Tuesday 31 May 2011

Succession sowing: yeah!

For the first time in four years I have managed some succession sowing, so I should be sorted with salad leaves most of the summer.

In April I had sowed some misticanza leaves in one of my two plastic "tents" for protection. By the time I came back from holiday in mid-May, they were ready to pick, and - hoping they might be cut and come again (the packet did not say) - I cut about a fifth of them leaving about 1 cm at the soil level, instead of pulling them out. Just to be sure in case they would not come again, though, I also sowed some into the other tent and...

Yeah! They did come back, so - as I picked another fifth - the first one is regrowing. In addition to that, the other bed is starting to germinate right now, two weeks on. This is great, and the first time I manage to do it successfully.

Pity I have not managed to do the same with rocket (it did not come up for two months and is just starting now to germinate, quite erratically) or radish (it bolted rather than swell at the root). I will leave both to self-seed. Last year leaving poorly germinated rocket to self-seed was the best thing I did, as it came back with a very decent crop the second time round, more or less September time. However that is not enough: I want more. If I manage to go a bit more often to the plot now, I will try some more direct sowing.

Wednesday 18 May 2011

It's been forever!

I have not written for the best of a month, what with my exam and - after that - some longed-for holidays.

The plot is not in bad shape, probably because it did not rain so much as to set the weeds on rampage (not even nettles!), but just enough to get the crops going.

Yesterday I picked a meter -ong asparagus, that was not even too woody all considered, and there is salad ready for next time I manage to pop in. The pumpkins I had planted out just before going away got frosted on their first night out but have done very well after that, and I will not praise enough the rather rough "Botanico" small growhouses I bought on Greenfingers.com (apparently no longer in stock :( ) which have turned out to be deeply loved by the seedlings (or maybe it's just the position they are in, under some blackthorns that shade them a bit).  Most seedling are in perfect shape, not least because of the precious help of lovely Carol, who has taken care of my greenhouses while I was away.

Hubby's plot has a pretty grassed area covered in Veronica persica: speedwell (which I have always known before today as little Virgin Mary's eyes, as my mother used to call it), and Leuchantemum vulgare: oxeye daysies.

Looking forward to a summer of gardening, now.