Seed Sowing in March

This post was written earlier this week – sorry about the delay!

I’ve had to swap my days at work this week because at 4am on Monday morning, I was wide awake with a dodgy back that spasmed and would not let me rest. At 28, this is a muscular problem that I’ve lived with for years and, if I’m honest, really pisses me off. I get osteopathy, I stretch, I’m now building core strength at the gym, but it’s still getting me. And so early in the growing season, too. Pah. Well, all I can do is keep stretching, keep building my back and core strength and hopefully, one day, I won’t have to (mis)manage it so carefully.

Last Friday and Saturday I spent in and out of London, riding on the Tube, battling crowds, and seeing friends. The seeing friends part was great, but London just doesn’t really *do* anything for me anymore. I used to think it was busy and exciting and full of cultural wonders. OK, I concede there’s a lot to see there – we went to Borough Market and there were some great food stalls there, and I do enjoy the museums – but… I wouldn’t want to be in the thick of it. I’m just not a crowded place kind of person. It’s been a bit of a revelation for me because so many of my school friends have moved there (we’re only about 50 mins away from central London on the train), and in the back of my mind I always wondered what I was missing out on. If I’d make a mistake in not moving there with them, being a part of that whole scene.

But even after two days of being in and out of central London, east London, west London… I just think, geesh, I couldn’t be there every day. Maybe it’s just me, but there’s this feeling that you just have to keep going because you can’t stop, there just isn’t time and you’ll get in the way. Then there’s noise. And stuff. And people everywhere. No downtime. And then this feeling of competition and fighting your way out because you don’t want to be sucked into a big, faceless crowd.

Man. I just couldn’t be bothered with it, you know? Give me a field, or a beach any day. So I guess that’s good. No more regrets about “what could have been”. OK, so it might be different if you only live a stone’s throw from a hip little artisan market or wotnot, and you only have to do two stops on the tube to get home and relax. But my word, was I yearning for peace. And strangely, I really wanted to be on a beach and see the sea. Probably the London smog boggling my brain.

So apart from copious amounts of travelling and catching up with good friends, I’ve also been starting to tackle the stupendous amount of clearing, tidying, sowing and so forth that is piling up. Sunday afternoon, I decided to take my laptop to the bath* and catch up on Monty’s return to Gardener’s World. I will just say that it is SO good to have him back. He said something along the lines of “this time of year is so busy, with clearing up after winter and sowing”, and I thought “YES MONTY! Thank YOU! I KNOW! It really is!”.

Monty knows, you see. He really does. It was like being handed a pass that says “we know there’s so much to do, but you know, it’s fine”. Probably like a lot of other amateur gardeners and veg growers, I guess that I don’t do things by the book. Classic example – my second lot of garlic that I bought weeks ago still isn’t in, but I’ll wing it, because things usually turn out OK. I might harvest things a bit later and mess it up a bit, but I usually come away with something. And for instance, on GW, Monty said that really, his apple tree pruning should have been done by now, but he still did it anyway. As and when. Just go with it. I don’t think nature is as rigid, unbending and unforgiving as some gardening books would have us believe.

In terms of stuff that I’ve done, I’ve done precious little but clearing (it’s the ‘getting rid of’ part that is proving the most time-consuming, laborious task), with a whole lot more clearing to do. Veg plots are taking priority at the mo, and then I’ll tackle the other big clearing jobs. More on this another time.

Seed sowing has started, although I have much, much more to do – thank goodness that my brand spanking new greenhouse staging arrived – because I really don’t know what I would have done this year without it!

Here’s what I’ve sown thus far:

Believe me, there is so much more sowing that I need to do. Hopefully my back will stop being silly soon, because this year if all goes to plan, you’re in for a treat!

*There’s a handy ledge away from the bath water where the laptop sits safely – don’t worry, it’s fine!