Monday 31st May 2021 – Bank Holiday – Sun, Sea, Sand and Soil…..

It’s the last Bank Holiday until August (that’s in England anyway), so as the sun was shining I wasn’t going to waste any of it.

We packed up a picnic and headed to the beach. Since we’ve lived by the sea we promised ourselves that we would all take a few hours out of our busy lives to picnic on the beach as often as we could, weather permitting of course. We didn’t manage to picnic many times last year due to Covid restrictions, but now that some restrictions have been lifted we are able to chill on the pebbles once again.

When we arrived the tide was way out and the sand was showing. I went for a little quick paddle of course. The sea was calm and because it was shallow it was very warm. I’m sure if I ventured out further into deeper waters then it would have been very cold indeed. But as I had some 3/4 length trousers on, and no spare clothes I wasn’t going to go out far.

Just sitting on the beach reading a book is very soothing and calming. No worries, just switch off for a couple of hours and enjoy the fresh air. Read a book and listen to the waves lap onto the pebbles. Bliss.

The tide was on its way in, and soon the sand disappeared. But where we were on the pebbles was raised up so we didn’t have to worry.

We enjoyed our picnic and chatted to each other about various things. The breeze was blowing in from the NW so had a little chill on it, but you didn’t need a coat, just a jumper.

We stayed for a couple of hours (living so close by you don’t need to make a day of it), and then packed up and when back home.

The afternoon I had planned on being out in the garden, so the first thing I did was to mow the grass. With all the rain this month the grass grew really long during “No mow May”. Yes I know it’s still May, but I’m working on the 1st June so won’t be able to mow the grass then and it’s getting really long. I think I ended up emptying the grass basket about half a dozen times, and I’ve not got a huge amount of grass to cut.

Once that was done then it was time to see how many more plants I could get out in the veg patch. Sorting the garden and greenhouses is a bit like doing a Sudoku puzzle at the moment. Do a little bit here, then move that there. That can now be done, but first I have to do that! So complicated. I’m so glad the chickens and the plants don’t think I’ve lost my mind as I spend most of the time talking to myself in the garden.

I managed to plant out a load more tomatoes. This year I’m growing some outside and some inside the greenhouses, it’ll be interesting to see what difference that makes. To give the tomatoes a little more support, I’ve made a wigwam of 4 canes, I’m hoping that they’ll support each other, but only time will tell.

In this video I suggest 2 litre pots but 3 litre pots would be better as they’ll give the plants more room to spread their roots. But if 2 litre pots are all you have they will do just fine.

When planting tomato plants outside in the soil, make sure you dig a deep hole. The hole needs to be deep enough so the first “true leaves” are just above the soil, but anything below the first set of true leaves is below the soil.

Start to feed your tomatoes once the flowers start to appear but not any sooner. If you feed before the flowers appear then you’ll just get a mass of leaves.

I also planted the sweetcorn in between the pumpkins and squashes. They are still a little on the small side, but I’m sure they’ll be fine.

The snap peas are growing well and are really thinking about producing some flowers. Hopefully if this lovely warm weather keeps going then I’ll be harvesting the first peas in 4-6 weeks.

Lettuces are also nearly ready and the next set of seeds that I sowed a while ago are germinating.

So everything seems to be growing well. Various bits like the carrots, and spring onions are a little slower than normal, but hopefully they’ll catch up now the weather is warmer.

A very productive Bank Holiday Monday, I hope you’ve had a fabulous time as well.

Happy gardening!!

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Sunday 23rd May 2021 – Time to start getting everything in.

I’ve checked the BBC weather app and it looks like we are not due anymore frost which is brilliant. This means a couple of things…..firstly Summer is very nearly here thank goodness, and secondly I can start to plant out my tender crops!! Yay!!

Tender crops are plants that don’t like frost and will wilt and die if there is any about, so beans, tomatoes, courgettes etc. All the plants that on the label it says “Do not plant out until all risk of frost has gone from your area”. Yup those are the ones.

