There’s a first time for everything, and today I did something I haven’t done before and planted a selection of vegetable seeds. This summer and autumn our household will be feasting on the fruits of the earth, and the freezer will be full of the surplus produce which will supply us through the winter… well, we’ll see. I can dream. Thus far, my experience of vegetable growing has been limited to tomato plants (I know, this is technically a fruit, but we always seem to think of them as veg) which I got when they were already about 6 inches high, so starting from scratch, or seed, could be interesting.
Some time ago I sent off for a pack of free seeds from the BBC’s Dig In initiative and about three weeks ago they arrived – french bean, carrot, courgette, basil and salad leaves. I’ve been meaning to get them planted for ages but had to wait for inspiration and opportunity – both of which arrived this morning. So, with a pile of assorted small flower pots which I have collected over the years and a large bag of multi-purpose compost (which is what the seed packets told me I needed) I set to work. After an hour’s work I now have little pots all along my kitchen and dining room window sills with home-made labels in them (strips cut from a plastic milk bottle – I was feeling inventive this morning) in anticipation of them starting to grow in a couple of weeks. In addition to the seeds from the BBC I decided to be experimental with some slightly-past-their-best cherry tomatoes, and popped them in a couple of pots.
Of course, putting them in little pots until they germinate is one thing, but planting them out is another matter altogether and then the battle to keep the slugs and snails at bay will commence.