Potato Day

The frosts seem to have passed, we’re getting fairly nice weather and it’s now a little overcast and rainy after a week of warm sunny weather.  Perfect for potatoes!  I’m still planting them in bags – I don’t really have the space in my wee garden to plant them in the ground – but since I got a fair crop last year even though I dug mine up early (was worried about blight, turned out to be unfounded) I don’t think it’s too big a problem to grow them that way.  Slowly and steadily, the patio is being taken over by various containers…

The green bag closest to the fence was planted a few weeks back and kept in the greenhouse – it’s now outside (post green-house face plant) and has a few shoots breaking the surface!  I’m going to need to go get more compost – I used up all of what I’d bought for planting them and have none left over to earth them up, whoops.  Should have a good few weeks before that’s a problem, though.

Everything has really started coming up in earnest, now and both indoors and outdoors are crowded with seedlings.  I’m growing a much wider range this year and I’ve more than doubled my growing space with the bags and additional non-food-plants in the shady side garden.  It should make for a good challenge, one which I can live up to, I hope!  I told Andy I was aiming to get self-sufficient in salads during summer – it’s a small goal, but I think it should come close to being attainable.  Especially if potato salad counts…

Indoors, one set of plants have made me rather proud:

These are three buddleja that I’ve grown from seed.  They spent all of winter at less than an inch tall – around 4-6 leaves.  As soon as spring has hit they’ve just rocketed up.  They’re putting on 2-4 leaves a week and are now about 6-8 inches high – though they sometimes fall over a wee bit, which is why one has a support, at the moment.   I had such a hard time finding cuttings or small plants for sale or swap that I finally plumped for seed.  The germination rate wasn’t super and they took a long time to pop up, but I’ll be glad when these are large plants and I can think on the fact that I grew them ‘from scratch’.  I have no idea what colour they are as it was seed from a mixed pack.  I’m guessing they’ll all probably be the same ‘standard purple’ rather than some of the more interesting shades of white or lilac from the packet but I don’t really mind as I like purple!

Last night I got around to taking some pictures of my purple Venezuelan chilli.  Despite it being listed as ‘low germination rate so we send extra seed’ by the seed merchant (some big companies could learn a thing or two, there) four out of the five I planted germinated!  This is great, though I’m not sure where I’ll put them as I’ve really only got space to grow one or two in the greenhouses.  A lot of people talk about growing chilli plants on a window but I don’t think we have enough light coming in ours for such sun-loving plants.   These particular plants are really nice to look at – many chilli (and veg) varieties tend to be quite plain but the variegated colours of these leaves are pretty stunning.  They’re a little more purple-red in reality than the photos make them look.

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