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Seeding times are growing times

Not all seeds are equal and some are easier to get growing than others. The easiest seeds to germinate and ones that you can feel most confident about are radish, peas, beans, brassicas, and flowering plants like sunflower – oh how I long for the sun and the flowers. All these are good plants to get new gardeners going, especially children, as they give quick and easy results, helping to keep the interest and motivation growing.

And if you have an empty bed, or one that you are leaving fallow, another good easy and rewarding task is to grow some manure crops to add some life and vigour to overworked soil. Clover, oats, pigeon pea or soy bean are all good this time of the year.

In normal years, if there is such a thing anymore, October is the time to hustle and bustle and to use all your awareness - watching for the early signs of pests, checking moisture levels of your garden beds, sniffing out any unwanted, unsavoury smells that may suggest rotting or bogging, and tasting whatever you can whenever there is something to enjoy.

Now the water is receding a little around here, (for how long I don’t know), the weeds are starting to pop up – not even that deluge seems to be able to drown those pests that suck so much away from your main crop. So wherever you see them as you wander around enjoying the garden, pull them out before they set seed. Throw whatever is suitable into a bucket of water and drown them for a few weeks and use the liquid to help fertilise your plants. Weeding also help make the garden look tidier, which is a reward in itself. Is this another job for the children?

And surely tomatoes need to go in now, and remember that they love lots of basil around them, and both are great to harvest and enjoy together in soups, pasta, rice, bruschetta and salads – everything!

And even though I have already mentioned sunflowers, they are worth it, and will lighten and brighten your life in no time, a little something to look forward to.

And keep mulching. When the sun comes, which I hope it does soon, you don’t want the soil to dry out.

But most important, and above all else, as always, enjoy!