Harvest Time

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The microgreens that I have been sowing weekly the last month or so are doing well and ready to harvest.  Although the leaves are still so small that a lot of leaves have to be cut to make a meal.

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Chris cutting some leaves for a delicious salad for tea.

In the foreground you can just see one tiny tomatoe seedling.  The ones that I showed you a week or two ago have made a great recovery and I have now pricked most of them out.

Other crops that we are harvesting now are some fresh herbs that we have overwintered in the conservatory.  The most successful of these has been the mint which has been a very welcome addition to our salads.

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I put a few roots into a bag of compost that had had tomatoes growing in it.  I added a handful of seaweed meal too as mint is a hungry plant.

We have also harvested the first of the forced rhubarb and had a delicious crumble for tea on Sunday night.

With luck there should be many more pickings of rhubarb this year.  I moved two pieces of the crown to a new site in December.  The plant that is left is going to be dug up at the end of this year.  This means that we can keep on harvesting it for as long as we want.  Usually we would stop by early summer in order to let the plant replenish its stores ready for the following year.


Over enthusiastic sowing

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I knew that there had to be a reason for the sports supplement!

Last year I bought myself a little paper pot maker.  It is used to turn strips of newspaper into sweet little paper plant pots.

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The idea is that the young plants can be grown in these biodegradable pots which can then be planted straight into the garden without any root disturbance at all.

At this time of year one is warned not to be too enthusiastic when it comes to sowing seeds.  They are likely to be ready to plant out too early in the season when it is still cold and inhospitable outside.  Looking after them indoors becomes increasingly problematic as light levels are too low and plants become forced.  Moreover, they keep growing and taking more and more space on crowded windowsills and in greenhouses.

So what have I done?  Sown seeds of course!  As well as the Rainbow Swiss Chard in paper pots I have planted sweetpeas not to mention all of the seeds that I sowed last week.  Sadly I put them in the airing cupboard but did not keep a close enough eye on them; I failed to remove them as soon as they germinated!

These poor seedlings have had the worse start in life!  They are yellow and drawn and will be very susceptable to damping off and other fungal diseases.  Fortunately I think that only some of the seeds have germinated so far. I hope the ones that were slightly slower to germinate will be a little healthier, otherwise I will have to sow some more!

Sunday Sowings

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Last year, for Valentine’s Day, Chris bought me a packet of heritage tomato seeds which I planted immediately.  I decided that this would be the start of a new tradition so this year, on Valentine’s Day, I planted some of the tomato seeds that came with my gardening magazine.  The varieties were Red Cherry, Red Pear and Tigrella.  I had also saved some seed from last year’s crop (Wladeck).  As they still had a little of the pulp dried on to the seeds (which would have inhibited them from germinating) I put them in water to soak for a couple of days.

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That should remove all of the pulp and then they will be ready to sow.

I also thought that I would try sowing some parsnips indoors.

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Parsnips are slow and difficult to germinate.  They also need a relatively long time to grow.  There is no point in sowing them in my heavy cold clay at the moment.  However, they also hate being transplanted.  I thought that I would try growing them in toilet rolls; with luck they won’t notice what has happened when I transfer them to the garden.  The variety is called ‘Hollow Crown’.  I put two or three seeds in each tube and will thin them out after they germinate to leave just one plant in each.  After I took this picture I covered the seeds with more compost.  The compost is left over from last years tomotoes as on Gardener’s Question Time yesterday Bob Flowerdew suggested that carrots grown in a poor compost are forced to send their roots vigorously down in search of nourishment ….. we shall see.paths and potatoes 045.JPG

I left the parsnips and some cut and come again lettuce that I also planted in the conservatory.  The aubergines, tomatoes and basil I sealed in polythene bags and put in the airing cupboard.  I will have to keep a very close eye on these as they will need moving to a warm sunny windowseal as soon as they are through or else they will get terribly forced.

I bet you are wondering what Chris bought me for Valentine’s day this year aren’t you.  Chris doesn’t go for half measures so as well as flowers, a lovely meal out and someting else garden related that I haven’t photogrpahed yet he got me these.

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Two lovely new garden trugs; what an old romantic!  Needless to say I was delighted with them and tomorrow will show you what use I put them to immediately.

Lemon Grass

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When I went to Sainsbury’s on Saturday they were selling off lemon grass for 40p.  I’ve never actually cooked with lemon grass before but thought that I would try some.  There were two stalks in the packet so one I used to flavour a stir fry and the other I planted.  I wonder if it will grow?

In other news; my broad beans are just beginning to show signs of life.

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And I am starting to wonder just how many slugs there are in my garden.  What are my chances of growing a decent harvest this year?