Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Fields of green

So I have decided to go all organic, and to this end I have recently taken delivery of a range of seeds from an online organic place. I am also awaiting the arrival of an organic potato planter (the potatoes being organic, the planter not so much, presumably). This will enable me to become entirely self-sufficient in terms of potatoes, lettuces and a range of herbs, which I admit is a modest level of self-sufficiency, but at least it's a start.

If I'm honest though, I'm a bit overwhelmed by the seeds, now that they've arrived. A quick summary of what I've received/ordered:

1. A packet of cos lettuce seeds, suitable for growing in window boxes. These are not too complex; I just need to get some window boxes, plant some seeds in a seed tray, and then transfer them to the window boxes, preferably in stages, to extend the period of harvest.

2. A collection of herb seeds; 8 varieties in total. These are a little more complex. Incidentally, I already have a rosemary bush, so if anyone wants some rosemary seeds, you're welcome to them - let me know. But they came as a collection, so I had to take them. Anyway, these herb seeds have more complex needs, and I'm a bit confused by them all. Some get planted straight in the ground, others in seed trays, and so on. But I think I will make a chart or something, and organise myself that way. Hopefully it will all come good.

3. A collection of 'useful plant' seeds; 8 varieties in total. These are plants which attract butterflies and bees and so on. Now this is where it gets very complicated indeed, for some of these are to be planted now, and some in a month, and some as far away as September (for flowering next spring) by which stage my enthusiasm will likely have waned.

4. The aforementioned potato planter and seed potatoes. I think this is quite easy, but it does need a lot of compost.

5. Slug stuff. Organic slug stuff. I have my doubts about this, and have a feeling we'll end up with the little blue pellets that cost 1.99 in Wyse Byse and can treat an entire neighbourhood for months on end, but which are not at all organic and may kill any passing cats.

Obviously these things all come with instructions, but I'm never sure that they work exactly the same way in Belfast as they do, say, in Sussex or wherever they've come from, owing to the different climate and so on. I usually start off well, with seed trays and things, but then either (a) I go on holiday and the seedlings all die or (b) someone stands in the tray and everything flies all over the floor or (c) I plant everything out and the slugs eat it or (d) it all just dies inexplicably, so I'm not being too optimistic just yet.

I will of course let you know how this all works out.

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