One of the changes I have made in my life is the time I spend in the garden. I had started last year by getting the “jungle” cut down but nothing much had happened after that.
This year, instead of just jumping in and hoping for the best, I actually sat down and thought about what I wanted to do and what was the best way to do it. Digging was not an option so I went with containers and, because of both the cost and the space, I decided to get lots of grow bags rather than pots.
I bought quite a few of these for £1.50 for 2 and they are fantastic for both potatoes and large tomatoes.
I also got quite a few smaller buckets for £1 each for the bush tomatoes and for peppers and used the old pots I already had.
In January, as I had plenty of free time, I went through the big seeds suppliers’ websites and made a first list of what I fancied growing. I knew that I definitely wanted tomatoes, potatoes, beans, courgettes, lettuce, strawberries, aubergines, and peppers. Of course, I was also open to other ideas. As my garden is not very big, I went through every variety of my chosen vegs, making sure they could be grown in containers and were suitable for the weather in my area.
After a lot of weighing the pros and cons of each and every one, I placed my order and waited for my new babies to arrive.
Being so organised I should have had no problem with either quantities or space. Except that I should know myself by now…
In February I read something about winter sowing (WS) and I was intrigued. The idea is to sow seeds in a little soil in plastic bottles, outdoors, in winter, then forget about it until spring when you’ll get a nice, strong plant. I wasn’t too sure about how that could work but I was willing to try.
I will get into the details of WS later as it really deserves a post of its own but I ended up with 76 bottles! Considering that there are between 1 and 4 plants in each, that’s a lot of plants even if you expect some failures.
That should have been the end of that but, of course, I had to be ME!
I kept checking my bottles every day and by mid-March, when there still wasn’t any signs of life, I panicked and rushed to sow everything again, using the traditional method of modules and seed trays.
At this point I should also confess that I had found a fantastic website that sells over 200 types of tomatoes! Now, loving tomatoes the way I do, I never stood a chance; I had to order a few…
The result was a bit disappointing at first and I ended up with long, white filaments instead of stubby green plants. They looked so frail but I couldn’t face binning them, so I put them into little pots, pretty sure that they would die.
Of course that meant that I had to start all over again as there was still no life in my WS bottles! I was starting to wonder if, after all that I would have any plant at all.
I’m sure you can guess where this is going. By the time the 3rd sowing had started showing, the bottles had sprung to life and my weaklings had turned into strong little plantlets…
The only thing that hasn’t grown in the size of my garden!