Well we’ve been busy in May and at long last a bit of sunshine is bringing everything on a treat. The Ginger and Turmeric are sprouting nicely, the cardamom have grown on another foot and its time to start to bring some of the individual plants together.
Back in March we planted the willow trellises and now they have been trimmed and tweaked again to make a solid support 6 and a half feet tall at the back of the stand. There have been a few setbacks, the first few batches of Friars Hat Chillies just failed to germinate completely. We don’t know if it was just a bit too wet that early or if something else has had a hand in it but with six weeks to go and the chillies only at a couple of inches tall it is anybodies guess where they will eventually fall in the line up. Actually it is going to be a bit of a race for these plants and it’s quite fun setting them off against each other.
Our Grow Your Own Curry stand at Hampton Court was designed to have bands of exotic herbs and spices with the tallest at the back moving forward to low level herbs and dwarf chillies at the front. Originally we estimated that the taller Friars Hats, Lemon Grass and Ginger would be at the back but with such a long, grey winter these tropicals have been slower than expected to get started. There is still more than 6 weeks to go so we are having bets in the nursery on which plants will take the lead over the coming weeks but the Cardamom plants have surpassed themselves at 2 foot tall already with the lemon grass not far behind.
Now that things are growing on though it is time to start the climbing plants up their trellis work. The first batch of malabar spinach are doing really well and have been planted out in the troughs by Debbie this afternoon. 2 out of the 6 background troughs will be filled with these and we noticed that these early seedlings already have signs of their first fruits – we can’t wait to start experimenting with the berries
The Limes are also coming on a treat with a flush of spring flowers. Limes are great in loads of curries and thai dishes and these limes are slightly less ornamental than the normal citrus trees we sell through the website at www.plants4presents.co.uk. They have more of a traditional sapling shape and are the kind of tree that are planted out by farmers in the mediterranean for fruit crops. Perfect then for the Grow Your Own enthusiast these ‘farmers’ limes do need some frost protection but are perfect for a polytunnel or sheltered greenhouse.