Monday, March 04, 2024

Letter from home

Long time blog readers - I hope you noticed I did not complain about it being February when it was February. 

Please give me credit, because this morning I woke up from thick heavy dreams and felt low. I am not sure why. I think it’s about the usual - the state of the country, the state of the world, Gaza. 

It also might be to do with feeling old. Sometimes it creeps over me. Or maybe it’s my sinuses? [Later: I became ill that night so obviously the low feelings were physical.]

But the freezing fog we woke up to soon cleared and I realised that the best medicine was to make myself a flask of coffee and go up to my thinking spot above the village.

I used to go there with a flask during lockdown, and the habit has stuck. I always feel better for it. 

Yesterday I got the pots ready to plant my sweet pea seeds, and as some of you have asked me how I grow them I took some photos.

I use a peat-free compost designed specifically to grow seeds in, such as these…

I save loo roll insides throughout the winter and use large yoghurt cartons with holes punched in the bottom. Sweet peas need tall pots.

If I have enough loo rolls I put two in each pot, but I usually don’t have enough. It still works well. The loo rolls separate the roots so when you take the seedlings out if the pots to plant them, the roots don’t get damaged.

Today I’ll put in the seeds (no more than 3 to a pot) and move the trays of pots to the bedroom windowsills.

When a seedling has at least 4 leaves on it I nip off the growing shoot which makes the plants bush out. I keep nipping out the growing tips until I plant them out. They need hardening off before planting. I usually plant them out towards the end of May, but it’s cold in the Peak District. If you’re in warmer climes and the seedlings are big enough it might be OK plant them out sooner. In my experience they are not susceptible to frost.

As an envoi, here’s a poem I came across lately that you might like.

Onward and upward, dear friends. Cheeringly the greeting cards I had printed to sell and raise money for the UNICEF appeal for Gaza are selling so well I’ve had to order some more.

These two have been the most popular 

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