At Home in the Garden

On Wednesday I spent several hours in the shed.  I didn’t mean to, but one task led to another and I ended up in there for longer than expected.  Standing in the shed, with the spring rain pattering down outside, wrist-deep in compost and surrounded by many small pots I really felt at home in my garden.

Wonderful fuzzy feelings aside, I did manage to get a lot done!  After our holiday last weekend, I got a cheap mini greenhouse / coldframe.   It’s one of the plastic ones which can’t take too much of a beating, but it’s already made a huge difference as I’ve been able to take outside many small plants which weren’t getting enough light but still needed a little protection.  Strawberries (normal and alpine), some of the smaller comfrey plants, some mint and purple sprouting broccoli are all nestled cosily inside as well as leaving the windowsills free for more delicate plants (like my not-so-little-any-more pelargonium and some miniature chilli plants).

Talking of which, I’ve had a really terrible time with the purple sprouting broccoli – every time I re-pot them, they die :( None of my other seedlings have had the same problem and, before potting them on, they seem to have been healthy enough.  It’ll soon be too late to plant them, this year, so I’m hoping the ones I’ve sown now will make it all the way through to proper plant stage, this time.

Other things which I’ve re-potted and will also, hopefully, have better luck with are the aforementioned alpine strawberries (they seem to be pretty hard to kill off, thankfully), mint which I’d had sprouting from cuttings, and some baby cabbages which were at the two-leaf stage and getting too big for their seed tray.  I also started off some radishes, rocket and sprouts in the now emptied seed tray.

My cauliflower’s are at the two leaf stage now, too, and I was tempted to re-pot them but they seemed a little runty.  Out of 8 seeds, only 3 germinated and they are rather stumpy and short compared to the other brassica seedlings.  Hmm.

Lastly, I’ve added more herbs to my windowsills – all of the seedlings I’d grown in an egg carton were transplanted into yoghurt pots and the egg carton refreshed with new soil and planted up with more seeds.  I forgot to take labels down with me so, as you can see in the second picture below, I ended up marking which was which by shaping vermiculite into letters on the surface, hehe.  C for coriander, D for dill, B for basil and T for thyme – the unmarked ones are parsley.  I’ve now got a miniature herb jungle on the kitchen window, but I hope to have a decent enough pile of them to be able to use them without killing off one single plant.  I’d also like to make up a few herb boxes as gifts and I just really like sage as a decorative plant, too.

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