Many hands make light work

When I took on my allotment I was filled with excitement. My imagination running away with itself, picturing all the vegetables growing, my family popping along and helping themselves to the fresh delicious produce, the sun glowing a rich golden-yellow just above the fence line…Over the last year or so, I’ve tried to impart this dream to my son who’s 9. It’s great having a little helper up at the plot. He likes getting muddy, loves nature and creepy crawlies, can spend ages digging for treasure (broken pottery) and is a top class bug hut builder. I was delighted today to see the sun shining so we headed along to the allotment to get some general tidying up done.

The main jobs were to bag up the old and dead pampas grass I’d pulled out a few days ago, to check on the garlic, hunt for new spring flowers growing in nature corner and to scoop out the little nature pond. As these were not the fun and exciting kind of jobs my son likes, I got stuck in and made him head photographer instead.

Pampas

Pampas

Pond in need of scooping

Pond in need of scooping

Eyes shut

Eyes shut

New shoots

New shoots

Just as we were leaving I decided to take a few cuttings off the Rosemary plant I have. I’ve been reading about growing new herb plants from cuttings so I thought I’d give this a try. The Rosemary I have in the allotment grows well throughout the year, so cuttings should grow well regardless of the time of year they’re taken. Sprigs in hand, we headed back to get them prepared for planting.

Preparation is the key to success

Preparation is the key to success

Pots filled, I laid the rosemary out ready for us to start removing leaves from the stem and to find an appropriate node to cut below. Before I knew it my son walked past me selected the biggest sprig, popped it straight into a pot and said “mines done”. Guess he’s a no fuss kind of gardener!

I’m a bit more fussy so I prepped and potted the remaining sprigs.

Planting Rosemary cuttings

Planting Rosemary cuttings

Potted up

Potted up

The last job of the day was to check on the seeds I planted last week. I have to say I’m really encouraged with their growth rate so far – 14 out of the 16 cauliflower seeds I planted have germinated. The marigolds have sprouted up too, so everything has been moved to the window to get as much light as possible. While checking out Instagram this week (I love seeing everyone’s allotment pictures) I noticed a post about surrounding seedlings with tin foil. The aim being to reflect as much light as possible back onto the newly growing seeds, thus preventing the legginess and encourage them to grow straight. What a fantastic idea! Ever keen to try new things I whipped out the foil and built a tin wall.

Tinfoil surrounding seedlings

Tinfoil surrounding seedlings

I’m really looking forward to seeing if this technique actually works, if it does I’ll have to add tinfoil to my stockpiling list!

I’ve loved having my son helping me today, I think it’s really important to have an understanding of what great results hard work can get you, and how working together makes the boring jobs a little more fun.

What’s more, I’m sure he’ll be as proud as punch when his rosemary grows and he can say “I grew that”

Rosemary ready to grow

Rosemary ready to grow

4 thoughts on “Many hands make light work

    • Thanks very much! I’m doing a bit of trial and error with the foil. At the moment I’ve got the foil wall around the back and sides of the pots. So far, the seedlings at the back have straightened up but the ones at the front are still leaning slightly to the window. Im considering making the foil more like an enclosure so it’s the whole way round. Perhaps the seeds will think they’re off on an intergalactic mission being surrounded by so much silver!

      Like

  1. Thanks very much gardening hands. Think I might be developing a little obsessive compulsive collecting disorder! Tubs, containers, plastic bottles, inner tubes from loo roll…basically anything you can get compost and seeds into will never make it to the recycling bin ever again! Love the courtyard pictures on your blog, no wonder they won first prize. Good luck with your growing adventure.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s