So with no frost forecast and the night time temperature not getting below 6 degrees I could start getting some out today.

Having constructed my bean frame a few days earlier I decided to start with some climbing runner beans. These have been growing amazingly well in my greenhouse for the last 3 weeks and are already about 12 inches tall.

This video was from 5 years ago, and I’m planting out French beans, but the principle is the same for either French or Runner beans.

When I sowed my beans this year I didn’t sow them in half toilet rolls, I sowed 2 seeds in square plastic pots.

I also planted our my dwarf French and Runner beans. These don’t need staking and are perfect for either growing in pots or as I have done this year planted them around the outside of the raised beds so they’ll fill in any little gaps between the other plants. They seem happy so far and because they’re at the edge of the bed they’ll be easy to harvest.

The next job was to fill up the space next to the Runner beans, so I planted out some pumpkins and butternut squash. I was also going to plant out the sweetcorn, but it wasn’t growing as well as I had expected and they needed a couple more weeks in the greenhouse, so I decided to leave some space so when they were big enough I could just pop them in.

I also planted out a couple of Gourds and courgettes, but these need to be planted out in exactly the same way.

The Kale then needed to go in, I’ve not got enough room in the cage with the other brassicas, so they’re having to grow outside the cage. I’ve put some loose netting over the top, so hopefully that’ll keep the butterflies off them.

The onions and and leeks are growing well and everything else seems to be happy in my little piece of calm.

Hope everything is going well for you all as well this season. Finally I feel like Summer is here, let’s hope it stays for a while.

Happy gardening!

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Wednesday 19th May 2021 – An unexpected day at home.

Today I was only supposed to be working from 9am-1pm and was planning on being in my garden when I got home. But first thing this morning the heavens opened and it was going to be one of those on and off heavy rain shower days again. So having spoken to the client I was supposed to be visiting that day, we both decided that it would be better to take the morning off. It was good that I did, because it did exactly what it said on the tin.

So in the morning Mark was going to the Spitfire Museum for some research and asked if I wanted to come as well…he would buy me a cup of tea and a nibble, but only if I was a good girl…….uuuuuummmmmmmm?

So off we went together. I know it seems silly, but I felt naughty going out somewhere on a week day. Felt like I was skiving off school (which I never did of course). Going in somewhere and looking around that wasn’t a shop to buy essentials. And then sitting down in a tea room having a toasted tea cake and a cup of tea without a face covering on. Felt quite weird.

It was lovely to get out and do something sociable, hopefully more like this as the weeks go one.

The afternoon was spent in the garden, and then rushing into the greenhouses frequently when the rains came. Firstly I managed to get up the structure for my beans to climb. I’m trying something different this year and creating an arch between two of the raised beds. Hopefully I’ll be able to still walk underneath and harvest the beans. Make sure that your structure is very sturdy, as plants laden with beans are very heavy, and if your bamboo canes are a bit brittle then they’re likely to snap. I’ve reinforced the structure with 2 horizontal canes on each side and when it was done I gave it a little wobble to see how much it would move. I’m pleased to say it seems very sturdy. It was tricky trying to hold the canes at the top and tie them at the same time, so I borrowed Emily to help.

The beans won’t be planted out until the end of May/beginning of June, even though some are ready now.

Then it was time to start getting my brassicas planted out in one of the brassica cages. I still need to replace the nylon netting with wire netting, but that’ll have to be done another day. The most important thing was to plant out my brassicas now. I cleared the few weeds and raked the soil. The chicken had been playing in that area for a while, so to surface of the soil was well scratched up. I put all the trays with the various brassicas in the cage, and decided where each variety was going to go. I dug a hole for the first plant and put it in, and then guess what? The heavens opened again. I quickly dashed in the greenhouses and sorted out a few bits and pieces while the rain passed.

All brassicas, whether you have cabbages, calabrese (broccoli), sprouting broccoli, sprouts, cauliflowers…..you get the idea, need to be planted out in exactly the same way. Here’s a video from a couple fo years ago.

