Early this morning I woke to sun streaming through the window, squinting my eyes to adjust to the light the warmth on my face felt good. I stood at the window for a while, taking in energy from the sun as I viewed our garden from above.
I made a mug of tea and checked on the seed trays (as you do). Tomato seedlings are growing strong and I could just make out signs of life pushing through the soil in the chilli tray. I’m pleased to have tomatoes and chillies on the grow but I will wait a couple of weeks at least before sowing anything else, the weather is set to turn colder.
A sullen wintry sky returned by early afternoon, along with the promise of heavy rain, gales and sleet for the weekend.
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on March 21, 2013
Ever since the hose pipe ban came into force on April 5th it hasn’t stopped raining. At times the rain has been very heavy, sometimes hail, making gardening tasks and allotment visits virtually impossible to carry out. Seed sowing outside is a definite no-no here at the moment, the soil is saturated and cold. But, my garden is thriving in other areas, everything is leafing up and looks green and lush. I’m not in any hurry to sow outside anyway, there’s plenty of time and everything will catch up eventually.
Besides, if you’re really lucky, like me, and you have a warm glass greenhouse in your garden (or at your allotment), I’m sure you have taken the opportunity to escape the heavy rain and banish ‘gardening blues’ by pottering about inside it. As a boredom buster, try sowing some coriander and rocket in pots, or edible flowers such as Calendula to brighten summer salads or the veg plot. They come up really quickly undercover. Potting on seedlings is another task that I enjoy doing inside my greenhouse, as I listen to the rain battering down on the glass roof I appreciate my greenhouse even more.
Speaking of seedlings, cosmos are coming along well and looking really healthy, peas are coming up, also kale, sweet corn, Swiss chard, coriander and alpine strawberries. Sprouts and summer sprouting broccoli have been potted on, also foxglove seedlings – one of my favourite flowers.
According to the news we’re on course for the wettest April on record (although still officially in the middle of a drought!), flood alerts have been issued in some places. What a difference to last year, hottest April on record! Mind you, water-butts are filling up nicely, this time last year it was a real chore to get everything watered and prevent trays of seedlings from being scorched. Everything seems to be thriving in my greenhouse.
From the amount of photographs in this post I think you can probably guess where I’ve been spending a great deal of time lately. I hope you’re enjoying greenhouse or windowsill gardening if the weather is bad where you are.
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on April 26, 2012
We are harvesting young carrots at the moment and very pleased with the results, no forked or odd shaped carrots to be found. Yet! We are growing Autumn King this year and decided to leave the job of thinning the seedlings until the carrots were a decent size. This way we can munch our way through young tender carrot thinnings whilst leaving the rest in the ground to mature until autumn time. No waste!
How are your carrots coming along, which variety are you growing and do you also eat the thinnings rather than throwing them away?
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on July 13, 2009
The Tom Thumb butterhead lettuces now have 5 leaves, growing well but desperately in need of thinning and transplanting. Their little root systems are quite well developed so yesterday I set some time aside and got to work. This is how the rows looked before I started:
I transplanted as many of the seedlings as I could into rows in a neighbouring empty bed.
Seeing as there were quite a few left over once the spare bed was planted up, I decided to intercrop some of them with the cauliflowers.
Hopefully this will work well. They all have plenty of space to put on growth and heart up. I’m not worried about a bit of slug damage or the odd loss, most of these lettuces are being grown to feed the hens anyway hence why there are so many. The very scrawny seedlings left over after I had finished thinning , transplanting and intercropping were fed to the hens and devoured in seconds. Nothing is wasted around here!
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on May 29, 2009
Just a quickie update on the vegetable garden, sowing, seedlings and digging. We are still sowing like the clappers, all the seeds are germinating well so far, still waiting on the courgettes to make an appearance but so far so good.
Tomatoes and chillies have been sown and the tomatoes have already started to sprout. Runner beans will be started off in small pots this weekend, I don’t want to get caught out with a late frost or risk having the seed beans munched in the soil like last year.
The sprouts and cauliflower seedlings are doing very well outside in the mini greenhouse, some of the seedlings have their first set of true leaves. I have started off a second sowing of broad beans, the other plants are outside and doing well, even in the frost. We did lose some of the taller plants, but, I think that was my fault for allowing them to go too stringy before planting them out. We had to start the broad beans indoors because none of the vegetable beds were ready for planting.
The sweet corn seedlings are really doing well on the sunny windowsill, they will be planted out as soon as the risk of frost is over. The onion sets are coming along great as well as the garlic. No major dramas so far.
The vegetable garden is coming along slowly but we are getting there. We are still having a hell of a battle with nettles on the second half of the plot. Our very friendly neighbour asked us why we don’t just spray the blighter’s and be done with it, I politely answered that we want to be as organic as we can, otherwise what is the point? We may as well not bother trying to grow our own if we are going to pump the soil full with nasty stuff. He probably thinks we are barmy of course and cannot see the point in us out there, every spare hour we can grab, digging like crazy people possessed.
Anyhoo, we now have 5 lovely vegetable beds all fed with lovely well-rotted manure and organic compost, ready to nurture our seedlings and sowings. Oh, that reminds me, must get the carrots, beets, peas and parsnips in soon!
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on April 3, 2009
I love sowing seeds and waiting for them to germinate, be it vegetable or flowers it doesn’t matter, I find the waiting equally as rewarding. The sign of life within the soil, a little green seedling looking for the light. I’ve had a bash at sowing sweet corn, all the seeds germinated and the young seedlings are looking nice and healthy so far. I cannot wait to plant these out once the danger of frost is over. The height, the flowers, the crop that these seedlings hopefully will bring is very exciting to say the least. My mouth waters just thinking about it. Sweet corn is wind pollinated, planting in blocks rather than rows will increase the chances of successful pollination.
Other sowings this week have been tomatoes, courgettes and chillies, now cooking away in the propagator. Our chillies did reasonably well last year, although they refused to redden until brought inside. Sprouts and cauliflower are doing well in the outside mini greenhouse. Runner beans are next on the list for sowing as well as peas, beets, carrots and parsnips.
So far I have resisted buying in vegetable seedlings whilst browsing around mums local (and very reasonable) nursery. Who knows, it could all go boobies up and I may need to rush back there after all.
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on March 28, 2009