So, sow good

Lots of seed packets ready to sow

It's major catch up time this week, with seed sowing underway at last*. Quite a few have been sown at home, and the others are set to be dealt with at the allotment this weekend, once I've cleared the raised beds of all the naughty weeds that have sprung up. I'm particularly looking forward to trialling the new Optigrow seeds I've been given (at the bottom centre of the picture) as they might just help me make up for lost time.

Germinated cucumber seedlings

So far I'm particularly impressed with the cucumber seeds I'm trialling courtesy of Mr Fothergill as they all germinated within 4 days. These come with their own mini greenhouse and coir based compost; the latter was great to watch grow from its 1cm high starter disc to an impressive 5cms when I added the water**.

Our curries have been transformed this year by the use of fresh turmeric, which in turn gives a wonderfully fresh flavour. I was delighted to find there's lots of information about growing and the use of this in Matt Biggs great new book, Incredible Edibles. Other books on growing unusual fruit and vegetables are available; this one is worth the room on my bookshelf through its visual appeal, practical advice on both growing and cooking, plus the inclusion of new-to-me crops like the aforementioned turmeric.

I've potted one of the pieces from our fridge into a pot of nice compost to see if I can grow some for myself. From what Matt says I think it's unlikely I'll obtain my own roots (I'd need a greenhouse for that), but I like his idea of using the fresh leaves in our cooking, especially as it might stop further root stains which turned our best chopping board a bright yellow***.

Watch this space for an update on how it goes.

Gwen's tomato seedlings at her care home

In the Tomatoes for Gwen project, she now has a nicely growing set of seedlings ready for potting on. Elho generously gave her a fab grow table and cover, then Dalefoot donated some of their wonderful vegetable compost to fill it. This means she can continue looking after them at her care home in comfort. The raised grow table is just right for her and the compost means she'll have less watering and feeding to do. She's been itching to get growing again and we're pleased she'll have some help from the home's gardener when needed. This is something I'd like to see in all care homes.

It's been great to get sowing again this week. Do you have any plans for the same this weekend?

* = and lots of ouches from me and a telling off from my physiotherapist for attempting too much!

** = oops I added more than the 200ml advised in the instructions. I must read more carefully next time

*** = any tips on how to get turmeric stains off a wooden chopping board are welcome


  1. Yay! So glad to see you're back in sowing form :)

    Now that you are, give me a shout if you'd like to try out my secret seed club ( :)

    1. Thanks Emma, I saw your secret seed club and I love what you're doing. However I need to simplify my growing this year. I am so far behind with everything, it's the only hope I have to catch up

    2. I completely understand! If you ever change your mind, just shout :)

  2. I look forward to see how the turmeric does, it's supposed to be really good for you too. Our seed sowing has been confined to peas and things in trays at the moment. Our ground is like mud.

    1. I had a turmeric cookbook just before Christmas and that's what inspired us to try it fresh.

  3. With damp and dull weather, and heavy rain forecast for Monday I think that it'll be well into next week before I get to do any more sowing on the plot. xx

    1. It's a real struggle isn't it. Like Sue a lot of my sowing has been away from the plot

  4. Oh it's great to see that you have made a start with your sowing schedule VP. In view of the spring we've had so far your timing is perfect. I had always thought of turmeric as somewhat exotic and had never contemplated growing it. Himself has been taking it in pill form for several months now in the hope of relieving knee pain. I'm off forthwith to find out more about growing it so thanks for the idea:)

    1. It's the reported health benefits that inspired me to experiment in my cooking, Anna

  5. You’ve been busy :) and looking forward to seeing your progress with them!

  6. Maybe lemon juice against the turmeric?


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