Growing melons

This year, one of the new crops we’ve tried out has been melons.

We planted Sutton’s Musk (F1 Emir) melon seeds from the James Wong collection – and grew the seedlings on in our greenhouse. The pack says these melons will grow in the UK without a greenhouse but as we had space in ours, and our garden gets a fair bit of wind, we thought they’d do better inside it.

And today we harvested our first melon. We have about another 10 nearly ready, and more coming on. This first one was very sweet and tasty, so melon growing seems to be a success.

Free fertiliser…

There are many benefits to living in Carlingcott – the rolling hills, lovely neighbours… and the cow farm over the road which gives a year-round supply of fantastic manure for our garden!


We’re stocking up again for a second year with manure that we’ll plant our squashes and pumpkins into. They can withstand its potency at the moment, and by next spring it will have rotted down enough for us to dig into the vegetable beds.

Free fertiliser – what more could you ask for? 😀


Wild garlic pesto lunch

There is an abundance of wild garlic growing around us at the moment – event if you don’t recognise the plant, you can’t miss the potent smell when out for walks.

We picked some while we were walking Arthur this morning and David made a tasty wild garlic pesto for our lunch. Yum!

All you need is:

– two handfuls of wild garlic leaves
– a handful of hard cheese. The parmesan that is really cheap in Lidl is ideal.
– a handful of pine nuts
– a good generous slosh of olive oil

Bung the lot together in a blender and give it a whizz. You can add more olive oil if its too dry. Then mix through pasta (David follows his Italian Grandma’s recipe and makes his own which is fantastic!) and add any other ingredients you want. Voila!



*If you freeze the leaves you can make pesto with hazelnuts from the hedgerow instead of expensive pine nuts in the autumn.

Vegetable sowing is a go!

It has been so cold, and so dark, and so wet, that we’ve barely considered getting our vegetable seeds into the ground. However, despite what the weather might be saying, it is March, so we bought everything into the warm house instead and potted up on the kitchen table.

We’ve got our first load of tomatoes, chillis, peppers, aubergines, and our herbs in – everything that will be bought on in the greenhouse initially. It still feels too cold to be planting outside – that will wait another week!

We used the spreadsheet we put together in January to make sure we didn’t miss anything. We also had all of the seeds ready filed in our new seed box that David’s mother gave us for Christmas, which will make successional sowing easier this year.

I picked up these great seed trays in the garden centre when they were on half price, they allow you to take out individual pots and make transplanting a doddle. Last year we ended up breaking some of the delicate little seedlings because the trays we used allowed all of their roots to tangle, but these should make a big difference.