Indoor crops

So. Another day oozes into another.

Thank goodness plants show the passage of time so much better than me. Do you have those days where you think it’s afternoon tea time but your watch stubbornly explains it’s only ten past two?

That was yesterday. But today shows yet more growth in the potting shed. So let me share.

Up until Thursday all was home sown and by my own hand. And even pricked out and potted on.

I am nursing the very last bits of my potting compost as I can’t buy any more. My garden has its limits this year. These are the seeds and this is it.

I’m very excited about the two new crops that are coming to the potager. Lisa gave me Japanese bunching onion seeds, and a very precious sprinkle of Australian Warrigal greens.

They were slow to germinate and are still a bit shy. But they are alive and I have hopes. I just have to be patient.

But the dread realisation of this endless lockdown meant I didn’t have enough basil seeds, nor lettuce seeds, nor decent aubergine varieties.

I have a vivid picture of sitting in front of the fire, sorting through all my seed packets and lobbing the very beyond their use by date seeds into the flames.

And I never get basil to germinate well. And sowing lettuce seeds? You end up with six squillion seedlings and spend ages trying to prick them out.

I usually top up my sown seed crops with some from our usual Thursday market. A young couple have a plant nursery near our town and offer far more sturdy basil and lettuce plugs than I ever could coax into growth.

I had a rummage (endless searching until I found the card in a drawer) and found the email address for the pair. And lo and behold, they do online orders!

And let this be a lesson to you. Gardeners are always generous types. We give plants away. We enthuse. And last year they smelt some bouquets of sweet peas I had presented to their neighbour Xiu We at the market.

And the next week I turned up and I gave them a dozen plants. And seeds.

This year that generosity has paid off. They are so overwhelmed with orders that they have been forced to limit the customer choice. And were only selling to established customers….

My sweet pea gift shot me to the top of the list.

On Thursday the announcement came. Come and collect. My first outing in weeks. I was so thrilled. I drove super slowly – not hard when there is no traffic on the rural roads – relishing the outing and the spring fluffiness.

Their little market garden is tucked into a pretty part of the country a few kilometres outside of our main town. My hour limit meant I could just get there and back in time.

And suitably distanced and gloved and masked, I picked up the treasures.

Basil, lettuce, sweet peppers, tomatoes, parsley, aubergines, extra cucumbers in case I lose my crop, what else? A few green courgettes as mine are all relentlessly ‘Soleil’.


Once they have done their four days quarantine I shall be lovingly potting them up. and just labelling and marvelling and dreaming of crops to come.