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30 April 2020
I feel desperately sorry for Garden Centres..

...and the smaller nurseries who cannot sell their stock and the many people who benefit from gardening as a way to help alleviate lockdown but have run out of essential items such as seeds, plants and compost.
BUT as we all know Covid -19 is a pretty big wake up call, not just about our health but how we are leading our lives. Let’s take those three subjects and turn them into a positive

Whether its cheap labour from the EU or cheap plastic bags full of potting and seed compost we have got lazy in taking the easy option. If I can use the analogy of growing your own apprentices and making your own compost now is the time to think about being a little more self-reliant. Compost bins are easy to make, especially from old (normally free) pallets. I struggle to see why councils put out brown bins for garden waste in rural areas – it is exactly that a waste!
Your own compost has your local microbes which work with your soil conditions and the best free mulch on offer. And for seed compost remember our fathers had a seed bed with specially prepared soil for seeds – I have just created my own.

I have just sown my first peas, runner and French bean seeds, which I harvested last year. With the lockdown more people than ever are growing vegetables and having seen the many “not available, sold out” remarks on the seed websites it’s a good habit to get into.

With the borders now weeded and dug over, now is the time I often go to the Garden Centre for gap fillers. That being a little constrained this year, I am dividing more existing plants. Don’t worry that some herbaceous plants now have some pretty vigorous growth, the weather has been extremely kind and if you complete in the next week, with the current temperatures being cooler and high moisture content of the soil you should be fine. Remember to use the stronger outside of the plants when dividing and throw away the weaker central pieces.

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