Make Garden Cook Subscription Box - April - What's in the box?.......
Welcome to WithlovefromtheUK monthly subscription box blog.
Every month I will use and discuss the items in your box. Hopefully I will have successes but I will also post my failures. You're welcome to join in and comment, perhaps you can advise me where I went wrong! Here goes..............
Just a quick update on my previous post
These past few weeks have been surreal to say the least and I am thankful that my little green space has kept me busy without the need to venture outside it's boundaries.
I am saddened to hear that so many gardener's will not be able to buy their favourite plants at nurseries and garden centres, hopefully restrictions will be lifted before these plants go to waste.
From last months box I am glad to report that the sprouts and peas are poking through and the nasturtiums too. The Red Hot Pokers have yet to make an appearance, but I understand that these do take a while to germinate. Lavender and Antirrhinum are growing slowly and I am a little concerned that some of the lavender seedlings seem to be slow in growing but perhaps I need to be a bit more patient. The broad beans have survived the pigeons, so far and are growing well.
The garden is looking lush and green with all the new shoots and blossom and this last month I have spent time getting amongst the plants, weeding and also identifying what is in my new garden. For those of you who are new to my blog, we moved into our new home last September, just as everything was dying back so this year is going to be an adventure of identifying and planning. The plants I brought with me from my previous garden were planted into spots where I thought would be right for them but I am finding that other things are pushing through, either right underneath or too close to them. This month I will move them out into pots until I know it is safe to replant. Hopefully they won't be too disturbed by being moved again. As well as the new shoots the weeds are growing in abundance. Having so much rain over the winter and also relatively mild weather has been just right for the numerous weeds in the garden. My problem is, unless it is a common weed such as dandelion, nettle or buttercup, I have to leave the plant until it grows to a stage where I can identify it as a weed. This year I am determined to learn the names of any plant I identify as a weed. I know people say that any plant is a weed if it is growing in the wrong place. If this is the case, I have loads of primroses that have sprouted all over the garden in odd places, which look beautiful when there is not much else to see in the garden, but take over the ground with their mass of leaves. It is same with the many bulbs. I will not dig up and discard these, but I will move them if they look out of place. This year has been a joy to see the many daffodils, tulips, muscari and snowdrops but in time I will neaten up where they are dotted around to make more formal clumps. Although I like the cottage garden look, I like to see a bit of order in it's design, so I shall be digging up some of the bulbs after they have died back so that I can bring some structure to the borders. The garden has been very colourful but will soon look shabby with the enormous amount of wilted daffodil and tulip leaves. Not much can be done about this apart from tying them up into clumps. It is important to leave them to go yellow as it is the leaves that feed the bulb for next year's flowers.
The leeks which have been hardening off on the patio will be ready to go into the ground at the end of the month. I had thought of growing them in pots but I think I will chance it and plant them between the two rows of broad beans.
With all this free time I have at the moment, as well as working in the garden, I have also been busy in the kitchen. Today, I made a batch of Hot Cross buns using the recipe from bbcgoodfood.com. Its a good job I can work off the extra calories in the garden!
So, what's in the box this month................
Pumpkin Atlantic Giant
Sunflower Russian Giant
Bean and Pea Net
Love Cocoa Honey and Honeycomb Milk Chocolate
Information Sheet and Calendar
Growing pumpkins is going to be a challenge, especially the Atlantic Giant. Pumpkins need a lot of watering and I suppose this year, in a time when going away is restricted, they will be well looked after. I have planted my seeds and expect to see them sprout in about five days. Pumpkins need a lot of space to grow and they produce large leaves. I am planning to plant these amongst the flower border but I will need to be careful that they don't overshadow what is in there already. I don't expect to beat the record for the biggest pumpkin but I will give it a jolly good try! In the past I have made pumpkin jam from pumpkins I have grown. I usually use the pulp which has been scraped out when the children are carving their Halloween pumpkins. The pumpkin jam reminds me of Christmas, mainly due to the spices used. It is good to use with cold meat and cheese as well as on buttered toast.
The Sunflower Russian Giant is a flower I've grown many times. It is easy to grow and great fun to do with the children. I have put these seed into the ground, in a sunny spot, where they are going to flower and also seeded some into paper pots to give away to people passing by. I like to use the seeds when they are ripe, as a snack. I also leave some flower heads for the birds.
The Aquilegia Yellow seed has been sown into some coir discs, after I soaked them. I have not used these discs before so I will await their performance. I will also sow some seeds straight into the ground later this month. Aquilegia, also known as Granny's Bonnet or Columbine is a perennial plant, so I will look forward to seeing it year on year, once it has established.
The pea and bean net will come in handy when I construct the bean structure. I have never used a net for this purpose as I usually just allow the beans to climb the bean poles or bamboo structure, so it will be interesting to see how effective this will be.
This month's box also includes a full size bar of Honeycomb and Honey Milk Chocolate which is made by Love Cocoa. The founder of Love Cocoa is James Cadbury whose great-great-great grandfather John Cadbury, set up Cadbury chocolate nearly 200 years ago.
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 and a handy garden tip sheet and calendar
What to do in the garden this month.........
Give your greenhouse a thorough scrub (if you haven’t already) with hot soapy water. This will get rid of pests and diseases and let in more light.
Prepare beds for the growing season. Dig in a 5cm (or more) layer of compost or well-rotted manure. You can also work in a general-purpose fertiliser, such as pelleted chicken manure, or fish, blood and bone.
Check your container plants aren’t drying out - the warmer weather will quickly affect soil moisture levels.
And keep ahead of the weeds!
MakeGardenCook @ withlovefromtheUK