Sowing, potting and planting

With the arrival of some nice spring weather for a bit I’ve been stimulated to get on with sowing seeds, potting on and planting out.

Actually it happens in the other order.  Having had some of the beds ready for a while, the summer broccoli seedlings went into the path bed – all 36 of them! and have been covered with netting to prevent the woodpigeons from attacking them.  As there now seems to be enough food around for them to leave my brassicas alone that netting could come off, but I’ll leave it for a while as there’s nothing else to plant in there till I start thinning the broccoli, planting out lettuce and cucumber and beans and sowing sweetcorn, all of which should happen in May.  The tray the broccoli had started in got sown up with something else, possibly the celery or parsley, which is now nearly ready to pot on.

Last weekend I planted out the kohl rabi and pak choi from modules, and they seem to be doing ok.  The notes I read on pak choi says to protect from temperatures below 10 C to prevent bolting, and as luck has it I remember to put cloches over them on nights that arent too cold then forget on nights where the temperature drops!  Last night I forgot and it was only 9 C at 7 am which means it would have been colder in the early hours.  Well, we’ll just have to eat it before it bolts.  The kohl rabi and pak choi are both next to the broad beans which are coming along well, and the early crop, the Aquadulce is even starting to show flower buds!  I’ll be planting the red kale out in the same bed in a week or so when the second true leaf comes through, then sow the dragon kale in the module vacated by those seedlings.

The cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers that I sowed early have been potted on and are growing splendidly.  I’m not sure where I’m going to grow them all, but it is a bit of an experiment with the peppers and cucumber as I’ve not been that successful with them in the past growing them in pots in my mini-greenhouse, so I’m planning to try some against the wall and some in growbags.  The later tomatoes are sprouting nicely but a couple of weeks away from being pricked out into little pots yet.  I sowed celeriac, french climbing beans, early fennel (for leaves) and more peas (for shoots) in modules and pots this week, and rocket and leaf lettuce in the SE bed which has finally had the netting removed to reveal the spring broccoli in all its glory.  Two tiny heads went in my risotto last night – I just hope the bigger plants produce bigger heads.  I wonder whether broccoli is really worth growing?  But my guinea pigs like the leaves.


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