Driving winds, rain and waterlogged soil rather curbed our ability to do much outside over the long Easter weekend. The lack of a completed bed is starting to become a bit of a worry for the peas and, especially, the broad beans, but what can you do about the weather except complain? Better weather is forecast for later this week, and one good evening should see the first bed dug and levelled. After this, it’ll be a fire-fighting action to get as much organic compost incorporated into the top few inches of the soil before we finally get something planted out.
Fortunately, the summer cabbages sown at the end of February have been a bit slower to grow than the beans, and were only ready for pricking out this weekend. Interestingly, the seeds sown together in the tray (right of picture) performed substantially better than those in the modules (on the left). This, coupled with the struggle in getting the seedlings out of the modules, suggests that trays will be the way to go for the rest of this season’s brassicas. A total of 48 cabbage seedlings were potted up (in three-inch pots, planted up to the level of their bottom leaves - thanks for the advice Peggy (http://organicgrowingpains.blogspot.com/2010/04/pricking-out-seedlings.html))
Somewhat disheartened by the poor (i.e. nil) germination of some of the seeds sown so far (which is basically due to the fact that they have been kicking around in the seed box for quite some time and are well out of date), purchasing some new seeds seemed to be required (and the prospect of choosing varieties from the various catalogues is always enjoyable with the rain hammering on the window). We plumped for Brown Envelope Seeds (http://www.brownenvelopeseeds.com/) which have a nice-looking catalogue of seeds, and are very easy to order from. A couple of tomato varieties in addition to some broccoli, kale and spinach to fill the brassica bed and a runner bean which just looked lovely filled out the order, and we look forward to seeing how these do. In the meantime, we’ll probably bust ourselves over the next few days with sowing the remaining seed just to see how they do (if they do anything at all!) and trying to get that last two-feet of bed dug.