Tuesday 20 March 2012


Time to plan the gardening year, review the projects, and wonder what happened to all that time you were going to have in Winter to fix the mower, clear the new flower beds, dig in compost, and so on.  Because now it's too late, of course: now is the season of sprouting things that will die or fail to flourish if you don't attend to them.

I have a few new things for this year.  One is a policy to be ruthless in only planting seeds for the number of plants I want, especially veg plants.  There's usually more seed than I need in a packet, but it seems a shame not to plant them all, and besides, they might not all germinate so I might not end up with enough.  And then you have a tray full of seedlings, and it seems callous not to pot them on, after all I encouraged them into life in the first place, did I not?  And so on, until you are faced with more squash than you can eat before they rot, or nowhere in the veg patch to put them, so you're pleading with friends to take them.....  So this year, I'm going for more variety, but smaller quantities, and hang the cost of the seeds.

Secondly, a new technique for saving money, or at least for spending less of it, which is not quite the same thing.  Not that I'm cheap, but I just don't like waste.   So this year's harvest of toilet roll inner tubes is being pressed into service as substitutes for peat pots.  The value in these things is that you plant the pot (or roll) directly into the ground without having to take the plant out of a pot, so the roots are not disturbed.  Good for certain plants that don't take kindly to disturbance, or have tap roots that go deep.

And yet another try at getting perennial poppy seeds to germinate.  I'm sure I could have bought several big, established plants with the money I have wasted on seeds so far, but this year I am trying something radical: I'm following the instructions on the packet.

New begonias bought this year are mixing it with ones overwintered from last year. I wonder if they'll grow. I have ruthlessly cut down the number of Brussels Sprout seeds I planted, since I figure I only need about 6 plants. OK, so there's 15 here, but the slugs might get some.... and Leo can have the other tray of 15.

The traditional style peat pots are holding artichoke seedlings. The modern high-economy ones are holding dwarf lupins and normal tall lupins. I wonder how I'll remember which are which.


the fly in the web said...

I used to have to be very sure to keep those peat pots wet...they had a knack of drying out and trapping the roots.

Our seedlings are now in milk cartons...but I shall show higher authority your loo roll idea.

@eloh said...

I gave up on poppies years ago. The ants always stole my seeds. Your loo role idea is a million dollar deal... so simple. One of those things you wonder how you got so old and never thought of that before. Sir, you are a genius! I hope I spelled that right.. cause I am not. Can't wait for all you pictures this year. You do great work!

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