Tag Archives: Window Boxes

Setbacks

So far I’ve been feeling rather pleased with how much progress we’ve made with the plot. From a mass of weeds, we’ve cleared and organised the plot amazingly. However, just to make sure I don’t start feeling too smug, there have been a few setbacks. Swings and roundabouts as they say.

I posted in mid-March about my Seed Anxiety, a worry that hasn’t really gone away and I imagine never really will. The sweet pea, nasturtium and sunflower seedlings I planted out have all succumbed to recent late frosts and hail storms. They had struggled on for a while but the torrential rain/hail in the last week may  have been the final blow. It was nearly the final blow for me as I got caught in it on Friday, which resulted in a rather soggy drive home.

The rain has also given the weeds and snails a lovely kickstart, which I think will need to be tackled today. I do have to admit though, when I made a quick visit yesterday to pick some more rhubarb, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Still, plenty to do nonetheless.

I also planted up my window box with lots of lovely herbs, but a naughty starling has discovered them recently. The little fecker has nearly annihilated my mint, one thyme and a sizeable chunk of my chives.  I caught the blighter early one morning as I was drinking some motivation (aka tea). I banged the window thinking that would be the end of it, but he’s been sighted more recently by my flatmate. Dawn raids seem to be the main tactic. I find it particularly irritating as we had a bird feeder out there for two years with no takers. Now that it’s gone, why suddenly start on my herbs!?

Thyme, Chives & Mint. @%$&%$!?!!

Mint. @^%#@^&^$!!

I’ve also noticed that my chilli and tomato seedlings, which started out really well, but seem to have “stalled” over the last couple of weeks. I’m assuming their growth naturally slows down as they get bigger, but any advice, input or reassurance from anyone would be very welcome.

Lovingly watched over by Sparkly!Jesus.

I suppose in the grand scheme of things these things aren’t all that bad, I’m fully aware there will be more to come. I pride myself in being a good problem solver, so I will directly plant out some more sweet pea, nasturtium and sunflower seeds. Hunt snails, weed and rake beds until my back hurts. Most of all, I’ll get up extra early and sit by the kitchen window boxes, armed with a sturdy broom.

Herbs Within Easy Reach

Things are certainly ‘hotting up’ at the allotment, still plenty of planting to do and seeds to be started. Slightly ironic to say that as the recent hot weather seems to have abandoned us, it’s now cool and cloudy again. Maybe this the respite we need to finally be able to water things without it all evaporating as soon as it hits the soil…

It’s Saturday, so we headed to the Wimbledon Farmers’ Market as they had their Spring Plant Fair on. Along with our usual free range eggs and seasonal veg, we also picked up some lovely herbs for our window boxes. We bought most of our plants from Herbal Haven, who also do online orders. They had a great selection of herbs and friendly, chatty stall attendants.

Lovely herby things.

Although I am planning to have a herb bed on the allotment, it’ll will mainly be used for larger things such as dill, sage and rosemary. I’m also hoping to get larger crops of favorites, like basil, that the window boxes are just a bit too small to provide. For the last couple of years the only growing space I had available to me was the three window boxes I put up on our Juliet balcony. I am slightly rubbish at remembering to water the window boxes regularily, thus lining them with cut up bin liners and water retaining gel powder have been my absolute saviours. However, it’s all worth while as I find it very handy to have stuff close at hand when I’m cooking. A few snips of chives or parsley in many dishes does absolute wonders.

Lots of lovely herby things.