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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