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).

Proud to be twirly

It’s always happens come this time of year, I start to get a bit twitchy and “sow just a few seeds” and come March/April I’ve loads of leggy looking tomato plants sitting on my kitchen windowsill waiting to go out after the risk of frost has gone. Will I ever learn?

It certainly don’t look like I will, as just after the new year I went to Shannons and bought some seed compost, a set of seed trays and a plastic propagator. I even had a look at one of those heated propagators with a view to buying one but at £30, had second thoughts. It’s funny I got rid of one on ebay a few years ago as I thought I’d never need it again. Great eh?

I was also told a top tip though at Shannon’s, “never mind buying a heated propagator, just stick one of the normal ones next to a radiator.” Not too close though as it will dry out the compost and the seeds will possibly cook!propogatorMy seeds aren’t by a radiator but just tucked out of the draughts by the patio doors in the back room (image above with an patented added extra to keep the lid firmly on, 2 clothes pegs!) I sowed some tomatoes (moneymaker), peppers (sweet mini-mix), coriander and lettuce leaf basil which will give you leaves as big as your hand (if the picture on ebay is to be believed!) As they used to say at the post office, I think I have “a touch of the twirlies*”

compost bin 2015

Also over the christmas holidays while off work, I managed to tidy up some of the back garden that got a bit neglected last year. A couple of beds have now been weeded, forked over and now ready for the growing season, giving myself a bit of a head start come spring. I spread some of the great compost that is now starting to come out of the compost bins (albeit with eggshells still in it, I’m now breaking them down more before sticking them in the bin).

garden stardate jan 2015

Also there was a bag of seed onions (Troy) under the stairs that I should have sown in the autumn to be overwintered. Even though I thought I kept them cool and in the dark there’s a few green shoots developing so a few of those went in alongside some cloves of french elephant garlic.

They’ll more then likely rot but “what the eck” they’ve gone in under the old glass frame I found in the street years ago which now doubles as a cold frame once two broken peices of paving slabs go on the ends of it and there’s a few onions under the sawn off glass part of the old kitchen door we had replaced (image above).

I mean can you ever be “too early”? We’ll soon see come the spring, if they’ve either rotted or started sprouting! As I write this, the rain is lashing it down like nobodies business. “Twirly?” I do think so!

*Full explanation of the term “twirlies” here.

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!