The year of living Biblically is a surprisingly entertaining read. AJ Jacobs, secular New York writer for Esquire magazine attempts to adopt all the rules of the Bible.