The frost and nippy weather has seen the garden remain quiet over the winter. As now is not the time to do outdoorsy stuff, Abbey Community Centre decided to demonstrate how to grow cress indoors. The process is simple, explained our garden volunteer, Enza. All you need is a wide, flat bottomed glass container and some soaked kitchen towel to line the bottom. The cress will take root in this. Enza explained that the soaked tissue needs to be flat and without creases to stop the seeds from getting trapped and disappearing. It is also important to use a water spray with a fine mist to water the seeds. Enza explained this is because the seeds are very small and a strong jet will push the seeds around – preventing it from taking root. To sow, the group scattered the seeds over the tissue, giving each its’ space and placed the prepared vessel in a sunny spot. You can then watch as the seeds open and develop into shots of green! Within a week of sowing and regular watering with a fine spray – 2 to 3 times daily – you will have a crop of cress that is about 4cm tall – and ready to eat! If you are going to try this at home do make sure you check that the seeds you buy are suitable for indoor growing!
The group also had a go at sowing garlic. There are different types of garlic with different names. Our group used ‘Tuscany Wight’ seeds sourced from a garlic farm on the Isle of Wight. To sow, the group removed some of the peel and pushed the flat end – the root part – into a bedding of compost in a 10-cell punnet. Enza explained that garlic adapts to the soil so it is a good idea to use the same type each time.
To round off the planting, Enza finished with sowing some flower seeds called Cosmos . Everyone took 3 or 4 seeds and carefully scattered them in individual cells of the 10-section punnet. It was promised that a flower show will be arranged for the spring when all the garden activity of the winter will be on sale to help raise money for the centre.