PAGEY’S SOW & GROW "PATCH" - April
If one beast from the East wasn't enough we have had the sequel !! How is a man / woman supposed to get their veg growing when the weather is mucking us about....Spring is coming , on no it's not etc etc. Well as my wife often tells me , patience is a virtue and no amount of gazing out the window growling at the freezing temperatures , howling winds and flipping snow is going to bring forward my growing plans. A year ago the sun was shinning and we were out sowing like no tomorrow , but you know nature has a way of catching up , and all we need to do is delay our sowing until the climate is ready. Maybe a little more thought into what we grow will give us a better crop in the summer and autumn.
So my onion, shallot , pepper and tomato seeds are doing great in a warm propagator - they need light now more than heat so they don't get leggy ( long stems because they are searching upwards for light ) . They are all about 10cm high and I will pot them on soon.
The spuds are chitting with stems about 2 cm long......they will be ready for planting once the soil warms up a bit. Last year I planted them end of March - this year my clay soil is shivering so I doubt it will be before 2nd or 3rd week in April before they go in the soil.
Last year all my carrots and parsnips were already sown in buckets / barrels. This year I haven't sown any....I will wait another week to see if anymore mad men from the east intend to invade before I sow directly into barrels outside. However when the weather does buck up I will be sowing lettuce , radish , cucumber , Brussels , cabbages and kale in small pots and trays in the warmth. You know the drill - moist seed compost , some warmth , plenty of light - don't let them dry out or drown ! The most important action will be to harden the seeds off outside during the day ( bringing them in at night or if any frost is about ) at the end of April before planting out. Special focus for me will be Melons again this year - we had loads last year. Sow the seeds in April in pots , in a warm environment ( at least 20c ) and pot on in May. They can be planted out mid May earliest , along with butternut squashes and sweetcorn. I am still eating my squashes from last year....roasted in olive oil and cumin..yum !
Ok , lastly , housekeeping...if you are going to grow Brassicas ( cabbage , cauliflower , kale , Brussels etc ) add some lime or calcified seaweed to the soil now ; keep weeding as some of the little devils will flower soon - get as much of the roots out as possible and lastly be patient...wait before you sow when it's nasty out there.
PS....I have about 50 thyme plants from last year ( I let a big thyme plant flower and now my bed is full of young plants ) ...if you want one let me know and it will be yours,
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Every month I will give a short update on what to be doing in your veggie patch. No matter how small a front or back garden, you can grow something edible in pots, tubs or beds. Don't worry about lettuce shortages because of the rain in Spain (tee hee) just sow your own.