Growing Things

Last week I got home from school one night to find Steve had finally had chance to make some shelves for the big living room window for me, so I’ve somewhere to set out all my seed trays! The next day I got all the seeds sown – sweetcorn, giant pumpkin, crown prince squash, butternut squash, cucumber, courgette, trombocino, kale, more peas, and runner beans. I’ve been watching them over the past week and it’s still just magical watching seedlings poke their heads up out of the soil. Earth magic. Wonderous stuff.

This morning I saw the sweetcorn shoots have doubled in height overnight, I wish I had a spare camera really so I could set up a time lapse to watch them.

And yesterday I dealt with the tomato and fig seedlings. The tomatoes needed potting on: I bought some cardboard pots, hopefully they won’t have degraded too much by the time the plants are big enough (and the weather kind enough) to plant out.

The fig seedlings needed the seedling trays (ex-cookie packet inserts!) that the tomatoes had been in. This fig – I put a piece of fig, with its seeds, on a pot of compost last autumn, covered it with a half-plastic-bottle greenhouse, and left it in my porch over winter. Watered it when I remembered (wasn’t often to be fair) and only didn’t discard it because I never got round to it.

And then in early March I looked in the pot one day when I remembered to water it, and incredibly the seeds were actually starting to germinate! So they were brought inside-inside to a sunny windowsil and looked after a little better. It dawned on me last week that I’d not really considered what to do past germination point. How to separate all those seedlings, how to tell which ones would eventually fruit, where to put them all… But I soaked them and teased them apart as carefully as I could and have managed to prick out 32 fig seedlings which as of this morning haven’t yet died from the shock so there’s hope! They’re going to need proper pots, or buckets, eventually. And unless I manage to sell them I’m going to need a polytunnel just for them!!

It’s satisfying to be able to sit at the table in the morning with my coffee and look over all the little green shoots, planning where I’m going to put them all.

Already there are sprouts, carrots, potatoes, beetroot, broccoli, beans, peas and kale growing outside; I need to put some poles and strings in for the runner beans, and decide where to put the sweetcorn and sunflowers.

My kitchen garden is only going to grow as fast as we can produce our own compost, so it won’t be fully in use until next year; so this year I’ll be cramming everything in to the small vegetable garden with extra bits wherever they’ll fit.

We’re going to move the greenhouse frame as well, from its current spot in the middle of the lawn to a place in the kitchen garden, and that will hopefully house cucumbers, cucamelon (I need to get those sown quickly) and tomatoes. Whether the glass gets put in depends on whether we can be bothered and whether the glass is still actually intact.

I’ll transplant the raspberry canes that were growing up the greenhouse frame to a spot by the perennial garden. I’m looking forward to that! They might not get quite so scorched there.

I’m enjoying and looking forward to this year growing things. It’s exciting!

In and around the garden the trees and wildflowers are also enjoying the recent rain so I went out to take a few pictures of them as well today.

There are so many more than this but Charley came out to find me and chattered non-stop until I gave in and went back inside to do some baking with him!

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