• withlovefromtheuk

Make Garden Cook Subscription Box - February - What's in the box?.......

Updated: Feb 15, 2020

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

Lavender - After stratifying my seeds for a week I brought them into the warmth where they started to sprout after a couple of days. I removed the tiny seedlings from the damp paper towel before they got too big and placed them into the filled paper pots. What I found was, the bigger the sprout, the harder it was to remove from the paper towel as the tiny hairs on the root had embedded itself into the fibres of the paper which meant I damaged some of them pulling them off. They are just about to produce their second leaves.

Broad Beans - I left the broad beans to germinate outside on the patio. They were exposed to all weathers and they have now started to push through. It has been quite mild in Kent, where I live, so they have had a good start. I will wait until they are about 4" tall before putting them into tubs or the ground. I have noticed the long tap root growing through the bottom of the paper pot, so I shall have to be careful not to snap these when I plant them out.

First failure of the year! Sweet peas did not surface and it is well past the normal germination time. I had a poke around and can see that most of the seeds have rotted away. I have made a second sowing. I can only think that I never planted them deep enough or it hasn't been warm enough where I have positioned them on the window sill. I'll let you know how I get on with these next month.

So what is in the box this month?...........................

This month's box includes:

Anthurium - Black Prince

Tomato - Sweet Baby

Leek - Musselburgh

Dahlia - Fireworks

English Rose And White Geranium Mineral Bath Infusion Salts

Propagator Thermometer

Coir discs

Wooden labels

Tregothnan Camomile Tea Sachets

Information Sheet and Calendar

Don't you just love squeezing the faces of the snapdragons. Well, I have done since I learnt of this little quirk. Bees just love to slip inside their little mouths and just when you think they have been swallowed up, out they pop again! The variety in the box is Anthurium Black Prince These are a deep burgundy red and when planted in clusters will make a dazzling show amongst the summer pastels .

Anthuriums are slow to germinate. I have put my seeds into a tray (a plastic meat container I rescued from the recycling bin) and put inside a plastic bag on the window sill. They like to be kept at about 15 degrees celsius, so I will see how it goes as I do not tend to have the heating on through the night or during the daytime and the temperature drops to about 9 degrees.

You don't necessarily need a greenhouse to grow tomatoes. I have had great successes growing tomatoes in the garden amongst the flowers, vegetables and in pots placed in the sun. I have a greenhouse in my new garden and I will grow some tomatoes in there along with other things, but I will still grow them outside. The variety in the box is 'Sweet Baby' It is not a variety I have grown before, so it will be good how they match up to previous cherry sized tomatoes.

As a teenager I used to visit the 'Leek Shows' in the North East of England. Leeks are grown for show and the exhibitors are very competitive in their methods of growing the largest leek as well as other oversized vegetables. You can see some footage of these Leek Shows in the 1970s on YouTube. Sadly with the decline of the mining industry, a lot of these competitions dwindled, but they are coming back into vogue now. You can visit the annual leek show at Beamish Heritage Museum. I have planted my leeks seeds in a tall plant pot as they will draw down the roots before planting. I will plant my leeks either amongst the flower border or into Gorilla buckets when the time is right as space is short in my new kitchen garden this year.

Leeks are in season at the moment and I use them in a lot of dishes instead of onion as it has a milder taste. Some of my favourite side dishes include sauteed mushroom and leek, leeks in cheese sauce and of course leek and potato soup. I sometimes put leeks into mashed potato, which goes well will any savoury dish.

Dahlias are more often grown from tubers but it is just as easy to grow them from seeds, especially if you are growing them as an annual. I love Dahlias as they bring a lot of colour to the garden when a lot of the summer bedding has gone over. They make good cut flowers and last well indoors. It will be good to see whether these 'Fireworks' will turn out to be little crackers!

The propagator thermometer is useful, as I will be able to test the trays of seed to make sure that the soil temperature is correct. I have a greenhouse but as yet, I have not put it to use as it should be, as it is storing a lot of garden items at the moment. Once the better weather is with us, I will be able to set it up. One step at a time.............

Tregothnan tea is grown on their estate in Cornwall. Camomile tea is well known for it's calming sedative qualities but it it also thought that it has anti inflammatory qualities, which can be used for a soothing pep for tired eyes. Just soak a cloth in a chamomile infusion, wring and place on your face. This will be used after indulging in a nice hot bath using the English Rose and White Geranium Bath salts, which smell divine.

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.

Lastly, Some interesting tips and information with a handy February 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!

Other things I am doing in the garden this month when it stops raining!

Digging over a garden plot ready to plant out the broad beans

Planting Artichoke tubers

Pruning the Wisteria

Happy Gardening!


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