Once the rain stopped I went back onto the cage and this time managed to plant in all the rest of the brassicas before the rain clouds came again. The soil was damp and more rain was due so I didn’t water them. If your soil is dry then give your plants a good water in. You’ll also need to protect them from slugs and snails, so whatever way you feel is right for you. Because mine are in raised beds, I tend not to have any problems with these little pests. I closed the door to the brassica cage and hopefully they’ll stay safe from all those insects and pests that like them so much.

So rather an unorthodox day and not completely as I had planned, but still I got lots done.

Much more in the garden this coming weekend, but I’ll keep you posted on everything I do.

Take care and happy gardening!

Claire xx

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Sunday 16th May 2021 – Dodging the showers all day!

I made a decision about a month ago that from 6pm on Saturday until 8am on Monday morning I would put my phone in silent. I know this may sound rather odd to some of you, but when you’re self employed there are times when you just have to switch off and have a bit of time to yourself. No work phone calls or texts can be that important between those times. I’ve also decided to not answer any claire’s allotment messages during that time as well, they will just have to wait until Monday. I do check my phone occasionally just incase there is a phone call or message from family, but other than that it’s a phone free day. Try it, it’s very liberating.

I know this may sound odd to some of you, but Sunday is a bell ringing, gardening and family day. I’m enjoying it so far and will keep this up for as long as I feel necessary.

So first thing this morning I did my bit of bell ringing, then spent time with the family, and then the entire afternoon was supposed to be spent in the garden. However, the rain had other ideas. I’m sure like the rest of you the weather was very changeable today. One moment it was sunny and the next it poured with rain. It was a little “trying” to say the least.

When the rains came, I hurried back in the house, put more washing on, made some more ice cream, watched the very bizarre “Biggles” film with Mark and various other household chores. But when the sun came out I was back in the garden seeing what I could do.

It took a while, but I managed to plant out all my Exhibition Onions. It is a little late to start them now off from seeds, but you can buy plants from here and then continue growing on yourself.

Here’s how I planted both my Onions and Leeks out….. (this was filmed last year when the sun decided to shine all day long)…..

And finally, after lots of dodging the showers I plant out all my Leeks.

Again it’s too late to sow from seeds, but plants are available from here.

I also managed to plant out the few Spinach plants I have.

You don’t need much room to plant out spinach, you can either have a long line, or plants them in a little group. Here’s how I plant out mine.

You can still sow Spinach seeds right up until the end of May, possibly to the middle of June.

Because of the latest rain we’ve had all the recently sowed seeds are germinating really well, these are my Beetroot which are just popping through the soil.

I wanted to do loads more today, but the rain stopped that, but at least I didn’t have to water. I’ve got a full week of work again this week, so hopefully when I get home I’ll be able to pop out in the garden to get a few more bits done, even if it’s just for half an hour. Little and often is the key.

Have a wonderful week and I hope that you’re able to dodge the showers as well xxx

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Tuesday 11th May 2021 – Two little “helpers”?

When I got back from work today, I sat down for half an hour and had a lovely hot cup of tea. The sun was shining outside and so before I needed to get dinner on the go I decided to pop out into my garden to get a few bits done.

My sprouting broccoli has finally finished, the last few bits have gone to seed, so it’s time to dig the plants up and make way for whatever is going in their place this year.

Every time I come home from work, I pop out into the garden to say “Hello my little babies! Have you had a good day? Would you like to come out and have a little play?” to the chickens. Yes I really do. They’re always very happy to see me. I usually put them in one of the brassica cages and they scratch around and have a dust bath, but today as I was digging up my brassica plants and weeding the area, I thought they may like to come and play with me instead.

They didn’t need asking twice, as soon as they saw the spade go in the soil they knew that some tasty worms were likely to appear, and they were right. So after I very carefully removed all the brassicas making sure the chickens didn’t loose any toes in the process, I got down on my hands and knees and using my trowel, removed any of the remaining weeds.

