Rain. The words “the garden needs it” or, “it’ll help the plants grow” are wearing a bit thin now aren’t they? And amidst these conditions, the terms “drought” and “hosepipe ban” do seem absurd. Actually, sunshine-and-showers, the prevailing pattern we’ve seen throughout April, is possibly my favourite kind of weather. The continuous change, and the frequent appearance of rainbows, results in a dynamic, exciting drama, drenched in water one moment, bathed in sunshine the next, while you can observe torrents falling from the sky over the hill there just a mile or two away. Up to a point, this produces perfect conditions for growing plants, but now the soggy, wet soil is not so favourable. At Church Farm, we have an excellent propagation tunnel with a double wall of polythene and an electrically warmed “hotbed” for raising seedlings quickly, but even there space is limited. Hence I was planning to plant straight into the field certain seeds which respond well to being sown directly to the place where they will crop, such as beans, peas, sweetcorn and squashes. The cold, wet soil and the continuing risk of frost have put this plan on hold, however. Seeds sown into this could fail and just rot away, so we may have to raise these plants in pots at the propagation tunnel after all, or delay sowing until warmer conditions arrive in May. Which they will of course. Won’t they?