Friday 27 March 2020

Don't "Panic" Plant

Seed companies have been selling out of seed or having huge orders that they can't cope.

Seeds from America!
I've seen lots of Tweets on Twitter and other sources of people growing gardens while they're in quarantine or lock down. Something I actively encourage as there might be predicted shortage of certain veg later int he year in the UK due to labour shortages as mentioned in my last post.

But I've also seen lots of people panic planting to accompany the panic buying.  When you're worried about the food chain it's the logical thing to do, especially when stuck at home.

Trouble is we've had a few warm March days that feel a bit like summer so some people have tried to sow everything. I've seen people planting French and Runner beans already - Even if you're worried about the future sowing things too early won't always mean you'll get an earlier crop. At worst you'll loose the plant to frost and at best you'll keep it alive through lots of care and effort.

Plants planted later normally catch up. It's taken me the best part of 20 years to realise this and I still fall into the same trap every year but I have different ways of beating the system that sometimes work!

Of course it all depends where you are in the country (or world) and what methods you have for growing. A polytunnel or greenhouse will certainly mean you can grow more at an earlier time but they're still not free from frost yet (unless they're heated).

But there is still plenty to plant at this time of year and we've been sowing like crazy as well as trying to fight the mice for it.

lots of peas sown here! from about 10 varieties! 

So far here we've planted in the greenhouse:

Broad Beans,
Some herbs,
Onion sets (although these should be outside I just don't have the bed ready)

And in the garden we have planted:
Garlic (these were planted last year),
Potatoes (risky early ones that I'll cover)
Carrots (again covered)

And for a bit more warmth on a windowsill or heated propergator we have:
Tomatoes (lots)
Chilli and sweet peppers (sown in January under grow lights),
Cucumbers (for an early crop in the polytunnel)
A few herbs,

I'm sure there is loads I've missed off this list but there is also lots we don't grow here for one reason or another (celeriac as my wife hates it is one example and I don't like aubergines much).  But my main purpose is just to say don't rush, plants grow in a cycle that can only be pushed so far.

There is still plenty to do in the garden and lots to get ready. Lets hope with more people growing their own this year that they continue to do so for the love of it.


  1. You are so right about not panic planting.
    I'm really interested to see how many people are spending more time gardening because they are stuck at home. I wonder if this interest will last once we are "liberated". I do hope so. Even looking at it short term there should be some much improved gardens this year.

  2. I'm despairing as I can't get my pepper seeds to germinate, they are in the propagator, normally I'd just catch up with some plants from somewhere later.

  3. Sown a short row of lettuce, radish and beetroot. Covered by fleece then a sheet of Perspex raised by 2” on top of the fleece. I shall check every few days for dryness and germination. Time will tell.

  4. It is tempting to sow outside now, because it's sunny and warm, I have a few things in the greenhouse, but most of my seeds are still in their packets, I'm waiting a couple of weeks more.

  5. I hear folks talk about a new normal, I wonder if that includes an annual garden. I was glad that I got my seeds early this year.

    We've been having a mild spell this month as well, and oh, the temptation to get those warm weather veggies in the ground! On the other hand, we go from cool to hot pretty quickly, so I don't plant many cool weather plants this time of year either. All too often they bolt quickly because of the heat.

  6. The demand is so great that have had to close for a while to catch up. A garden centre by me had a bloke come in 2 weeks ago and buy almost every seed. A lot of people are seeing weaknesses in the food supply chain. Suddenly they are realising that things aren't so assured after all. The amount of friends I have had ask me about growing veg is astonishing.

  7. Hi Kev, greetings from Pennsylvania USA. The other day I was feeling a bit panic stricken and my daughter (23) said come on let's go plant some seeds in containers. Well it really did help. It was great to be out, and as of today things are sprouting indoors. I love your blog and your family is just adorable. Take care and keep up the great work you are doing. Stay well. Barb


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