Keeping the cats out and the seed spuds in

The last few days haven’t been that warm but they’ve been nice enough to go out  and catch up on a few jobs in the garden. I know we mentioned we weren’t going to put in those pre-chitted spuds on Good Friday as per tradition but we cracked yesterday (Easter Sunday) and stuck in a couple of rows of maris pipers just down from the onion sets and broad beans just peeping through (pic above). Some comfrey leaves were put in the hole beforehand and some bamboo canes and rose prunings flung on the top to keep the cats off. More on how you sow seed potatoes from an older post here.

Typically a couple of hours after the spuds went in we heard that later this week it may get cold at night (below) so it might be out with the fleece or those old net curtains.

 Talking of protection there’s a couple of tomato plants under the tipped up terrarium (pic above) we found in the street a few years ago but if it does look like it’s going to be really cold we’ll be bringing them back indoors.A couple of rows of spinach and basil seed even went in (yes we’re well optimistic about the weather) under a homemade cold frame type affair made out of an old window and some old wood. It was really a ploy to get rid of a “bargain” obtained at B&Q the other day; a massive sack (125L) of multi-purpose compost for £6.50. As soon as we opened the bag we knew why it was so cheap, it honked to high heaven and it’s not something you want to be putting in pots indoors for certain. As the old saying goes “there’s no such thing as a free lunch (or a compost bargain).”

After the sun has gone

Last weekend was a corker when it came to sunshine as on Sunday the temperature in London reached 20 odd degrees. The lawn was cut and a good load of jobs were completed and we even gave the seedlings (tomatoes, brussels sprouts, peppers and walking onion) that are on their way indoors a bit of a break in the sun.

Very much influenced by (episode 4 of) Jane Perrone’s On The Ledge podcast combined with the fact that in our seed tray were a few dealer bags with a tiny amount of seeds in them (cress, peas, beetroot, lettuce, coriander, basil and more) that needed to be sown, we filled a large pot full of multi-purpose compost and threw them all in. Come a couple of weeks time we’ve have some micro-greens to accompany our dinner!Traditionally this week (Good Friday) is the time for putting seed potatoes in (so the late great Joe Maiden used to say on his radio show with Tim Crowther). We aren’t too sure if we’ll be doing ours as it’s still cold out and as someone once told us at a potato fair, as soon as it’s warm enough to put your hand in the ground for ten seconds without it feeling cold that’s when you should put your spuds in. Sounds like good advice!

And while you’re waiting for your ground to heat up here’s a nice bit of mix-up business from one Mr Andrew Weatherall on Rinse FM the other week (8.04.2017).

A council workers dream come true

westminster council moment 1.13 (lo)There isn’t going to be much gardening done today, I tell you! Thank god the worms are in the garage and I’m warm in the house. If I was working on the parks for the council today, the kettle would be on, a topic for the all-day discussion chosen and a family pack of povvy digestives purchased for the long day of non-work inside the confides of a park keepers hut (10ftx10ft)!

This is the only gardening that is going to done here today, the leggy Coriander and Basil seedlings on the kitchen windowsill:

the only gardening done today (lo) 1-13And our mate Nigel Slater’s favourite, Lemon Thyme purchased for a quid or so off ebay a few weeks ago (Terracotta pot and saucer optional. Bought from the local garden centre for around around about £1.50):

Lemon thyme on window lo)Big up the council work ethic of yesteryear!

Ital feast

Popped into Robert Dyas in the strand today to see if they had any decent seeds in their “half marked price” sale and found these two packs of “Italian Kitchen” Basil and Leaf Salad for the combined price of £1.84. These still can be sown outdoors and if you’re thinking of growing indoors (ie. in a pot on a kitchen windowsill), you can sow them anytime. If anyone tells you this gardening lark is expensive, they’re lying!