Northumberland is extremely hectic at this time of year.
Luckily I’m coping well. I was absolutely delighted to find grow tunnels reduced from £12 to £3 at Wilkos. A VICTORY FOR SOCIALISM.
I’ve got three of them now (I even took on extra work over the week to afford them, assuming they’d be full price, and now the exact things I wanted are reduced. I know this simple fact shouldn’t make me so happy but it does) and I’ve found they’re pretty good – you just take them out of the packaging, lay them flat and then pull on the ropes inside to made them tunnel-shaped, and secure them with pins. They haven’t blown away yet. And if you’re lucky enough to be a fairly small human…
They’re big enough to crawl all the way in! If you’re careful and don’t casually kneel on your seedlings. They’re much better quality than the plastic-covered ones I got a few years back which tore easily and just stored condensation. I’m using them for an ‘experimental’ patch. I took the garlic I’d overwintered out a bit early:
And added in seedlings I’d been growing thanks to various gifts from family members, including tomatillos, tomatoes, cumin, jalapeños and (outside the tunnels), the odd sunflower. So it’ll be fun to see how it all does, I hadn’t been planning on growing any of these things but I have a bit of space, given that most of the parsnips aren’t growing from the very elderly seeds I planted back in March. Which is OK as well, because I didn’t want hundreds of parsnips, not after the Incident*.
The peas, sweetpeas, artichokes and radishes seem to be doing well, and the potatoes got off to a slow start but seem alright now. I’m growing some kind of blue squash in one of the tunnels and so far, it’s not even germinated but we live in hope. Until then, I’m spending a lot of time walking back from the allotment covered in mud, thinking about my upcoming reunion with the family hound:
Normally gardening (and computer games) are the hobbies I use to get away from people and collect and store introvert energy, ready to be converted for my hobbies that require some extrovert energy (namely minority languages, politics and climbing, I have no hobbies beyond these five). However, it’s sometimes nice to give other stuff a go too and I headed down to the Star and Shadow Cinema in Newcastle last month to do a bit of community gardening. It was lots of fun and if I can justify abandoning the allotment (which I usually can), I’m totally going to come back again. Most of what I’ve ever learnt about gardening hasn’t been through books, but from having conversations with people more knowledgeable than me.
*The first time I tried to grow parsnips, I didn’t thin them out and ended up with hundreds of monster parsnips and lived almost entirely on parsnip soup for several weeks. At least they’ve thinned themselves out this time, that was polite of them.