It all started the other Saturday afternoon, we were in a shop in Forest Hill at the end of queue of people scrambling to buy some fresh fruit and veg. The woman in front of us was knocked back as she was trying to buy more than the regulation “Three potatoes per person” as stated on the hastily written felt-tipped sign on the wall. A thought came into our heads, what’s it going to be like in the next few months when it comes to buying fruit & veg? Will there be enough to go around and if so will they be affordable?
Apart from some onions and garlic which are overwintering, some packs of seeds left over from last year plus some from a recent ebay purchase we decided to see what else we could get, so another trip to Shannon’s was in order. We want to give a big shout to everyone there for their help, they’ve been great! When we were there they were well busy with everyone having the same idea as us to get seeds and plants in before the lockdown. They still had a good bit of stock left, so we bought a couple of big bags of compost, a large bag of seed spuds and a couple of packets of cut and come again lettuce. We know it’s early in the season and yes we’re taking a chance with the frost but the weeks will fly by and it’ll be summer before you know it, so we’ve started sowing now.
We’re working from home at the moment so we can now spend an extra hour daily (1-2pm) in the garden. As you can’t go out to get anything (and most places where you could are closed anyway) we’re utilising what we have stored away like the palettes we were given years ago now in use as raised beds and plastic cloches, window frames and the upside down terrarium thrown out for the binmen as frost protection. The latest thing is a roll of black material that was bought to put down before our decking was laid. It’s now in use as some sort of weed suppressant, frost protector come soil warmer for the early seed spuds that we put in. All we did was weigh it down with stones on top of the soil and cut an X in the material with an old bread knife and popped the spuds in. We put some soil on top of the hole that the spud will eventually grow through as extra protection. It’s a case of whatever we got, we’re going to use!
And it’s only been a month that we sowed those cut and come again lettuces we got free with the Kitchen Garden Magazine (post here) on the back windowsill and they’re well on the way to start eating! The tomatoes and pepper seedlings are growing too. The sooner you sow the sooner they’ll be ready to eat but remember to protect against those frosts!
Found in WH Smiths in Holborn today, the February issue of Kitchen Garden Magazine with 10 packs of FREE seeds! We know the packs you usually get with magazines are probably not as packed to the gills as the packets are down your local garden centre but these ain’t pretty bad! Some super stuff too: Tomato, Parsley, Radish, Leek, Parsnip, Cabbage, Beetroot, Lettuce, Carrot and Peppers. A bargain and an ‘arf!
Looking through the racks of WH Smiths in Holborn yesterday we found some popular gardening magazines are doing a free seed offer with their latest issues. You know they’re not going to be a full pack of seeds that you’d usually get in your local garden centre but it’s something. Grow your own is doing 10 free seed packs for £5.89, Kitchen Garden 5 packs at £4.99 and Veg Garden10 packs of free seeds for £8. Have a browse in your local magazine emporium before it’s too late!
Thanks to @hincmarianafor letting us know about the great free event tomorrow at The Garden Museum. We’ve left it a bit late but it’s an event worth going to if you like a seed swap like we do.
Incredible Edible Seed Swap Sat 27 January 2017 1.00-3.00pm (no booking required). The Garden Museum 5 Lambeth Palace Road London SE1 7LB
And accompanying news of the seed swap here’s a couple of lovely tunes heard on this week’s Ross Allen Showon NTS which has been on rotation here at Weeds HQ. The first is by The Officials called Distant Drums on a very limited Soul Jazz/Studio 1 release.
The next is a previous unknown Four Tops track called Don’t bring back memories (we don’t think this was the actual mix Ross played but it is a tune!) Best of luck to all who are going to the seed swap tomorrow!