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).

Living on the ledge

Here’s a great podcast discovered this week called On The Ledge by Jane Perrone (gardening editor at the Guardian) about the pleasures of indoor gardening. There’s three episodes up at the moment covering the subjects of terrariums, the Swiss Cheese plant and office plants and it’s an entertaining series with a great format and some nice suprises. Indoor plants and us here don’t really go together (we’re far too keen on watering them) so we learnt a good few things from On The Ledge. Well worth a listen here!

Win a free allotment (book)!

allotment keepers handbookA big thanks goes out to Jane Perrone for sending us a copy of her excellent book “The Allotment Keeper’s Handbook – A down-to-earth guide to growing your own food”. She also writes a great blog called Horticultural which is running a couple of competitions at the moment (There’s a chance to get a anti-slug T shirt and some free gardening books until midnight on February 18th 2013) and there’s also a link to a great idea called “Seedy Penpals”.

Talking of competitions Weeds up to me knees now has it’s first, thanks to Jane! We have a copy of the aforementioned allotment book to give away which is well worth having for novice and experienced gardener alike. All you have to do is send an email  to with “I’d love a copy of that book” in the subject header with your name and mailing address in the body text and we’ll pick one lucky person after the closing date on 28th February 2013. All are invited (UK and worldwide) to enter!

I’m too cold, I’m too cold, I’m too cold

The above features versions of Keith Hudson’s Hot Stuff (and boy do we need something hot!)

I couldn’t believe it, the sun came out last Sunday so I moved the wormery (a bucket I found in the street perched upon an old xmas tree container which catches any liquid) into the garage as the forthcoming cold months outside won’t do the worms much good. I’ll pop in on a weekly basis and top up with kitchen peelings, tea bags etc and see if they are still okay. There was a good bit of liquid in the bottom bucket which I’ve drained off and will use as a great plant feed this summer comng. All for nothing by just keeping your kitchen waste!

The pots on the kitchen windowsill with the seeds I sowed just before xmas are coming along, the Corriander is looking a bit leggy but I’ll use the seedlings for cooking so nothings wasted, the Basil seeds did germinate but are very slow off the mark but that’s to be expected at this time of the year. Also I’m holding off a while with starting the Tomatoes indoors as last year I sowed them far too early and they were well lanky when finally put in the garden. A lesson learned, don’t be too keen!

allotment keepers handbookFor the second time now I got this great book from my library, The allotment keeper’s handbook (a down to earth guide to growing your own food) by Jane Perrone (The Guardian 2007). The first time I got it out, I renewed it to the max allowed as it was so informative, trouble is I dropped it into the bath by accident so had to return it with my head down in shame! On getting it out again a year later, it looks like someone has done the same and possibly dropped it out in the garden too! If you’re getting an allotment or thinking of starting to grow vegetables in the garden/patio at home this book is a must. It covers everything including composting, planning and preparation, heritage seeds, the magic of Comfrey and some mad tips too (starting seeds off in empty egg shells, I never thought of that one!) An informative read with some humour throw in to boot. A book not to read in the bath tho!  Have a look a Jane’s blog which is great too.