Brusseling Things Along

I planned a trip to the garden centre today. With nothing to plant in my recently cleared third veg trough (of four), and not yet having any herbs for my recently bought VegTrug Herb Table, I needed to do some shopping.

I wasn’t totally happy with this idea, as I do not take the Lockdown lightly, even if our government now seem to. But the local garden centre is open, and I thought the least I could do is drive by and see how busy they were. (Someone later pointed out this is a bank holiday weekend; if I had remembered that, I might not have bothered.)

My plan was almost derailed when – getting ready to go out – a package came through my letterbox – the first of the vegetable plugs I had ordered from Suttons, now about 2 weeks overdue. This was a pack of 21 Brussels Sprouts plugs, so now I did have something for the 3rd trough!

However, I remembered that I also wanted soil and more compost, and herbs for my table, so I got in the car and drove up to Baston. On getting to Waterside Garden Centre, the park was a quarter to a third full, which didn’t seem bad to me, so I parked and went in.

I think that this is perhaps the first time I have walked all around Waterside, because they had rearranged everything – outside and inside – to make it one long continuous one-way route. Sensible, and it certainly worked, but pushing a trolley loaded with soil round parts of the store I wasn’t even interested, with no short-cuts, was frustrating and tiring.

They didn’t have any soil, but I came away with 3 50L bags of soil conditioner, with which I could improve the clay in the 3rd and 4th troughs no end, I picked up some herb plants – a nice rosemary, some sage and a kitchen bay. That is all the herb plants they had, so I also bought some seeds for mint and fennel.

I bought a tray of lettuce seedlings, for trough 4, and some lavender, which will probably go out the front somewhere. And I bought two strawberry plants, because they looked so healthy, and strawberries, right?

See the haul on the left. Katie’s car seat makes a great plant carrier!

Finally, I bought two grow bags, and 6 tomato seedlings. I had great success with these several years back, and I thought why not! They will probably go at the sunny end of the garden by the bottom fence.

I have to admit that the trip round Waterside, and unloading the plants and soil/compost when I got home tired me out, so I broke for a long lunch.

About mid-afternoon, I took a look at the 3rd trough. I had placed some used soil from my abandoned pots and planters in there, and thought it would be decent enough, but the soil conditioner I bought looked even better. But I had a use for the old soil. Out front, my new resin path was bordered with brickwork and the concrete holding this in place was bare and visible. So I carried the excess soil from trough 3 out to the front in buckets, and poured it in the gap. After treading it down, it looked pretty good, and now I just need to wait for the grass to spread into it. I may actually have some grass seed somewhere.

Then another break, and at 8pm, when it was cooler, I added two 50L bags of conditioner to trough 3 and dug it over thoroughly. Then I planted 12 of the Sprout plugs and watered them.

I knew I wouldn’t have room for all of the sprout plugs, so earlier in the day I put 8 of them up on the local area freecycle. I had a taker almost immediately, and he is picking them up (keeping social distancing) tomorrow.

So all in all a day well spent. I’ll have a look at trough 4 tomorrow, because I’d like to get the lettuces planted. Then perhaps the herb table on Sunday.

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