Tuesday, 19 February 2008

February seeds

Today was seed planting day (2 days before full moon) or rather it started off as reseeding some of the January plantings. This time of year is some what challenging when it comes to seeds. Firstly there is the heat that dries out the seedbeds very quickly. In January I put shade cloth over the seeds & covered the area with old sheets. It worked very well with excellent germination. I took away the covers; everything looked great until the blackbirds decided they fancied digging in the damp soil. They dug up and destroyed all the seedlings along one side so I replanted and covered the reseeded area with racks. So then naturally they dug up the other side. Time to get serious so today that side was replanted. The parsnips, some carrots, chard, chicory and beetroot where replaced and now the whole bed was covered with bird netting. If the cool change does not come tomorrow I will cover it during the day with sheets to keep the moisture up.

So now it was time to plant this months seeds. The other challenge at this time of the season is finding space, a bed growing bush beans which had produce early and now on the wane was cleaned up and Lauren, my able assistant/student (University of Life).then prepared the bed and planted the swedes, parsnips carrots, lettuce, kale, spring onions, Earliball cabbage, endive, arugula ,turnips and kohi rabi. The polly pipe frames where then erected and bird netting protection added to give the seeds a good start.

Harvest at present is dominated by beans, bush beans like redland pioneer, amethyst, borlotti, and climbers, I planted lots of climbers, my main trellis is made from a bike wheel and string but I’ve found some of last years plum prunings made neat trellises for the zebra, purple king, blue lake and some small black bean seeds to grow on. But the kings of them all are the scarlet runners they grow so big yet are so tender. The carrots & parsnips are also at their best while the tomatoes, cucumbers and greens are all providing a valuable addition to the daily diet. So much flavour!

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