The New Normal – Gardening Part Two

My obsession with the greenhouse shows no sign of going anywhere, much like most of us during this lockdown. I continue to pilfer seeds from the bird food and pop in to water the plants and check on their progress every evening. It’s hugely satisfying to feel a sense of accomplishment when it could be very easy, and understandable, to feel at a loss a lot of, if not all the time. As ever, my disclaimer on this is that I am very lucky to have access to a garden and greenhouse to co-opt and turn into my very on Tom and Barbara esque Good Life attempt.

If you’re looking for something to grow, but don’t have any seeds accessible then I am a big fan of whipping a handful of sunflower seeds from either bird food or hamster/rodent food that you might have available at home. They sprout so quickly that the satisfaction in seeing life come from something so small and dusty is pretty instant, and with the right care and attention I’m hoping my little crop of sunflowers will add some brightness to our mornings come the summertime. It’s also worth looking up online the best way to turn seeds in the day to day fruit and veg we consume into viable options for planting as well. Will a lemon tree really grow? Do I want a lemon tree? Do I have space for a lemon tree?

After a slow start, some tiny signs of life are appearing in the tomato seeds – with the sweetest little seedlings showing themselves around 10 days after sowing. Fingers crossed we see a few more come up in the next few days and I’m looking forward to hopefully having a healthy crop of tomatoes to share around friends and neighbours by the end of summer. The courgettes are so far (touchwood) thriving! We’ve now got fourteen seedlings out of 30 seeds which isn’t too bad, and I hold out a little hope for the remaining few. The pumpkins are taking their time but when one appears, it appears with gusto, knocking huge chunks of compose out of its way to reach the surface!


Perhaps what has surprised me most of all is the watermelons which I in all honesty expected to just be a flop and sit, rotting in their pot, because how on earth could watermelons be grown by an amateur in the UK? Well, we have some green shoots! I am now refusing to let go of them and I will do my utmost to grow one, tiny, but proud watermelon before the end of this summer!

Any advice on spotting the ideal time to begin repotting (particularly when it comes to carrots) would be hugely appreciated!

As ever, key workers you are doing incredible, demanding and draining work. Thank you.

Stay safe folks x

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