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I am well and truly into gardening, although living in London, in a flat with no garden you are probably wondering what the hell I am going on about. In the absence of that garden I have opted for something else, an allotment. I love my allotment, the excitement of working on something and watching it come into fruition is really exciting and pleasing not to mention quite easy, well the growing of food that is. Over the last 6 months since having the allotment, hubby and I have managed to grow spring onions, pumpkins, tomatoes, carrots, beetroot, potatoes, sweet corn and a few herbs here and there and I am now one of those people who can bore for hours about what I've been growing and what I am going to grow as well as coming over all green and having both a wormery and a composter! Oh yes, I am that bad and anyone who has access to my Facebook page can see my allotment and its produce in full glory!
Not having a garden has been a bit of a bug bear for me and I have had to make do with second best. My interest in growing things comes from my Dad who year after year has grown Rhubarb, vegetables and more recently has little fruit trees growing oranges and lemons and being a Daddies girl, I wanted to do the same. So he bought me this Herb Garden Seed Kit Gift Box for my birthday and in it you can grow six different herbs, those herbs being Basil, Parsley, Thyme, Chives, Coriander and Rocket.
The box itself is quite a sturdy little thing and on the front and side of it you'll find everything you need to know. Alongside the picture of some herbs on the front you'll find on the side of the box are picture diagrams which tell you about the box contents and what you will find when you open it and then hopefully once you have opened it, everything will be present and correct.
The one thing I like about these grow your own kits is that not only are they easily affordable, they come with everything you need to get your food growing started along with excellent instructions on what to do and how to do it. A kit like this one will set you back between £8.99 and £11.99 online, but I have noticed that my local garden centre also sells a huge variety of different grow your own kits which has everything from single vegetables to a complete mini garden, the options are endless and if you are without a garden they are a brilliant alternative because you can grow the produce inside or outside, space to grow them is also needed.
So within this Herb Garden Seed Kit you can find 6 Growing pots, 6 peat blocks and 6 Plant Markers for Sowing along with tips on how to grow and how to look after your plants all inside your box. The 6 growing pots are only to be used to get your plants growing, they are essentially starter pots and after a few weeks of the shoots showing through you will need to upgrade your pots, they are about 3 inches in height and are easy to store on your window ledge in the lounge or the kitchen, which is where mine sit. Once you open your box inside are 6 white packets of seeds, all of which are clearly labeled as to which herb they are. From opening the packets, which you need to do quite carefully, then place the seeds into different pots, each set of seeds needs to go into a different pots, so pay extra care when you are doing this so that you don't mix the seeds up, so at this stage it is probably best to do one set of seeds at a time. Then once your peat block, which looks like mini Frisbees and then once it is settled inside the pot and the correct amount of water has been added, you will see that the peat block has expanded in size and now almost fills the pot, it is at this stage that you add your seeds by placing them directly into the peat, which should now resemble soil and then once you have completed that task you add to the pot one of the white markers, which to me look like collar stiffeners, detailing what it is you have planted in the pot, the date and the time. I am a little over the top with little tasks like this and it is probably because I have read far too many books on how to grow vegetables and plants on my allotment where it always states to add both the time and the date of sowing the seeds.
Completing the task of sowing the six lots of seeds into their relevant pots is not an arduous tasks and might appear easier than initially thought, you do however have to make sure that you haven't added too much water because if you do, the seeds simply wont begin to grow, so this is really the only section you have to be totally careful with. Then once all 6 pots are complete and labeled correctly, set them on your window ledge, preferably with something underneath them and wait for the magic to happen. Your seeds should begin to grow within 2-3 weeks, some start to grow a little quicker than others, so don't feel too worried if this is the case with your seeds, all of the timings given within the instructions are merely approximations, so don't rely on them too much.
As soon as your seeds begin to grow, and to date every time I have used a kit such as this one, the results have been brilliant, it is time to move them into bigger pots and to do this it can be quite fiddly because the shoots will have already settled into their peat and wont like being disturbed too much and when removing them from their current home into a bigger pot you need to make sure you don't disturb the root. So the easiest thing to do is to get a sharp pair of scissors or in my case secateurs and cut the peat put down one side, being careful not to cut through the root and then simply re-pot your seedlings in a bigger pot. Again this grown your own kit is really useful right up to the point of re-potting because they are easy to break up and then you put the left over pot into your composter.
Since having my allotment I have become quite fond of these kits because they are helpful with getting things starting to grow. Once they get to a suitable height or are in need of re-potting into the biggest plant pot I have, it is at that point they go onto the allotment where they can continue to grow and flourish. I have never had a problem with any of these kits; everything I have grown has been successful, whether it has been a vegetable, fruit or herb pot. My next task is growing chillies and a Bonsai Tree using a similar kit as well as a 'Grow your own Tea and Coffee' kit which caught my eye whilst I was doing some Christmas shopping. I have also bought a few kits as presents for green fingered friends and they too have really liked them and have been successful.
So overall I love these 'Grow you own' kits, they are simple, easy to use and produce great results. Everything you need in one box and they are definitely worth giving them a go.