The October fresh food garden courses on Saturday 2 and 30 are booking up quickly. A number of people have bought places on the course as very successful gifts for friends and relatives. I’ll send a gift voucher if you want to do the same.
It’s still cold and windy at times and the slugs and snails are ravenous, so you’re better sowing things in pots or buying seedlings at the moment. Peas do well in a piece of old guttering. They’ll still need some protection from the wind and rain. You’ve still got time to buy the things you’ll need:
seeds – keep them dry in an air tight container.
scissors – to open the seed packets. Gives a cleaner edge from which to tap out the seeds than tearing them.
fine permanent marker – to write the date, seed type and variety on your label.
pots of various shapes and sizes.
labels – cut strips from any white, plastic cartons.
spray bottle or misting hose-attachment – for misting seeds daily to keep them moist.
watering can with a fine rose or fine hose sprinkler – for watering once the seeds have germinated and the weather warms up.
potting mix – I buy mine but add home-made vermicast to increase it’s microbe count.
seed raising area – somewhere to keep your seedlings off the ground, out of the wind and afternoon sun, close to water. An old door on bricks is fine. You might need to erect a wind break around it in Wellington.
protection – wind break cloth, frost cloth, bottomless pots or cans to go around seedlings when they’re planted out.
Some things have to be sown straight in the ground – root crops such as carrots, turnips, radishes and beetroot for example. You may find them sold as seedlings but I wouldn’t bother buying them. Worth trying sowing some seed now under frost-cloth but still probably a bit cold.
If you sowed green manure in Autumn, you can keep warm by digging it in so it has time to rot down before you plant your crops. If you’ve made compost you can add that at the same time – spread a layer of 2-3cm if you’ve got enough. Check the pH of your soil to see if you need to add any lime if it’s too acid.
I’m back to reading English memoirs. Christopher Hitchens’ memoir Hitch 22: A Memoir requires me to have a dictionary on hand and uses no prepositions to end sentences. Sir David Attenborough’s memoir Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster is easier going, despite it’s length.