Category Archives: spinach

module moments….

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).

dsc_0329All 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!


dsc_0328We have the odd day of sun, enough to encourage bud break…first up, the almond, peach and apricot…

dsc_0336Speaking 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….

dsc_0119dsc_0054dsc_0166dsc_0146dsc_0327dsc_0198…simply the best!

Watching this week, (on iPlayer): Around the World in 80 Gardens

on with the sow….

There has been more action in the polytunnel.   I’ve been consulting the excellent sowing timeline from Charles Dowding.  It’s a very useful source if you are in the UK and can be downloaded from his website.   So armed with the guide I’ve sown the next tranche of peas in guttering, (again Pea ‘Douce Provence’),

dsc_0016-2Here, I’m not too precise with the sowing; I scatter the pea seed and then push them into the compost.   In the beds, I try a little harder.  First off I do aim to get a finer tilth…

dsc_0024-2and to sow in straightish rows…(for this I use a cane though it is a little skew)

dsc_0029Consulting the timeline I elected to sow spinach ‘Picasso’, (for baby leaves), parsley, (flat ‘Titan’ and curled ‘Darki’), dill and coriander.  Of course, this is the point where I found out I hadn’t got any coriander seed so I’ll pick up some tomorrow.

dsc_0033As the seed of all of these leaves is quite large I do sow thinly – otherwise, it is a waste.

dsc_0035-2dsc_0038The seed is covered over and then watered in and then, very, very important, labelled.

On to the next row.

The lovely OH is nearing completion of the ironwork for the new ornamental garden,well done lovely OH….


hedge planting starts soon and I have ordered some bare root climbing roses – 6 Bathsheba, a new, (2016), introduction from David Austin.  The description of the scent, ‘a superb myrrh fragrance – floral and warm in character, with hints of honey’ sounds delicious!

What’s for dinner?


Sometime ago I attended a talk where a hardened veg grower expounded the thought that any idiot could grow enough to feed a family during the summer/autumn seasons but the real test was whether said idiot could do the same during the hungry months – January to May.  Not only is it too cold for most crops to actually grow outside then, but also harvested supplies of the staples, which if you are organised and have planted the previous summer, are starting to dwindle having reached the end of their shelf lives; (rubbery potatoes? I’ve eaten a few of those in my time).

We have had some good success with clamps  – the beetroot stored really well and we finished them off some 18 months later. The polytunnel will help extend the growing season.  Planning, (my downfall), aka actually planting winter crops, would also help – enormously.  Plenty of scope for improvement.

So whilst I ponder on the fast approaching dearth of produce, I will gather some autumn veg. and rustle up this feast.  The recipe is by Niamh Shields.