I love my girlies, but sometimes they really do get in the way. Which ever weed I decided I would dig up next, one of them decided they would stand right over it. Bless them.

Soon the area was clear, and because there was nothing left for them to eat they decided they would have a wander in the fruit patch instead. The fruit patch is coming along a treat, and it was rather comical to watch them work their way between the raspberries and strawberries.

Just before it was time for playtime to come to an end and they had to go back into their run, I had a quick look in the greenhouses and was thrilled to see that my beans have started to germinate. I think this year I’ll create a little archway for them to grow up, so when I walk to the end of the garden I’ll have to go under them. Hopefully it’ll work, but I need to get some more 8 foot canes first.

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Sunday 9th May 2021 – A Garden day

After another busy week of gardening for other people (which I love don’t get me wrong), and Saturday rushing around doing shopping and household chores, catching up on emails, baking, oh and so many other things. I promised myself Sunday would mostly be spent in the garden. So after the morning church service bell ringing, very soon we can get back to practice night ringing which will be sooooooooo good, and a few more household chores, I was finally outside.

The greenhouse needed watering again, the plants are growing so well in there and soon some will need planting outside. Lots of the flowers are for gardening clients of mine, so in a couple of weeks time they’ll all leave the safety of my greenhouse and go out in people’s gardens. I’ll then have room for all my melon’s, aubergines and various other plants.

In one of the small beds at the back I planted out my lettuce and then sowed a few more lettuce seeds in a row next to it.

Hopefully once the first lot of lettuce is finished then the next lot will be ready. I’ll sow another row in about 6 weeks time so we’ll have a good supply throughout the summer and into the autumn.

A little bit more weeding in the hydrangea bed and I had a few plants that I needed to go in that bed as well. Then just some general tidying up before I had to call it a day.

I didn’t get as much time in the garden as I’d hoped, by brain just found it difficult to focus. It does that sometimes, must be my age.

Another busy week next week, but hopefully I can try and sneak in a bit more, so much to do at this time of year.

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Monday 3rd May 2021 – Lots to celebrate today!!

Good afternoon! Well I am pleased to report that I had very mild side effects from my covid vaccination, how I managed that I don’t know, must be the red hair, we have special powers you know. Hopefully when I have my second jab in about 12 weeks time I will sail through just as easily. I was a little achy, but just from my knees down to my ankles. I felt tired, so had a little nap for 2 hours late afternoon, but nothing to stop me going through a load of emails. My head started to feel a little “upset”, but a regularly took paracetamol and ibuprofen and that seemed to make my aches go away and my head feel happy again. But the weirdest feeling I had was that my head felt like it was in a goldfish bowl, not wet and with fish swimming by all the time, but that spaced out feeling. To be honest it was really quite nice. But with that feeling I wouldn’t have wanted to drive anywhere and my brain did feel a little foggy as well.

So I spent the day, yes in my pj’s, catching up on various things on the computer and watching various things on the TV. I did watch a film, but my brain is still quite foggy and I can’t remember what I watched. What did I watch? Hang on let me go downstairs to have a look…..Knives Out, that was it.

This morning when I woke up I felt nearly normal, I haven’t felt completely normal for a very long time, so it’s the best I’ll get at the moment. My knees only started the ache again at lunchtime, so I had another couple of paracetamol and they were fine in about an hour.

I decided that I wouldn’t push myself too hard today as well, so after pottering around in the house this morning, I went out in the garden this afternoon. I didn’t do any hard digging, but I did manage to get the last of the sowing done which is very exciting.

I sowed the last of the flower seeds I have so some Honesty “Purple and White Mixed” as well as some Cleome or some people call Spider Flower. It looks and smells like Marijuana but is totally legal. I guess that’s the closest I’ll ever get to having something in my garden that is a bit suspect.

