Posts Tagged seeds

Moor Lane Plant Sale

On Saturday it was the Moor Lane Plant Sale in Churchinford.  This is an annual event, eagerly awaited by budding gardeners as an opportunity to pick up a bargain plant or two.  We were there as part of the Blackdown Hills Transition Group stand, where we were offering packets of seeds for a donation and encouraging youngsters to “sow a seed and watch it grow” with some compost in a yoghurt pot.

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Neil made a small frame as an example of “no dig” gardening, with plants coming up through cardboard to keep down the weeds.

The plant sales were very popular, and no sales were allowed before the bell was rung at 10.30am.

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There were some great signs outside too:

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I bought some courgette plants that I got into the ground the same day, and a couple of nice tomatoe plants that I have potted up already.

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my seeds are growing

The seeds I planted in cardboard tubes indoors have sprouted and are reaching for the sun.  The beans are getting quite tall and will start to wind round each other soon, so I have decided to plant them out into the garden.

my emerging beans

The courgettes and sweetcorn have started to come through but are not so far advanced, so I will leave them indoors for another week.

Courgettes and sweetcorn

As we had some welcome lovely warm weather over the weekend, I also planted directly into the ground, some more sweetcorn, some raddish, rocket and lettuce.  I bought some cabbage seedlings at the local school May fete and planted those out, surrounded by shrouds to keep the rabbits at bay.  I can see my peas are starting to come through.  The blueberry bushes are covered in blossom, the rhurbarb is growing like mad, and we still are picking the purple sprouting broccoli.  It’s such an exciting time of year, watching all the plants spring to life in the garden, and looking forward to the harvest of fruit and vegetables in a couple of months time. 

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Beat the weather gardening, or sowing seeds indoors when its raining outside and you don’t have a greenhouse!!

Like most of the UK we have been experiencing a lot of rain in the past 2 weeks.  In fact we have had 2 inches of rain in the last couple of days, as well as hail.  Down by the hens it is just mud, it is so wet.  The hens don’t seem to mind too much, they still spuddle around in the puddles and even drink from them.  They do look a bit bedraggled but are still producing eggs,  – we got 13 eggs from 14 hens today, so not too bad.However, for us humans day time rain, although needed as many parts of the UK have drought conditions and hose pipe bans, is just a nuisance as it stops us from getting on with the outdoor work that we want to do.  Unfortunately I don’t have a green house yet, so getting seeds started means either sowing direct into the ground, and it is just too cold at the moment, or sewing indoors.

For ages now we have been collecting the cardboard inners of toilet rolls or kitchen rolls.  The toilet roll inners are just the right size for me to start off seeds in, but the kitchen roll inners I have to cut into 2, hence they are different heights.  I find an old roasting dish and fill each  cardboard tube with compost and then sow one seed into each tube, and put a little more compost on top.  In this way I have sowed Courgette, Sweet Corn, Squash (Petty Pan) and Runner Bean seeds.  The runner beans I put 2 seeds into each tube.  Then I water them.  So here they are:

My seeds in cardboard tubes

Then I moved them onto our south facing window sill in the dining room. You can even see our wedding photo on the window sill, which we still keep there, although we have been married for coming up 18 years now!!

Seeds on the window sill

The beauty of  this method is that without a greenhouse I can still bring on seeds indoors.  When they have germinated and sprouted and the weather is a bit warmer, I will plant the cardboard tubes into the ground, thus not disturbing the roots, and then the plants will grow on from there. So all in all a good afternoon’s work, and all tidied up before our B&B guests get back here. visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Sunflowers

Ah Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller’s journey is done;”

so starts the poem by William Blake about sunflowers. 

Last year we grew some sunflowers from seed.  They were quite successful and produced big heads.  When they died down I took the seeds and fed them to the chickens.  Unbeknown to us, the chooks didn’t eat them all but left some on the ground.  When we moved the chicken run, these seeds were left to germinate all on their own, and this year they have produced lovely flowers amongst all the other wildflowers (weeds!) that have grown up in the paddock where the chickens used to be.

sunflowers in the paddock August 2011

What is ironic is that the sunflowers I have grown from seed this year are a pathetic 2 feet tall and nowhere near flowering.

sunflower in the paddock August 2011

So you know what I am going to do later on this year when these flowers have died back – I am going to sprinkle the seeds all round the wild part of the paddock, and with any luck next year I will have a field of sunflowers!!

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