Saturday 14 February 2009

How do you get salad seedlings to grow into proper heads?

Mid-winter crop updates

It was good to go back after two weeks and the weather was also decent enough. Understandably not many people around, only Geoff and me: a usual winter weekend.

While outside it is still pretty much frozen, the greenhouse thermometer recorded -5 to 30 degree centigrades since the last time I was there. However, nothing has really changed: no sign of either mushrooms or the chitted potatoes I planted in there a while ago, so I decided to put the space to a better use by trying to plant over the potatoes with quick crops.

As the Winter Gem salad seedlings were still the same size as a month ago, I decided that the only chance they might have to grow was transplanting, so I put them in pots. Plus, I have planted the remaining seeds on half the potatoes' bed and the other half of the bed I have planted with Rapa Bianca Lodigiana - white turnips from Lodi, the nearest biggish town to my family's in Italy.

There are several vegetables that can be planted in February, so I have washed some pot trays I got for free at Homebase last year (they throw them away, but seem to work very well for this purpose!) and planted chilli and aubergine, with some hollyhock seeds I got from a plant some three years ago, which are a bit old so they might not germinate.

I suspect there will be a lot more to do next week around the allotment and the garden at home, as I am expecting a few deliveries from my online orders!

P.S. This week we watched the last episode of Victorian Farm on BBC2. I will miss it. I learned a few things - for example that with water, soap and elder leaves you can make an insecticide for black fly and that comfrey, tallow fat and beeswax make an ointment for animal sores. I wish I could live a little bit more like that...

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