As promised in my previous post, just a few hours ago, I grabbed the opportunity to get out into the garden and I’m pleased to say it was a productive afternoon and evening.
I had to dodge a few showers but I managed to plant out pea seedlings, as well as sowing new pea seeds. I also sowed early carrots, lettuce and rocket under a fleece mini-tunnel (the only one of two which survived the recent high winds). In the same bed there was one square space remaining so I constructed a makeshift obelisk from some branches foraged from the woods just behind us (fallen, not cut!) and sowed a few remaining sweet pea seeds beneath it, with the help of my smallest daughter, who loves to pick the flowers.
AND just before the light fell, I also filled in some space at the top of the potato bed with a few broccoli seeds – a bit of an experiment as I haven’t grown it before and, to be honest, we don’t eat much broccoli. I reckon whether it’s successful or not, the chickens will benefit from these plants the most!
Phew – I got quite a lot done with the bit of time I had and am feeling quite satisfied that I’ve got a few seeds and seedlings into the earth today.
A word about my companion when I am sowing or growing vegetables – Mr Smith. After we moved in here and I acquired the raised beds in the Secret Garden, my Dad bestowed upon me his copy of ‘Mr Smith’s Vegetable Garden’.
My Dad has been using this book since he began growing his own vegetables many years ago and swears by it as a very simple, straightforward guide to how to grow most veggies in your garden or allotment. For each vegetable, Mr Smith lists the basic guidelines for How to Grow, possible Pests and Diseases and Storage and Kitchen Hints, plus a few simple line drawings for a bit of illustration. I have just checked the front cover and the book was first published in 1976 (as well as a reprint in 1977 – the year I was born!) and the advice and guidance in it is as relevant now as it was then. The book looks old-fashioned, but then I have a weak spot for ‘vintage’ gardening books – something I will definitely share in a future post…
Clearly Dad thought I could find the book as useful as he did as a reference point – and I do. Every year at this time I know I will bring out the book to check guidance for sowing my veg. I don’t know who Mr Smith was – the Monty Don of his day perhaps – but he’s an excellent guide and adviser when it comes to growing your own vegetables.