I really cannot believe the weather. Is it spring? Is it winter? Am I still in the UK? I know, we’re all in the same boat, but really! Only days ago I sowed lots and lots of seeds including tomato, annuals for the flower beds and various small quantities of vegetables in the greenhouse. Fortunately I have the conservatory for the tomatoes and other tenders that need a bit of warmth. But after last years’ bad start with late cold and the dry spring, then monsoon conditions for the summer I was frustrated. My first year here and everything was delayed, including the building of my greenhouse. Now snow and appallingly cold winds are keeping temperatures down and nothing will germinate until they rise.
Farmers are already looking at a late start and a prediction of rising prices, and no wonder after last year. I will do what I can to grow as much as I can, and everyone would be wise to do the same. If this crazy weather continues who knows what food shortages there could be. There are plenty of examples in history of entire civilisations being wiped out because of climate changes. As we now have a global economy, (which is in admittedly in very bad shape right now) you’d hope things won’t come to that, but food shortages mean hardship financially, and we can all help ourselves by growing more of our own. Even beansprouts on the windowsill are a saving and add some extra vitamins and minerals to your diet.
If you have a windowsill, you can grow beansprouts, radish, herbs, various sprouted seeds, cut and come again baby salad and even a tomato in a hanging basket if the windowsill is in a sunny position. More possibilities are open to those of you with a balcony or yard. Container fruit and vegetables would enhance the space and save you money. There has never been a better time to grow more of your own and be less reliant on outside supplies.
In the greenhouse, I’ve planted four or five new potatoes of different varieties in old compost bags rolled down. The bags will be filled gradually with more compost as the potatoes grow. As temperatures warm they can easily be moved outside, so making way for the tomatoes. I should have the treat of some new potatoes, freshly harvested and NOT costing me a fortune for the privilege! If you want to try this it’s very easy to do. Just ensure you’ve pierced the bag several at the bottom to allow drainage.
Thank goodness for the wood-burning stove, too, as it’s saved us a fortune. As you know, we’ve been burning old telephone directories, trees we’ve felled from the previously neglected garden and salvaged scrap wood. It has meant keeping the thermostat turned about three degrees down from the temperature we’d have needed without the stove.