Gardening With No Garden – Part 1

I live in a ground floor flat. I have no garden but I do have the tiniest patio space that leads onto a public path. There is no where for me to plant anything which I wasn’t bothered about when I moved in. As time went on and I started decorating, I found an unnatural calling to plants of all kinds. It started with a peace lily but quickly the greenery became more prominent and my ambition grew.

Then M&S released their seedling kits and the crazy plant lady truly manifested, particularly when they removed their minimum spend and was just giving them away.

I would find myself in the gardening isle picking up compost and plant pots when getting household supplies from Wilkos. I had beetroot, lettuce, radish and carrots on the go, they sprouted really quickly and after a couple of weeks I accidentally left them outside on the hottest day of the year for too long. Needless to say, they were burnt to a crisp!

Deciding to put that blunder behind me, I made the decision to buy more seeds and try again. As we are still not allowed out for unnecessary trips due to COVID-19, this would have to wait until I needed more cleaning supplies. Thankfully this wasn’t that long of a wait and a few days later there I was in the gardening isle of Wilkos again!

I decided to stick with the lettuce, beetroot, radish and carrots so purchased some more seeds. However, this time I bought small plastic greenhouses to help give the plants the best start to their life of growing. I also splurged on the slightly more expensive compost, it still wasn’t expensive but it wasn’t Wilkos cheapest, however, when I got home I realised I bought compost for young plants and not seeds. I didn’t know there was different types of compost – dirt is dirt right? I am not sure how much of a difference this is going to make but I assume if they can grow in fields then they can grow in the ‘Young Plant Compost’.

An hour later, I was sat in my living room carefully sprinkling compost into the trays and debating how many seeds I can realistically fit in each tray. I went with all the seeds in each packet per tray, thinking to myself: the more seeds the higher my chances of actually growing something. As the saying goes, safety in numbers.

Honestly, I didn’t get photos of every step for all the vegetables – I was having to much fun and got carried away, my apologies. After sprinkling the compost into the trays I hit a bit of a dilemma, I did not know how many holes to make, nor did I know how many seeds were required in each hole. So I guessed and am going to roll with it, hopefully if they grow to big I can always relocate them to another pot and spread them out.

Let me know if this is too many or too little or they are too close together. Any gardening tips would be greatly appreciated!

Once all the seeds had been split evenly between the holes, I carefully filled them back in and patted on the soil and then gave them a good watering. After telling my plants a few encouraging words I placed the greenhouse roofs or propagator as I have learnt they are otherwise known and placed them in their new home on a towel in the sun of my french doors. I repeated this step for the lettuce and carrots, going for the same number of holes as the beetroot, still splitting the seeds evenly between them. Both the lettuce and carrot seeds were considerably smaller than the beetroot seeds so this seemed like the right thing to do.

As the trays only came in a pack of three I had to improvise with the radish seeds and planted them in a an ice cream tub along with the only surviving M&S Seedling veg still alive – more radishes. All the newly planted vegetables have taken up residency in front of my french doors, here they should get plenty of sunlight but not be as affected by the blazing sun or cold nights. Fingers crossed I don’t kill these plants!

The aim is to do a weekly blog update on the progress of the plants, depending on how quickly they grow, if nothing happens for weeks it might be a little longer before an update is posted.

Any hints, tips and tricks you have on growing vegetables, particularly without a proper garden would be much appreciated. You can leave a comment on this post or email to receive a reply!

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