Make Garden Cook Subscription Box - January....What's in the box?.......
Updated: Feb 14
Welcome to WithlovefromtheUK monthly subscription box blog.
Every month I will discuss and use the items in the box. Hopefully, I will mostly have successes but I will also post my failures and perhaps you can advise me where I went wrong!
This month's box includes:
Sweet peas - Chatsworth
Broad Beans - The Sutton
Lavender - Fragrant
Woodland Trust Note Book
Ph Soil Tester (2 tests)
Love Cocoa Milk Chocolate
Information Sheet and Calendar
As you will have seen from one of my previous posts I have been busy throughout the past month or so, making paper seed pots using the pot maker from the Gardener's Delight Gift Box which you can get here
I have been so excited about trying them out, they look so dinky and cute sitting in the seed tray waiting to be filled.
As I have indicated previously, I am not by any means an expert in gardening. Don't get me wrong, I have been gardening for a long time now, having gained my interest as a child, whilst digging the soil for worms! What I mean is, I am not professionally trained and anything I need to learn I reach for my books or computer. What I do know is, I like a lot of colour and I love growing things to eat. A childhood memory I have, is tasting the sweetness of peas which I had just picked and shelled and I have grown peas, just so my own children and grandchildren can make those memories too.
So here goes, what's in the box......
January is a good time to sow Sweet Peas. Sowing them early in the year gives them plenty of opportunity to grow into strong sturdy plants, which will flower earlier than if you sow later. If you do not have the time or space to sow this month, don't worry as you can sow sweet peas anytime up to April for this year's show. The variety in the box is Chatsworth. Before I sowed the seed, I soaked them overnight. This helps hydrate the seed and gives them a better chance of germinating. I sowed one seed per paper pot and once they are big enough I will plant pot and seedling straight into the ground and container pots. I have used a good quality seed compost to start off all my seeds.
Broad Beans are not a vegetable that I would buy in the shops. For one, they are so expensive for the amount you have to buy to make a good portion and secondly, they are best eaten freshly picked and who knows how long they have been hanging around the shop shelves. Broad beans were probably the first thing I grew at school in my nature lesson. Do you remember doing something similar with a glass jar with blotting paper inside with the beans stuck between the glass and the paper. It was a good way to show how the roots and stem grew. The Broad Bean variety - The Sutton is a well known favourite. I have made some taller paper pots for these to give the roots more growing space and if I am successful in growing some I will try out a new recipe instead of just steaming/boiling them. Do you have any favourite ways of cooking with them? If so, then email me the recipe and I will feature it in a future blog.
I have a lot of lavender in my new garden but it is way past it's best and needs digging up. I have never grown lavender from seed as I normally take cuttings before digging up old plants. It will be good to see how these turn out. I intend to use all the seed provided and if they all grow (fingers crossed!) I will give the surplus plants away to friends and neighbours.
The variety included is Lavender Fragrant. Lavender seeds benefit from being stratified before bringing into the warm to germinate. Seed stratification mimics winter conditions and preps seeds prior to planting. I have put my seeds on damp kitchen paper on a plate and put it inside a plastic bag before putting in the freezer for a week. Once out of the freezer I will place in a warm sunny window sill until they sprout before planting one seedling per individual paper pot. I will let you know how I get on with these in February's post.
I use lavender in a variety of ways. I have made face scrubs, pillow bags to help induce sleep but I use it mostly in cooking infusing with milk, putting in cakes or mixing with other herbs, classically known as Herbes Provencal. There are many other ways to use lavender and you can find lavender infused bath salts in the Tranquility Box here
Remember to water your seeds and seedlings, keeping them moist at all times.
The soil tester has two tests which I have used in the front and back garden. I moved into my new home and garden in September 2019. I know that it is wealden clay where I live but after years of cultivation I was not sure if the the acidity had been altered so I was pleased to have the chance to test it . I found the tests easy to use and I now know that I have acid soil.
Also included in this box are some coir discs which are an ecological way to start your seeds, just soak in warm water and sow your seeds and pop in the ground when the seedlings are large enough. Also wooden plant markers are included for your use.
I love the useful little Woodland Trust notebook to use to jot down your thoughts, make your plans or sketch your plants. It fits well into your back pocket or bag.
As a treat, why not take a break, taste the sumptuous Love Cocoa Organic Milk Chocolate, whilst you dream of your perfect garden.
Lastly, Some interesting tips and information with a handy January Calendar is included in your box. Note down when you sow your seed, when the first seedlings appear, when you plant out etc. It will be useful to look back on next year!