Compost in the potting area

Oh, the thrill! When was the last time I sat on the patio and sowed seeds?

Rhetorical question – I can’t remember and the point is that 2015 in the garden, or rather on the windowsills, is starting to happen πŸ™‚

I’ve started off with salad, aubergine, cress and cayenne peppers. Hopefully, that means fresh greens within the next month and aubergines/peppers which have enough time to grow and ripen well.


Now, I really must get a greenhouse so I don’t have to rely on the windowsills. Last year, I ran out of room, which meant stuff got sown later than was ideal. I’d also like more ripe tomatoes, which just doesn’t happen at this latitude outside some sort of covering. My mouth’s watering at the thought…

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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20 Responses to Compost in the potting area

  1. Cynthia says:

    So exciting! Sounds great, good luck with all of them!

  2. upsidediy says:

    I too am running out of space in my home for plants! Also my cats want to eat them too! This spring I’m building a greenhouse! Not that I don’t want to share my greens with the kitties! πŸ˜‰

  3. I kive sowing seed and watching them cone to life! Fun times ahead πŸ˜€

  4. gaiainaction says:

    Sharing in your excitement! Am also planning to use a piece of plexy glass to make a cold frame. πŸ™‚

  5. drofmit4108 says:

    “Now, I really must get a greenhouse so I don’t have to rely on the windowsills. “…..
    Hmmm! Bonne chance…
    We use a table hard against the window sill…
    in the guest room!!
    We’ve been at the “Now, I really must get a greenhouse so I don’t have to rely on the windowsills. “ stage for the last four years…..
    we had a wonderful one on the plot at Burley Model Allotments…
    but, it was part of the plot…
    one of the association conditions was that it must remain once constructed!

    My mother used a portable coldframe for years…
    a sheet of plexiglass over a…
    heavily varnished, large cardboard box, lined with polystyrene sheet from packaging…
    inside that another, slightly smaller cardboardbox fitted, also varnished…
    and painted white on the inside to maximise light…
    the boxes folded flat for autumn/winter storage..
    she used plastic packaging tape to remake the boxes each year..
    that lasted well because she stood the box on two lengths of wood to keep it off the damp ground… she needed to move it around her pocket handkerchief garden to catch or avoid light according to the needs of the contents…
    my brother was still using it when I last saw it in 2010…
    so it had been going over fifteen years at that point.
    Mum had got the idea from a TV gardening programme…
    but being an ex-lab technician, she “improved” it!

    • Helen says:

      Sounds like your mum was very resourceful!

      Pity you had to leave your greenhouse behind in Burley…. I think a cold frame would be too small for tomato plants but it is a long term aim instead of the plastic cloches πŸ™‚

      • drofmit4108 says:

        Helen… Mum was… exceptionally so!
        It would have been toooo impractical trying to move a greenhouse to France…
        but we did move the Access coldframe…
        which is about to move again.
        When we set it up here, we didn’t realise just how hot it could get inside in March…
        so it will move to a permanent well lit, but shady, spot… by the end of the month!! I have been told to “make it so!”

        Once started, the tomato plants will do wonderfully in a box coldframe… they get the right kind of light and increase height SLOWLY… rather than get all leggy on the windowsill!!

      • drofmit4108 says:

        Helen, sorry…
        I missed your reply about height of a coldframe…
        in an enclosed garden like yours, the tomatoes would do perfectly well outdoors…
        especially as your neighbour has kindly chosen black paint for that fence.
        Plant them alongside the fence to benefit from additional warmth.
        We used to grow about half our tomatoes and chillies outdoors over at Burley Model…
        many tomatoes grow only around four foot high… eg; San Marzano, Green Zebra, Carorich, etc.
        All you get from a greenhouse is an earlier start… or a longer cropping.
        And eight foot tall plants… we had Sungold and Nectar tomatoes [both cherry] in the greenhouse and they used to take over… eight foot tall means guided over the roof and back down!! Our greenhouse wasn’t six foot high… you stepped down into it..
        there was about four foot at the side.
        But both grew just as well outside… you just get slightly tougher skins.
        And a cold frame can be as tall as you like, really!!
        They are just not designed for heat hungry plants, that is all.
        There are all sorts of ways to protect tomatoes and give them extra heat…
        a semi-“polly”-tunnel could be built against your tall fence…
        big enough to take one row of toms…
        and with the polyethene at the front being able to be rolled up when the weather is really hot.
        And for polyethene use translucent builders dustsheets…
        NOT clear…
        clear cooks plants very quickly!

        • Helen says:

          Ah yes, the black fence! My neighbour paints that every three years – a big job as he takes out all the panels, so I definitely wouldn’t want to paint that myself, especially as I have neither the time, space or strength to do it.

          As for the toms, wanting an earlier cropping is precisely the idea behind getting a greenhouse. I’ve been growing tomatoes successfully for four years outside, and it makes sense to put the greenhouse where the garden path used to be (by the side of the black fence) as the soil is too compacted to grow in the ground. However, I also want to grow other things in the greenhouse, which either need a higher temperature than they would get outside or which I don’t have the space for elsewhere.

          Anyway, thank you for your comments. It is always useful to get different perspectives and information πŸ™‚

  6. There is nothing like a fresh garden tomato. I’m glad you’ve figured out a way to grow them.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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