Now that it’s May I can sow my French and Runner beans. I always sow them the first week of May which gives them 3-4 weeks of growing time before they can be planted outside. I live in the South on the UK, and any tender crops can go out from the beginning of June as we won’t get any frosts after that date. If you live further North, then work back 3-4 weeks from your last frost date and sow yours then.

I find that they’re about 6-8 inches tall when they go outside, which is the perfect size and haven’t started to twist around each other by then. My greenhouses are getting very full and various plants like the lettuce and brassicas could go out in a couple of weeks time, but it’s going to be tight for space soon.

I sowed various beans and planted 2 or 3 French bean seeds per square pot and just 2 Runner bean seeds per pot. Don’t plant them together, I did mine in diagonal corners. When you come to plant them out, don’t separate then, they’re quite happy to grow together. Here are the ones I’ve done:

French Beans – Two Dwarf varieties “Mascotte” and “Safari (Kenyan Bean)”. The dwarf varieties don’t need a structure to climb they are self supporting. If you’re short on space then these are perfect, they can also be grown in containers as well. And then a climbing variety “Blue Lake”. These will need a structure to climb up so in a few weeks time I’ll decide where they’re going and make a wigwam. You must make sure that the structure is very stable as the beans will get very heavy and if you suddenly get strong winds then they will blow over. It’s happened to me before.

Runner Beans – Again you can get some dwarf varieties of these as well. The variety I have, I’ve had for a few years so don’t know if they still do it. I think it was an experimental seed as it’s just called “TZ1111”. I also have 2 climbing varieties, the first call “Guinness Record” which I grew last year and they produce very long pods, the other “Scarlet Emperor”, from what I remember are very prolific. Again I sowed these 2 seeds per pot.

Here’s a little video I made last year to help you on your way.

I think I’m done for the day, time to stop and sit down with a cup of tea and watch some telly before I have to start dinner. Feeling a little tired again, but not enough to have a nap. If you’re yet to have your vaccinations just be prepared to take a couple of days off. Don’t fight through it like I always used to do when I was ill, it’ll last longer and it’ll be worse. I know it’s easy for me to say, but British people have always had the view that we must drug ourselves up and carry on whatever. It just doesn’t work. Listen to your body and do what it says. If Covid has taught us anything it’s if you don’t feel well, be it a cold, the flu or anything else then take some medication, snuggle up under a blanket, watch your favourite films or binge watch something on Netflix. Hopefully someone will be able to bring you food and drinks and do all the house chores. You’ll recover faster, and then you can get back to work sooner.

Take care everyone, Summer is on its way and freedom is within our grasp. We can see friends and family very soon, I’ve not seem my sister or parents since February last year! But soon we will be able to get together and hug.

Until then be safe, be kind and carry on gardening!

Love Claire xxx

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Saturday 1st May 2021 – Preparing for a day in bed!

It’s not usual that you can plan ahead for when you’re going to have to spend a day in bed, because you never know when you’re going to be ill. But later this evening I am having my first Covid jab and knowing how it wiped out my husband for an entire day was starting to worry me a little.

At this time of year there is a lot to do in the garden and greenhouses, and knowing that I most probably wouldn’t be able to go out and play was making me slightly anxious.

I know the jab is essential and I wasn’t not going to have it, but I needed to get everything prepared just incase.

So before I went to go and ring some bells for someone’s wedding, I thoroughly watered everything in the greenhouses. I have got some seeds just starting to germinate, and they need all my attention at the moment. The larger plants would be ok if they get a little dry, but the baby seedlings would shrivel up and die. I also gave any seedlings that I’d sown directly in the soil a good water as well. We have been promised rain several times, but so far nothing has come (I don’t think 6 drops counts). Apparently we are due some on Monday evening, but it’s likely to fizzle out before it gets to us. I hope I’m proven wrong.

The chickens came out to play in their brassica cage for a while and had a lovely dust bath together, flicking soil all over the place. They are very happy little girlies, although BB gets a bit sad when Victoria sleeps in her favourite spot. Bless her.

See you after the jab and I’ll let you know how it goes…….

