Monday, 22 March 2010

A Watched Seed...

….never grows!

It’s exciting having a greenhouse – with lots of little trays of seeds sitting there, waiting to grow …. and waiting….and waiting.

Every day when I get back from work I scurry down there to see if anything has happened – will there be any little shoots poking their way into the sunlight?

And then at last….a melon started to germinate – tiny and green…only to shrivel and die two days later. Oh dear. 

But all is not lost. I’ve bought a tray of broad beans from the local hardware store and those will be able to go in soon, along with the peas and the potatoes that are chitting nicely.

And now, at last, something else has started to grow – the first of the runner beans are sprouting, and the cauliflowers too.

So all is not lost – I will have some plants to grow in my plot.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Peas Please

"So what would you like me to grow?" I ask the younger child.

"Peas." She smiles at me.

Peas. This is a good start. I love fresh picked peas - straight from the pod - tender and sweet. It reminds me of my own childhood, sitting with my Gran in the June sunshine podding peas - one for the pot and one for me. The kids love peas too, although whenever I give them peas to shell I come back to find nothing but satisfied children and a pile of empty pods.

"Good I'll grow a row of peas," I say. "What else."

"More peas."

There seems to be a bit of a theme here. It's fine though - I've already got some peas going in the greenhouse - I picked up a tray of them at the local hardware store a couple of days ago.

"Okay, two rows of peas then," I say.

"No, three rows."

Hmm, could be tricky. I don't just want to grow peas. Some other things would be nice. I decide not to press the issue.

A bit later I pop down to my greenhouse and I find that someone has been busy. There are lots of little pots rowed up inside that weren't there earlier, all filled with soil and each bearing a neat little plant label.

I look closer to see what she's been planting. Yes, you've guessed it.

Looks like I'm going to be growing lots of peas this year.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Sow by Dates

So how set in stone are these sow by dates on packets of seeds? They always seem to contain far more seeds than I actually need, and I do so hate waste - but with only a small patch like mine I'm hardy going to be growing 300+ parsnips, am I.

Anyway, I have several packets of different varieties of winter squash left over from various failed attempts to grow these in previous years, so I thought I might as well give them a go.

So, now that I have glass in my greenhouse I've been planting:

Pumpkin (no idea how old these seeds are)
Trombone squash, (last year's seed)
ordinary courgette (last year's seed)
Italian round courgette (new seed)
Another sort of squash but I can't remember what it's called. (last year's seed)
Some very old spaghetti squash seeds (don't hold out much hope for these)
And melon (new seed)

I've also started off some cauliflowers and brussel sprouts (Why on earth did I plant the devil's vegetable? Everyone in the family hates them. Oh well.)

And finally - runner beans. Oh, but I've had a right muddle with these. You see I bought a load of loose seeds, in a brown paper bag. When I got home I found that mice had been at one of my old packets of runner bean seeds from last year and they had spilled all over the place. So I picked them up and put them in another brown paper bag.

Yes, you've guessed it - when I went to plant the runner beans I had no idea which were last year's seeds and which were this year's seeds. Great! Well I suppose if nothing grows then I'll know I planted the wrong ones!

Anyway I'll let you know what comes up.