I’ve taken advantage of the Easter holidays to really get to grips with the plot.

Seed sowing is at full steam: yet despite meticulous efforts to scour the inside of the greenhouse for snails and slugs (and finding one) at least one has stowed away in the new mini greenhouse and has been busy mowing down the lettuce seedlings as they emerge.  The mini greenhouse inside the 8×6 greenhouse has created a nice, warm environment for the first batch of seeds to germinate but it has been patchy.  So far one cosmos, three crystanthemum, one tomato, zero scabious.

I’ve bought fresh seed and fresh compost and sowed lettuce, beetroot, sunflowers, marigolds, cosmos.  The sunflowers are already through in just 4 days!


I emptied one compost dumpy bag.  When full they hold about a tonne of soil but by the time the material is cooked and the compost ready, it is down to about half full – but still a lot to process.  By processing, I mean sieving each spadeful through a metal grill into a wheelbarrow and then spreading over the dug bed.  Half a bag covered an area 12×6′ to a depth of about 4″.  It looks good enough to eat: dark brown, crumbly and moist.  Sieving means that the bits not yet cooked go back onto the heap.

I’m planning on using that space for parsnips and swedes.  Swedes are my nemesis: they germinate well but then fail to grow into a perfectly formed ball.  Mine tend to be long cylinders, like mouli but not at all swede-shaped.  Swedes like well fertilised and moist soil, I’m hoping that half tonne of best compost will do the trick, with a bit of FBB thrown in for good measure.

Back tomorrow to tidy up the flower beds.