Ok, so my jab went well, I went straight in and didn’t have to queue at all. In fact no one else was in there, apart from the medical people. The lady giving me my jab was very lovely asking how I was feeling and did I have any concerns. She told me to take 2 paracetamol as soon as I got home and then more if I needed it, with Ibuprofen, making sure I obeyed the doses on the packets.

I had to make sure I drank loads (non alcoholic of course) although I was allowed a beer with dinner, and to completely rest tomorrow and until I feel better.

The injection itself just felt like someone pushing a finger on my arm, and my arm felt heavy, but I walked out and to the car and went home.

As soon as I got home I put my pjs on and they won’t come off again until at least Monday morning.

See you on the other side, and I’m hoping that any side effects won’t be too bad. I think it’s the banger of a head ache that some people have had that is bothering me the most.

If you can’t read the writing on my card I had the AZ.

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Sunday 25th April 2021 – All floaty light!

Thank you everyone for all your kind words regarding my latest migraine, I found out many new things, one being that bananas can bring on attacks. I love bananas, they’re my favourite all year round fruit. I’ve decided to stop eating them for a month to see what happens, and if I don’t get a migraine at all in that time then I’ll have to find another favourite fruit that isn’t too expensive.

I was out in the garden again today as I still had more seeds to sow. Let’s begin at the beginning and try to get to the end.

Flowers were first- some annual Poppies “Lady Bird” which are just so beautiful and delicate. You can save the seeds and then sow some more the following year. Or you can just let them self seed and see what they do. I think the seed heads of poppies do look beautiful. Then onto some Delphiniums “Belladonna Mixed”. These are beautiful and are perennials so will come back year after year. They give height to your garden and the most amazing colours. The bees love the flowers as well. And then finally a “Perennial Flower Mix”. There are all sorts in here from Foxgloves, Geums, Aquilegias and loads more. If you want to create a cottage garden feel then these are perfect.

This video I made last year and covers so many of the seeds I sowed today, so take a look…

Then a little bit of Chicory “Rossa di Trevisco”. I grew some last year and it was very tasty. Great sauteed with cabbage and onions.

The next lot of seeds were sown straight into the soil. A few more Radish “Largo de Mallorca”, these ones are from Spain. The closest I can find in the uk are “Long Scarlett”. Whatever variety of radish you have, they all need to sown in the same way.

Then a few lines of Carrots “Purple Sun” and “Rainbow”, but again all Carrots seeds need to be sown in the same way.

Lottie and Dottie have already sown theirs and are getting very excited. If you need any help their books will be perfect for you. Click HERE to find their books on Etsy.

Beetroot also need to be sown directly in the ground. This year I’m growing “Chioggia” which I just love. Don’t worry if some of the seeds are close together they won’t mind at all.

And finally the last lot of seeds I sowed were Sweetcorn “Lark”. You can either sow your seeds directly out into the soil, but the local wildlife may find them before they get chance to germinate. Personally I sow them in little square pots.

I sowed 2 seeds per pot, you can either sow them North/South, or West/East, or as I have done diagonally. Sweetcorn needs to grow in a block and not a straight line so make sure you do your sums first. I’ve got 15 pots, so I’ll block mine 3 by 5. If you get 2 plants per pot, don’t bother separating them, they’ll grow quite happily together.

I know some people soak their seeds for 24 hours before sowing them, but I never have, and even when I worked in a garden nursery we never did. But if it’s something you like to do then by all means stick with what works best for you.

Don’t forget I have a Claire’s Allotment Essentials Volume 1 book, click HERE for more details. You’ll find all the information you need to help you on your growing journey.

Take care and happy gardening!

Love Claire xxx

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Saturday 24th April 2021 – Gardening to try and ease the brain.

