Some seed packets appeared on our kitchen table this week. Julie had been doing a spot of shopping and some starter seeds caught her eye. They are all pretty good ones to get started, sunflowers, purple sprouted broccoli, sweet peas, lettuce and coriander. So will be a great introduction to the start of the growing season.
The thing is it’s not just a question of sowing a few seeds is it? Like most jobs around the house there are all the hidden preparations to contend with before even one seed is sown.. I my case it goes like this:
Jobs to do before planting ONE seed
- Make a cup of tea.
- Sort packets of seeds out into date sowing.
- Find seed trays left scattered around the inside of the polytunnel
- Clean and disinfect the afore mentioned trays.
- Find somewhere for the trays to go. Make room.
- Head on down to the local garden centre for some ‘proper’ potting compost
- Be tempted to buy lots of spring bedding at the garden centre but resist temptation.
- Unload the compost and clear are for storage.
- Clear the work area in the tunnel, cleaning and disinfecting the work surfaces, plastic sheeting and patch up the char so the stuffing doesn’t come out of the seat.
- Clear the paths, feed the soil in the beds.
- Clean out the pond (bucket) and collect frog spawn
- Drink more tea.
It’s around this time that the lines get very blurry. I can’t really tell if the last few jobs are really necessary or if I am just procrastinating.
You get the idea though? When something as harmless as a rectangular packet of seeds is put in front of you, it opens up a hundred things you know you should have done or really need to do to make the gardening year a success. Because the whole thing is quite overwhelming I’ve come up with a shorter list to get myself started, one step at a time and all of that. Here’s what I have come up with so far:
- Read back of seed packet as I drink a cup of tea.
I’ll take it from there.
The novelty of wheatgrass growing is quickly diminishing. I’ve now got twelve trays in various stages of growth and am quickly running out of windowsill space to put them on although I try and juice one tray a day there are more coming from the airing cupboard to fill the spaces.
For some reason it’s suggested that it’s not grown in a polytunnel but I’m going to make my own rules up this week and grow them on outside. I’m such a hortirebel.
It’s handy to keep an eye on the trays to make sure they don’t dry out when on the sills but it does make drawing the curtains very difficult. You might think I have gone a bit overboard with the actual tray quantity, and under regular plant conditions I would agree.
In this instance though, large quantities are required to just keep up with Julie’s half a cup a day habit. Out of one tray of the wheatgrass we are getting anywhere between one to four half shot glasses of juice. If we centrifugally extract the chlorophyll in a juicer we get half a shot glass, to manually extract via the masticating method we’ll get around 3-4 half glasses.
A lot of the sales pitches about the trays state you get up to six full shot glasses per tray. All I can imagine is that they use larger trays than us or we have not yet perfected the art of masticating.
The extracted juice is pretty potent though, the smell is divine albeit an acquired one and when it’s being extracted the aroma fills the house. It’s a pity I can’t bottle the smell, I think it’s be a good seller as an eco-perfume.