I always thought it was better to sow root vegetables direct rather than into modules to avoid root disturbance. Which is why, until now, I’ve always sown beetroot and radish in situ. However as I’m a bit pushed on space in the polytunnel, but want to get ahead, I’ve decided to try sowing in modules and then transplanting out, quite young, in about 2-3 weeks time. This way I’m hoping to minimise the root disturbance. I’ll also direct sow at the tail end of March, weather dependent. My go to guru, Charles Dowding has a video on module sowing here, (it’s excellent).
All the propagators have been moved to the piggery – the light is better there and I’ve started potting on the chillies and tomatoes – so far so good!
We have the odd day of sun, enough to encourage bud break…first up, the almond, peach and apricot…
Speaking of breaks, the lovely OH and I managed to catch the orchid festival at Kew. Fun though the festival was, far more impressive are the collections and the glasshouses….
…simply the best!
Watching this week, (on iPlayer): Around the World in 80 Gardens
Sometimes you think about going out on a limb… trying something new… stepping into the unknown.
In home growing terms this is as simple as picking up a packet of seeds.
Some years back I saw a programme featuring the lovely Alys Fowler; it might have been ‘The Edible Garden’. She extolled the virtues of rat tail radishes; she sold them as a delicious nibble alongside a cold beer.
Well of course we had to try them, and this year we did. We tried them raw; steamed and pickled.
Won’t be growing them again.
We have started to pick the first crops – lovely crunchy red radishes, (Cherry Belle), from the polytunnel and forced pink rhubarb, destined for a rhubarb and ginger crumble pudding tonight. Baby salad leaves will be ready to harvest from the tunnel next week. We have planted up two tubs of first early, waxy salad potatoes in the tunnel to add to the swell of produce.
Also, under cover, pea sticks have been pushed into place and extra seed sown in the gaps. The protected broad beans look green and lush – hopefully the growth will be able to support a bumper crop.
Outside, we have weeded through the alliums, (garlic; onions and shallots), and planted the last of the sets for this year. Tomorrow, weather permitting, we will dig the first trenches and set the bean poles.
In the orchard the almond blossom has started to break…..
I used to be a bit sniffy about mixed variety seed packets. I don’t know why. Perhaps it was because I didn’t know which varieties were included in the mix and I didn’t want to plant any old rubbish that wasn’t top notch on flavour.
I now LOVE rainbow mix packets. They are really useful, especially in small areas where there isn’t enough space to sown several rows, i.e. the polytunnel. Plus the pictures on the seed packets look just like smarties and who doesn’t love smarties? My extensive seed stash includes rainbow mixes of beetroot, radish, chard, bell peppers, and some foils of themed salads (Italian, Californian, Oriental etc.). Most seed companies produce mixed packets or ‘collections’, (the latter usually have the varieties separated), and I suspect quite a lot of thought goes into the selection. In fact the more you look at the seed companies’ offering the more you find, for example Suttons has mixes of runner bean, cauliflower, and kale. Jungle Seeds has a really interesting range; I fancy the ‘beans for drying’ special mix.
On the holding it is still too cold and wet to direct sow outside. Inside the polytunnel the suspended guttering is multiplying. I can’t wait to see it full of veg.