The garden space at our homestead is mighty humble, but in the Second World War, every available piece of land was cultivated, and I am determined to "supply my own cookhouse", as the old posters said, even in some small way. We have two raised beds made out of railway sleepers, two espaliered apple trees, and two baby trees which I hope to be able to identify this year. In addition we grow things in pots and in our front garden, which hosts two fruit trees and two lavender bushes at the moment.
We have had mixed success with our planting, probably due to the cold and wet weather we have been experiencing throughout March and April. It feels as if we are about eight weeks behind where we should be.
Even though Prima and I used a windowsill seed propagator for the first time, and Actual Seed Compost, only some of the flower seeds have germinated. These are either Rudbeckia Cherry Brandy or Cosmos Double Click Rose Bonbon - we'll have to see what they turn into. I have now planted them out into pots. The St John's Wort won't be attracting bees any time soon; perhaps I'll have better luck next time I sow.
For Dig for Victory Phase 2, I planted more courgettes and red onions, and more Rudbeckia Cherry Brandy - all seeds kindly donated by Thompson and Morgan - and added some butternut squash, too.
I have bought a new watering can and am feeding our fruit trees and plants plant food each week. The herbs in pots - normal and flat-leaf parsley, and rosemary - are also doing well.
In Phase 3, which may well happen over the weekend, I will try my hand at growing garlic from a garlic clove, even if that wasn't part of the 1940s palate. If you would like to try this, here's what I plan to do:
- Plant a large garlic clove, pointed side up, in light soil, with the tip just showing.
- Keep the soil damp, and in a few days, you should see a green shoot.
- If you let this tip grow, it will eventually turn brown and dry up.
- You can now dig it up and you should have a whole bulb of garlic, from which you can choose the largest clove and start the process off again.