Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Finding the time of day..

Last Friday (8th) we went to a garden centre for the first time in months. I try not to go in to garden centres because I know that I will always spend far too much money than I should have done.
Last Friday was no different. We went to Stratford Garden Centre near Clifford Chambers. I had told myself that this year I would probably not be growing anything at all, but this trip really got me motivated. Seeing the hundreds and thousands of packets of seeds and the lovely green foliage from the potted vegetable plants.
Due to the lack of space I was going to carefully pick the varieties of vegetables we would grow. I was really intrigued to find that there is now a variety of runner bean which can be grown in a small bush rather than a long vine up a bamboo stick. I will be really interested to see how these turn out. We really like all types of beans and peas so Amy was also keen to try out mange tout. I had never grown mange tout when I had the allotment,  I always tended to prefer dwarf French beans and runners as well as a few garden peas of course. Yum! If you bought two packets of seeds you got a free pack of mixed lettuce leaf seeds so that was good too.
My most favourite thing to grow is potatoes! I love growing potatoes! I had grown rows upon rows on the allotment but now we are going to have a go at growing them in bags. It makes me laugh that people buy special ‘potato growing bags’ for £15 or somewhere around that mark. I just use the compost bag itself. Roll it down, pierce some holes for drainage and then just top up the bag with the compost you emptied out of it every time the plant surfaces. Perfect.
Amy’s favourite vegetables are courgettes, and I know these are very productive crops to grow. We are going to grow them in a tubtrug of all things which is quite comical but I think it will be very effective. We bought two courgette plants as they looked very healthy and were well established, they were also a good price so it is very hard to resist them of course.
Finally, Amy fancied a go at sweetcorn. In a garden with minimal space, I think that anything that is thin and goes straight up is quite a good thing to grow.
I really meant to blog about this earlier in the week, all of the seeds have been planted and the potatoes have started to poke their head and the mange tout and salad have germinated. The courgette plants are growing at a speed of knots too!
We are very caught up in this whole self sufficient thing now. I am really glad that Amy is enjoying it as much as I am.
With all those free seeds from the Daily Mail give away I think we’ll need to start production planning in the near future to ensure the most efficient use of our resources.
I hope you had a great weekend.

P.S Nothing better on a sunny Sunday afternoon than the smell of chicken poo in your nostrils.

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