It’s been unseasonably cold and blowy in the last few days with a bit of sleet and snow thrown in for good measure, so I confess that I haven’t been in any kind of a rush to get out on the plot and start sowing seeds. That’s not just pure laziness on my part, it’s also because it’s the kind of weather that makes seeds rot in the ground or bolt before they give you anything edible. Best to be zen about it and wait patiently for the situation to improve on its own.
Looks like we might have vine weevils killing the plants in some of our pots, so I used some of my vouchers to buy the only stuff that can control them and is also happily a form of organic pest control. It turns out that the organic pest control consists of nematodes that can’t get to work outside unless there’s a minimum constant temperature of five degrees Celsius. For the moment they’re sleeping in my fridge and it’s fingers crossed for next week being a little less chilly on the plot. If they go past their Best Before date it’s money down the drain, which won’t make me happy at all.
Meanwhile, I’ve contented myself by pottering around indoors looking after seedlings, doing research and inventing a few recipes. The only seeds that completely failed to germinate were the White Lisbon spring onions, which was a bit of a surprise, so I’ll be replacing those with Japanese bunching onions as there are a few spare seeds.
Most of the tomato seedlings are reaching the four leaf stage, but they’re not quite ready for potting on yet. The Yellow Tumbling Tom seedlings are now obviously lagging behind but I’m still feeling hopeful they might be able to catch up. However, only three germinated out of the six seeds, which is very poor for tomatoes. Let’s see if they ever earn their keep…
To keep myself busy, I’ve just sown up a couple of seed trays full of what will eventually become all kinds of plug plants. They’re usually fairly hardy plants, so when the weather improves they’re going out into the mini greenhouse to grow on some more. The seeds include cabbages, salads and kohl rabi, all of which can be given a useful headstart under glass and carefully transplanted when they reach the right size.
I’ve also just done some larger pots of herbs that will eventually live on the kitchen windowsill. These include flat leaf parsley, basil, dill, chervil and chives, all the things I tend to reach for the most when I’m cooking in the Spring and Summer. Even if you don’t have any outside growing space, it’s great to have some fresh herbs in your kitchen and it should only cost a few pence per pot. I even got the seeds for free in a giveaway, so I have no excuse not to use them.
I’m also hoping to make the garden nice and colourful this year, because we like relaxing outdoors whenever we have a spare moment and it’s lovely to have meals out there. The cheery purple tomato planter and the plum enamel watering can (RRP £14.99) in the main picture have very kindly been supplied by Dobbies so expect to see more of them when the sunshine comes back.
Hopefully I’ll be able to work with some other great brands this year to showcase some good products, and help keep the garden growing well and looking beautiful. I’m keeping an open mind about working with retailers and manufacturers of seeds and garden goods, outdoor furniture and accessories, kitchen and preserving equipment, dining and glassware, and interesting ingredients, and I’ll let you know about any good finds as I go along.
Are you doing any sowing or growing this year? Or are you more interested in cooking and eating the seasonal foods? Let me know what you’re up to!