Vegetable Mad

I don’t seem to be getting much sense from DJ these days. Some people claim to be able to speak in tongues, but since March began, hailing the beginning of the growing season, DJ has only spoken to me in vegetables.

“What time is it, dear?” I ask and the reply is generally something like, “It’s five past potato. I must see to the potato bed. I think these Sharpe’s Express are going to be delicious.” If I enquire as to how his day has gone, he just smiles and says, “courgette”. If I ask what he’s been doing, the answer is usually “digging” and if I suggest going out somewhere at the weekend, we generally end up in a garden centre. Any serious, deep conversation (not that we have many) is liable to be interrupted with, “I’m thinking of getting some manure, what do you think?”

Most of the downstairs of our home is given over to vegetables. Potatoes are chitting in the hallway, tomato (gardener’s delight, super marmande), pepper (Jimmy Nardello and big banana) and chilli seeds have just been planted in a propagator on the living room window sill –I helped do so on Saturday evening. I can’t move for DJ’s enormous collection of seed packets, accumulated over the past few years, which are scattered all over the kitchen and lounge. There are even mushrooms spores growing in a box in the hallway. I suppose it makes a change from them being under our bed, which is where he previously grew them. The greenhouse is also alive with pea tops, oriental greens, pak choi and rocket planted late last year which we are currently tucking into. DJ has insulated the greenhouse with the same bubble wrap he used to do it with last year. And amazingly there are still plenty of items in the veg patch leftover from last year – cabbages, leeks and even some parsnips which we heeled in.

But despite this proliferation of planting, so far we have actually spent very little money on seeds this year. We haven’t bought any new seed packets yet besides parsnips seeds, which have to be replaced every year anyway, although we have had to buy in onion sets and the aforementioned seed potatoes. Plus we’ve also invested in another water butt and now have four which will hopefully keep the watering bill down this year.

All we need is some good weather. I am itching to get out and plant some flowers, but windowsill space in our house is at a premium and it is simply still a bit too cold to plant them even in the greenhouse. I am hoping the weather will warm up soon. DJ has been busy warming the soil in what will be this year’s potato bed by putting polythene over it. While it’s still so cold, it’s hard to picture what the garden will be like in a few months’ time – last year it was an oasis of fruit and veg growing everywhere – but I am looking forward to enjoying some of our own fresh produce again this year. You really can’t beat it.

Grow your own? What are you planning to grow this year? Have you started planting anything yet? Leave a message and let me know.

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5 Responses to Vegetable Mad

  1. Bill says:

    After 15 years as a tenant, sorry, inmate of Sandwell MBC, I have now given up any hope of window boxes, house plants, or allotment. In less than 5 weeks, the caravan which I bought 2 weeks ago will be on the road, & as of No Fixed Abode, I will spend the next few months looking for some form of land to purchase, lease or even squat, of at least 2.5 acres, up to 100 acres, where I will be able to enjoy me own home grown next year. With 100 acres, I could produce up to 1,000 Free Range pigs/annum, & still yet have 75 acres left fers other business. Obviously fresh fruit & veg have priority, but veal, lamb, & Free Range poultry would also be included with the fullness of time.Just cannot wait ter get stuck in, & get me hands dirty with honest toil.

  2. Flo says:

    So you have discovered that frugal includes using up left over seed packets. The other trick is to pick up seeds which are still in date in the sales at the end of the summer ready for next season. It does mean planning ahead but you know what you like to eat. Seed swaps are also good if you have part packets. A good way to store your seeds is in a photo album so that you can turn over the pages and see what you have got – if you put the seeds in by group, say salad seeds such as lettuce and radish or roots such as carrots, swedes, turnips, beetroot you can easily see what you have and what more you need at the end of the season.This is useful information if you manage to save seeds from your own produce – this is a useful link about how long you can keep seeds for – which also gives you hints on how to store your left over seeds.

  3. Chris says:

    Hi,Good to see someone else in essex livng the \’good\’ life i will watch your space – ours is at http://www.ecodiy.orgcheers, chris and rosie

  4. piper says:

    Hello Chris and Rosie. What a coincidence! I was only looking at your blog the other day. How are you getting on with your eco home?

  5. Kim says:

    Wow sounds like its full steam ahead with you and growing your veggies. Sadly i\’m at a stand still, due to lack of space, my window sills are full of seedlings at different stages such as lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, cauliflowerpansies, marigolds and sweet peas. I\’m researching into investing a small plastic covered green house to try and hold me over untill the raised beds are completed. The partitian fence has been built and clearing has started so hope to have the first raised bed built by the w.end.I planted a few potatoes in sacks and as i empty the bags of compost i\’ll plant more, also had a brain wave with an old waterbutt and planted rhubarb in that. :-).Soooo….. looking forward to sowing carrots, peas, green beans and some sweetcorn as the rasied beds are built. Also thought i might have a go at growing strawberries in a few old hanging baskets, be nice for a bit a fruit too.Love the idea of growing mushrooms, will look into that too.Heres to good weather xxtake care Kimx

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