Wonders will never cease. Looking out of the window I can see a few drops of rain – the first we have seen in Sussex for about a month! Every evening I have been going out and watering our new veg patch by hand, eagerly awaiting the first signs of the seeds we planted over the Easter weekend.
I have been rewarded by the sight of the first few tiny calendula seedlings sprouting at the front of our small raised bed. The two Littlest Weeds helped me plant carrots and calendula seeds after the name of this blog. We chose children’s seed packets to make it more fun for them and are particularly looking forward to seeing the short, plump ‘Paris Market – Atlas’ carrots, part of the RHS’s range of ‘seeds for green-fingered kids’.
We have also sown two types of rainbow chard – one packet from King’s Seeds and one variety from a seed swap gathered at a local allotment – and some ‘Meteor’ dwarf peas. Still to be sown are ‘Enorma’ runner beans, ‘Cosse Violette’ French purple climbing beans, ‘Nero di Milano’ courgettes and Hallowe’en pumpkins (these may need to go at the back of the garden as we are running out of space).
I have always wanted to try growing potatoes in a heavy-duty supermarket bag. For me, the brightly-coloured Aldi bags with slogans such as ‘Keen as Mustard’ and ‘That’s My Cup of Tea’ are a design classic of the 21st century. I usually use them for lugging vast quantities of lunch boxes, water bottles and random children’s artworks to and from school, but when they develop holes in the bottom what better use for them than to grow spuds?
First I cut a few extra holes in the bottom with my trusty Felco secateurs. Living near the Sussex downs, I have an everlasting supply of chalk in our own garden – so I tend to use it in pots for drainage regardless of the ongoing debate about whether this makes any difference or not. In this case I thought it would serve the double purpose of weighting down the bag.
I filled the sack to about six inches with multi-purpose compost before placing three well-chitted first early Arran Pilot seed potatoes with sprouts facing upwards and covering them with another four or five inches of compost. The soil level still looks a bit low, so when the plants appear I will add some more compost to ‘earth up’ and give the plants plenty of room to produce tasty new spuds – lots of fun for the Little Weeds to dig up!
We planted two of these bags over the Easter weekend, the traditional time to plant potatoes. Now I just need to find somewhere to plant our main crop potatoes as the rest of our Aldi bags are needed for shopping and the school run!