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Growing for Showing – Aubergines, Cucumbers… i need a greenhouse

Growing for Showing – Someone somewhere is messing with time.

A few weeks ago everything was calm, everything on time, my best laid plans were ready to be implemented – yet now, as the sun shines, it’s gone crazy.

First of all an update on my show roots. I did sieve a lot of soil for my carrots and parsnips. I ended up digging a couple of trenches two spades wide and two spades deep. That mountain of soil was sieved and riddled to remove the bigger bits and bobs. It was good to see plenty of worm activity in there. Or so the robin thought!
I then bored holes in the soil ( by telling them tales of yesteryear and how once upon a time….!) with a round wooden fencepost to the depth of the two spades. I filled that with a gorgeous mix of finely sieved multipurpose compost, John Innes Number 2 with a sprinkle of superphosphate for good measure and even better roots.  It looked lovely, sounded great as the mix ‘thwumped’ into the holes. Seed on top, vermiculite over that and cloches encasing the whole thing. Sounds good? Yep, I thought so too but nothing is happening yet.

Suttons Cucumber Plugs

Suttons Cucumber Plugs


But the craziness started happening yesterday when my package of aubergine plants arrived. Brilliant – the great looking cell plants were quickly potted up into 4 inch pots of compost after sprinkling some mychorrizae fungi on the roots. Into the propagator they went, next to the ever burgeoning begonias. And then a knock at the door this morning.

Cucumbers got the same treatment. And then I heard the frost warnings that could just nip at the potatoes ( now planted out into bags of finely sieved compost – I’ve done a lot of sieving lately) Fleece is the only answer. But the problem is I ordered the aubergines, cucumbers and tomatoes ( and they can’t be that far away) to grow in a greenhouse. The slight change to my plan is that I haven’t actually got a greenhouse. I do want one, did plan one, but so far have failed to sell anything that isn’t nailed down on a well known online auction site to raise the funds to buy the thing.

So…….windowsills are groaning, trays are being kicked around and an hour ago the indoor washing drier thing made from slatted wood collapsed onto some of the thirty fuchsia plants ( they also arrived last week and are potted up and getting on with it) I have two options. The first is to move. The second is to convince the children that their toys are now

Potted up Cucumbers

Potted up Cucumbers

redundant and are worth selling ( I’ll cut them into the deal of course; 99% for my greenhouse fund and 1% for them to do whatever they want) and explain how much joy they will get from the new greenhouse. Moving might be easier even with tonnes of finely sieved soil.

Oh, one last thing – if you are going to grow something for the show, get your hands on last years schedule for your local show. Just ask a committee member. You can then plan and get into the panic I’m already in.

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