Monday 23 March 2015

Sowing salads in pots

Being early spring, the veg garden is still rather bare while seeds work their magic underground and indoors in the propagation houses.

My colleague in charge of the vegetable garden is very keen for it to look always at its best and interesting for the visitors, so at this time of the year he starts some salads in pots. I first noticed them in the little greenhouse back in February.

3 February, veg pots in the greenhouse
I had never seen compost surface so smooth, pots so cleanly and perfectly sown. So I mentioned it to my colleague when I started working in the veg garden, and he eventually taught me how to make them look so beautiful.

With compost in a barrow, he adds some fertilizer and mixes it in. Then he scoops the compost into the pots, scrapes away the extra compost with a flat stick, then presses the compost down slightly. At this point, he waters the pots thoroughly, until water runs from the bottom. Then he scatter-sows his salad seeds. Finally, he sieves 0.5 cm compost on top of the seeds, and leaves until germination.

When it gets warmer, you have to be careful that the surface does not dry out and cracks, because that is in the way of the seedlings to emerge. A spray bottle with a fine spray is used to keep the surface moist in such cases.

The different phases of sowing in pots

On emptying the pots to make the new sowing, I got to take some of the previous sowing's mustard home: that was a delicious stirfry...

... and, as predicted by my colleague, a few days later the brassica salad came out in the warm weather (the lettuce being a bit slower) and it was oh so exciting!

New salads sowings

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