My brain decided to be very, very angry on Friday. So angry in fact that I had to go and see a doctor and get some very strong tablets. But even those didn’t make it go. I’m sure like many of you who suffer from migraines you’ll understand what I felt like. Not wanting to go into too much detail, this one was particularly bad and I kept having to chat with the loo. This one even stopped me going to work, so I had to email the client I was supposed to be going to that day, they were very understanding. I tend to get them regularly if I’m unlucky 3-4 times a month, but if I’m lucky just twice a month. I put it down to that time in a woman’s life, but I started to get them just before I turned 40, and now 7 years on they’ve still not improved. They usually last an entire day, but sometimes they last a couple of days as this one seems to be, but they have lasted 4 days before and that gets really tedious.

Before any of you tell me things I shouldn’t eat or drink, I don’t have the following because if I do within 10 minutes my head gets very cross with me: No chocolate in any way shape or form. No caffeine so no tea or coffee, I have fruit teas not green tea as that has caffeine in it, I’ll have a decaf coffee very occasionally. No red wine. I do eat some cheese, but not every day, and then it’s not much. I can’t have too much processed sugar either, so a cake or a piece of flapjack once or twice a week. I’m not sure what else I can do. After the last few days I’ve even considered cannabis tea. I may have some tonight before bed and see how it goes. With that and our new Emma mattress I’ll be floating on cloud nine. I always have a good 8-9 hours of sleep each night, so it’s not lack of sleep….oh if I don’t get enough sleep that sets one off as well.

So with Friday best forgotten I was hoping that when I woke on Saturday morning my head would be back to normal, well it wasn’t quite. But in the morning and the first part of the afternoon it was much better, so after lunch I went out into the garden to sow some of my April seeds.

Right are you ready? There’s quite a few to get through. Off we go….

Let’s start with various salad leaves first. I sowed a few of each, but in a months time I’ll sow some more and keep sowing monthly until about September. that way I’ll have a good supply throughout the summer. These are best kept in the shade and moist because if it gets too hot then they’ll just bolt and go to seed. These are what I sowed, Lambs Lettuce, Purslane, Rocket, Tatsoi.

All these can be sown in exactly the same way and as they can be used in salads I sow them as I would any salad leaves.

Then I move onto some herbs, Sweet Basil “Genovese”, Coriander “Leisure” and finally some Lemongrass “East Indian Madagasar”.

Again I sow all these herbs in exactly the same way, and to be honest most herbs will be sown the same way.

And finally in the little seed trays Cauliflower “Romanesco“, I love these they are so beautiful and tasty.

These are sown in the same was as all the other brassicas, so cabbages, sprouts and so on…

The next lot of seeds I sowed in individual square pots, when you see what they are it’ll make sense as the seeds are much larger, and that way I won’t have to transplant them, just plant them outside in June.

Firstly the cucurbits. I sowed 2 seeds per pot, at diagonal corners. I place the seeds on the top of the compost first and then then push them down about an inch, that way if you get distracted by something at least you know which ones you’ve done.

This is what I’m growing this year, Gourds “Ornamental Mixed”, Courgette “Sunstripe” and Courgette “Green Bush” and finally some long outdoor Cucumbers, in Spain (which is where my packet comes from) they’re called “Alficoz”, but their other name seems to be Armenian Cucumbers.

All cucurbits need to be sown in exactly the same way so this is how I sow mine.

And then finally today I sowed my Okra seeds. Now Okra is very fussy, and doesn’t like to be moved so I sowed 4 seeds per pot.

The germination rate is also quite hit and miss maybe it’s the seeds being old, but even when I first got them they were quite poor. At least with sowing 4 seeds per pot I’ll hopefully get at least one plant per pot. If more come up, I won’t separate them them.

So that was it for Saturday, my brain started to hurt again so I needed to take another one of my special pills. Hopefully when I wake up tomorrow morning it will have completely gone and I can enjoy at least one day of the weekend.

Lottie and Dottie have been very busy in their garden sowing their Carrots, Sunflowers and Pumpkins. If you’d like to join them, why not visit them on Etsy and ask them to send you some books. Click HERE to take you straight to their page.

Take care and happy gardening!!

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