New Growth this Spring

Now more than ever, is the time for personal growth, more skills are needed to live with new life situations. Ironically on the one hand we have social isolation, and at the same time we may find it challenging spending too much time with family members. Getting out into the garden has certainly been one of my coping strategies and like many I am loving it. There’s the added bonus of feeling useful, growing veg for the kitchen. Fingers crossed that the plants survive and thrive enough to make it to the kitchen!

It’s been a week since I showed you photos of my new veg plot. I have been busy and so have the plants! In the #no-dig bed I have sown a row of radishes that are growing well, a row of mixed salad leaves which are just coming up. I also planted some Bok choy and runner bean plants that friends gave me. Sharing seedlings is a wonderful way to support each other now, and have noticed I often have more of one type of plant than I need. 

Sowing Peas in 2 different ways
This morning I spent some time sowing peas in 2 different ways, to see which ones grow better. Here’s the toilet roll method, and also the direct-into-the-soil method. You will see that the peas have already started germinating tiny roots. That’s because 2 days ago, I had soaked these peas overnight, drained them and left them in a sieve indoors to get them going; a handy germinating tip for some plants. I also transplanted some French dwarf beans into bigger pots.

Why do I love the No-dig method? It’s kind to your back, as well as leaving the soil structure intact, while not messing with the earthworms. One of my aims while gardening is to stretch well, bend and squat to improve mobility and generally use my body. Choosing how to kneel, or squat, to carry a load with awareness makes it less likely that I hurt myself. I’m grateful to have #Nia lifestyle and movement practice to remind me!

Some of you shared with me that you too were thinking of growing your own veg or have already started. If you are still thinking of going for a no-dig plot, here’s a summary:
  • save enough thick cardboard to cover your 1.2m wide plot (length is as long as you like)
  • gather, forage or borrow planks of wood for the border
  • obtain compost so that you have at least a 5cm layer on top of the cardboard (I found local garden centres are doing online ordering and delivery services)
  • I also make my own compost from kitchen and garden scraps, but that’s another conversation for another time
  • seeds – again I ordered these online from seed companies, I also had a few saved from last year plus a kind dear friend/neighbour delivered mini envelopes through our door, each containing a few radish, leek, lettuce and tomato seeds, so I could get started while waiting for my online order to arrive.

There’s also loads of no-dig videos on Youtube with helpful advice.

Runner beans

Today according to the Biodynamic Planting Calendar is a fruit day. Fruit refers to the part of the plant you eat, meaning tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, as opposed to leaves (lettuce) or roots (carrots).  This planting calendar indicates the favourable days for planting and harvest depending what you are growing. I personally like this guide, but it is not necessary to follow to get a great harvest. And if you are new to all this, it may well be one thing too much to take on.

Thinking about growing veg at home?…..I’d say, go for it, get started and enjoy your time outside, in nature. I’m certainly no expert but if you have any questions I’d love to hear from you.

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