I’ve decided that it’s time to start sowing seeds. January has almost passed and although there is still a bit of morning snow on the ground, my trusty books and seed packets advise me that you can show seeds under cover in these winter months.
I decided to plant some cauliflower in small pots, cabbage in modules, broad beans in a large piece of guttering and peas in the small piece of guttering. The guttering (with drainage holes) allows easy transplanting with minimum root damage and will be kept in the greenhouse. The cauliflower and cabbage are resting nicely on a south facing window sill as I doubt they will germinate otherwise!
Where possible, I get my seeds from Chase Organics, The Organic Gardening Catalogue. You pay a few pennies more per packet, but it is worth it for me to support non GMO and non chemical growing practices. I had great success from last years’ seeds, so fingers crossed this year!!
A couple of years ago I sowed some red hot poker seeds; I planted the seedlings and thought they had died. I do believe that my wild flower bed/alpine bed/perennial spinach bed can now boast a red hot poker! It has popped up from nowhere; just like the foxgloves 🙂
The poppies have landed this year in my partner’s garden! How beautiful they look overtaking the lawn-to-be. I’m a great lover of pesky ‘weed’ flowers like poppies and forget me nots. There is something magical in letting nature be in control! 🙂
I absolutely love onions and leeks so decided to try my luck and plant some in November in my 2014 root bed (as it won’t need manuring) in hope that they will be ready in March. It is May now and they are big enough to harvest! (Phewf!).
I’ve decided to harvest them now before they go to seed and/or rot in the ground. We have had a spell of heavy rain which has swollen them but also could encourage rotting.
They taste delicious! 🙂
I have failed before with brassicas from not listening to fellow allotmenteers and just planting willy nilly. Brassicas are susceptible to so many pests and diseases so taking care in the planting stage always pays off.
I was given my brassica seedlings off various fellow allotment friends so I have a mixture of cabbage and broccoli I believe! Suprise crop 🙂
Lime the soil a week or so before planting. Brassicas thrive with an alcaline pH and will prevent diseases such as club root. I’m sure there are more organic ways of doing this, but I got given some lime and let the rain sink it in.
Firm ground is important with brassicas. I believe a firm soil helps the roots stay in place and keeps the brassica strong.
(The dibber was useless- trowel needed)
A small piece of Rhubarb stem or two apparently prevents club root so I put a bit in each small hole with some Compost (to give the roots a head start).
Planting up to the first strong leaf will ensure your brassica are supported and strong. Otherwise I guarantee you will end up with spindly brassica growing to the side due to the wind etc.
One must firm the ground again after planting for the reasons outline above and heel the surrounding soil once to create a channel for water to sit and soak in. This is also important due to the soil structure you have created through stomping. Water will sit on top and be slowly absorbed. The ‘heeling’ will guarantee a water channel for water to be absorbed neer the stem and roots.
So, there you have it. All you need is some builder’s netting to prevent butterflies laying (cabbage whites)!