Spring has definitely sprung here and my garden is really starting to blossom. It is doing this virtually unaided, as you can see from some of the sneaky weeds in the photographs, because I really have not had much time to get out there and do much of anything yet. Yes, there has been the odd half hour spent pulling weeds, but that is really about it. It’s not that I don’t want to be out there…it’s just that there don’t seem to be enough hours in the day. However a fun discovery yesterday made me really start thinking about what I need to do to get my garden going. It won’t be long till I need to get the veggies in, and I really need to be prepared.
What fun discovery you ask? Well, last year I used a number of plants from Rocket Gardens, a mail order organic nursery with much success. In the autumn they asked their customers to send photographs of their Rocket Gardens. So I took a shot of one of my raised beds and sent it in. Aside from an acknowledgement of receipt, I heard nothing. So imagine my surprise yesterday when I saw this in the Rocket Gardens catalogue I received in the post.
That’s my picture (one of my raised beds) in the lower right hand corner. I was, in the vernacular of my adopted country, chuffed. That is to say, rather proud of myself, and my garden, although my thumb is far from green and any success is due mainly to the grace of God, and quite a bit of luck…and maybe a little bit to those lovely Rocket Garden plants too.
Anyway, in this, my first gardening post of this year, I just wanted to encourage you to get out there and do some gardening if you haven’t already. No matter how big or small your garden is, you can definitely grow some food for yourself. You would be amazed by what you can grow in containers – and even if you have no garden at all, you can take the One Pot Pledge and grow something on your windowsill.
The One Pot Pledge you ask? Well, it is a British initiative to get everyone growing something to help feed themselves, even if it is just some salad on the windowsill. It’s good for your health, the environment and your soul. And even if you don’t live in Britain, there is no reason why you can’t access the website and join in. Do click on the link above to go and find out more. It’s a great activity for kids, who love to plant seeds and watch them grow. And the whole reason my parents started a vegetable garden when I was little was to get me to eat my vegetables – and it really does work!
I blogged a lot about gardening last year and I plan to do the same again this year. It’s a passion of mine to encourage people to get growing! So what can you do this month to get started? (This advice is, of course, for those of us in the Northern hemisphere where it is Spring – or will be very soon!)
If you are planting an indoor windowsill garden you can start anytime – and now is as good a time as any!
For the outdoors, get rid of those weeds (oh my do I need to do this!), trim old flower stems off hardwood bushes like lavender so they will bloom better later, and make sure your climbing plants are well trained and tied down. When the weather gets a bit warmer (here in the UK the time is about right), you can sow some hearty seeds directly into the soil (some lettuces, carrots and beans among others – check the packages for instructions). I confess I prefer to sow plug or small plants, particularly when it comes to vegetables. And most of those won’t be ready till a bit later. If you haven’t chitted your potatoes, you need to do that immediately. I used to grow potatoes with my Dad, but I don’t really have enough space here as although my garden is very large, I only devote two raised beds to vegetables and herbs. Speaking of which, you can start herbs from seed indoors now, and move them outside when they get a bit more established.
I hope Spring has sprung where you are, but even if your weather isn’t co-operating, a pot on the windowsill makes a great start and will bring a bit of spring indoors even if it is decidedly frosty outdoors. It’s time to get growing!