Make Garden Cook Subscription Box - March - What's in the box?.......
Updated: Apr 10, 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
I have just planted the broad bean plants in the garden in the last few days. I followed the advice of @grow_with_joe and used my bulb planter for this job. Great advice Joe! It has been so wet this last month that I had not been able to get on the garden and even now it is still way too clarty. The beans are doing well, they are sturdy plants. I will now have to watch out that the pair of pigeons that frequent the garden don't start pecking at them!
Sadly I have had no joy in growing the sweet peas. Not sure why I have had so many failures. I might try sowing some at the end of April when it is warmer and perhaps put them in the greenhouse. I think it has been too cold on my window sill, especially at night when the curtains are drawn.
Lavender is coming along nicely. The first true leaves have grown but it feels a long way off before they will grow into garden ready plants. I have put these in the greenhouse to make room for new seeds on my window sill!
The Antirrhinum seeds germinated well. I decided to stratify these as I had great success with the lavender, even though I am sure they would have germinated without. I will prick them out later this month into individual paper pots, which have been made by the pot maker from the Gardener's Delight Gift Box which you can find here
The Dahlias have also been successful and I will prick these out into the small pots later this week.
Tomatoes have produced their first true leaves, so I pricked them out today into individual pots. They are about two inches high.
Leeks will not be ready to transplant for at least another month. I have put these outside on the patio now so they can acclimatise.
So all in all, bar one, a pretty successful month
So, what's in the box this month................
Peas Kelvedon Wonder
Brussel Sprouts Brilliant F1
Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker)Traffic Lights
Nasturtium Alaska Mixed
Dibber and Widger Set
Mallow and Marsh Milk Chocolate covered Marshmallows
Information Sheet and Calendar
I have mentioned in a previous post about how freshly picked and shelled peas evoke happy childhood memories, you can read about this here. Sowing peas is a great activity to do with children and I found that they loved using the new dibber which was included in the box. The dibber comes with helpful markings so that the holes were made at the right depth.
There is an old gardeners saying that 'rows should be sown in a North to South direction' Since peas are prone to powdery mildew, plant them in rows that run north and south so that each plant has maximum opportunity for the sun to burn off the dew.
Unfortunately for me, until I can sort out the new garden I do not have enough room in the small vegetable patch, so I will plant a few peas into a large pot this year.
Red Hot Pokers look so exotic and are usually found at the back of the border. Once established they will return year after year. Kniphofia Traffic Lights is unusual as it is a dwarf variety, so it can be placed towards the front of the border or in amongst the shrubs.
The flowers produce an abundance of nectar which will attract bees and butterflies and they like to be in a sunny spot. I have sown the seeds in a seed tray as directed and look forward to seeing them grow!
I know that sprouts are not everyone's favourite vegetable. It still isn't mine but even though I don't over indulge in them, I still feel they are worthwhile, and easy to grow for a winter seasonal vegetable. I find that 6 plants are enough for the two of us over an eight week period. I like to pull a couple of stalks for Christmas dinner and mix with cooked chestnuts. I usually just pick the amount I need at other times.
All parts of the nasturtium, except the roots, can be eaten: leaves with a pleasant peppery taste are suitable for salad, fruits and marinating vegetables. When I was a chef not so long ago, using nasturtiums in salads was quite risque and often frowned upon. How times have changed, as these days people are willing to accept almost anything as long as it is not poisonous. I have planted some of the seeds straight into the ground where my broad beans have been planted, in the window boxes and around the pond, hopefully this will keep any aphids from attacking the beans and roses as nasturtiums attract the aphids away.
As well as sowing the seeds from this month's box I have also managed to get my Jerusalem artichokes planted. I just hope they don't rot before they root. It is so wet!
I was pleased to be able to use the small widger to dig around my house plants. Every Spring, I repot and feed them and I found that the widger was handy to tease out the roots and I was able to break off the soil easily. It was like using a small fork and spade! So even though it has been wet and windy, jobs are still being done.
I don't know about you but when it is too cold and wet to go outside, I like to bake. There's nothing more satisfying than knocking up a few scones for afternoon tea or a few cheese straws. This weekend I made Gypsy Tart - this is a traditional Kentish desert, which I only
learnt of when I moved to Kent. I have included the recipe here. Not for the faint hearted as it super sweet, but oh! what a treat! It is great warm or cold. Follow me @MakeGardenCook for more recipes in the future
Talking about sweet! What a great idea, Chocolate covered marshmallows, just right for all my little helpers!
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.
Things to do this month:
With so much rain around these last few months, it has been difficult to do much digging. Hopefully it will soon dry out. Now is the time to dig in manure and place sheeting over the areas to warm up the soil to give your plants a good start. Autumn fruiting raspberry canes can be cut down to the ground to stimulate growth. Pruning back winter flowering jasmine and fuschias will help encourage flowers to grow and of course keep on sowing!