Sunday, 2 May 2010

The Adventures of a Reluctant Gardener

Before I start this post, I should point out that I am definitely not a gardener, much to the dismay of my mother and my grandparents. Both my grandfathers were fanatical gardeners. My mum’s father in particular was more than a little obsessed. His green fingers rubbed off on my mum, my dad enjoys growing a bit of veg, but this interest never really extended to me. I imagine that when I buy a new pot-plant for my office, the plant in question must consider my reputation for horticultural neglect as a death sentence. 


This has nothing to do with not wanting to get my hands dirty. Just because I like painting my fingernails, it doesn’t mean I’m afraid of getting a little dirt under them. In fact, this is me at 18 months old, covered in grime and gathering water from the drain. 



I have no idea why I was doing this, but for now we’ll just say it was to facilitate the making of a soapy mud pie. I made a mean mud pie! Anyway, as someone who considers themself a cook, I thought it might be time to try growing something. Something edible. Inspired by a recent episode of the BBC’s ‘The Edible Garden’ I decided to try growing some pea-shoots. Despite a friend commenting that growing pea-shoots was my attempt at being a poncy chef, I honestly just chose to grow them because it looked like the easiest thing possible. Considering my previous form for killing plants, if I forget to tend to them every single day, they’ll probably still grow. I don’t know how they’ll turn out, but this is how I went about sowing my seeds:


You’ll need either a window box or a large, wide pot with holes in the bottom for drainage.



You might also want the company of a large, manic cat. This isn’t essential though. Any domestic animal will do.



Fill your pot or window box with potting soil/compost. Using a floral trowel in colours that match your nail polish isn’t mandatory, but it does make for a more pleasant experience. Yes, I did buy the trowel especially for this project. What of it?



Next, you’ll need a box of dried peas. Another reason I was drawn to growing pea-shots is that I knew I could grab a box of dried peas in the corner shop, rather than having to go to a garden centre to buy something gardeny. Lazy gardening indeed.



Spread the peas evenly over the top the soil. It doesn’t matter if they’re not well spaced or touching each other. We’re harvesting the shoots, not the pods. Apparently. 



Push the peas down into the soil and water thoroughly. That reminds me, if I happen to start doing more of growing vegetables thing, I must buy a prettier watering can. 



Now, just leave the pot in a warm, sunny place and water regularly. In three weeks I should have the trendiest salad leaves in the land. 



I shall keep you updated. While out looking for a window box today (which I didn’t find) I also bought some chilli pepper seeds. According to the packet, I may be a little late in sowing them, but I might still give them a try. And now I must rest. Gardening is so stressful!



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