Monday 7th March 2022 – Half day fun!

Today I only worked in the morning, that’s because I’m so good at my job I’ve got their garden all up to date. Give it a few months and they’ll be much more to do, but for now it’s just a morning.

But with the afternoon free what better place to spend it than in my greenhouses. The seedlings I pricked out last weekend have taken very well, so after a little shift around of various plants I could start my March seed sowing. I managed to get all the vegetable seeds that need starting off in the greenhouse done which I was well chuffed about. Still got some that need to be sown straight into the soil to be done, but I need to shift 5 bags of soil before I can do those. Hopefully this weekend Mar, Emily and Kai (shhhh they don’t know yet) and I can do that. The March flower seeds I’ve not even started yet, and there are a lot of them to do. When I do the flowers I’ll let you know.

Every morning, once I’ve fed the chickens, I pop into the greenhouses to see how all my plants are doing. “Oh you’re such clever little things aren’t you”, is a phrase I use quite a lot. Seeds and plants are like people, we all need to know that we’re doing well and like to hear positive words and feels of love.

So here goes with the vegetable seeds I’ve sown so far…..I’m gonna start firstly with Lettuce which is best sown from March through to October for some varieties. Don’t sow them all at once, sow a few in March, then a few more in April and so on, that way you’ll get a consistent supply throughout the year and won’t lose any through bolting (going to seed). The varieties I’ve just sown are “Crisp Mint” and “Mixed”. Then some Spinach “Amazon F1”. Some Parsley “Italian Giant” and some Artichokes “Green Globe”. I don’t think I’ll need any of these in my garden, but some of my clients, or even the local churchyard might like some in there. I’m part of the gardening club at the church where I ring bells, and we’re creating meadow areas and more areas for bees and butterflies so these will be great round by grave stones and various places. The church is very old and was built over 700 years ago so many of the gravestones are falling over and lost under the grass. We want to make it look more inviting for people, wildlife and a beautiful back drop for wedding photos.

All these seeds I sprinkled on top of moist compost and then covered with a little more compost. Here is a video to show it a little more detail.

Then we move onto more brassicas. Last time I pricked out one variety, but now is the time to sow more brassica seeds. I’m still harvesting my Brussel Sprouts and my Sprouting Broccoli is now ready to pick, but here goes with this years ones. I’ve not grown Kohl Rabi “Kref” for several years and the last time was on my allotment in Surrey. They did really well so I think it’s time to try them again. Calabrese “Ironman”, Cabbage “Greyhound” although these are quite old so I doubt if any will germinate, but who knows. Brussels Sprouts “Trafalgar” and finally Kale “Smoothie Mix”, these I grow specifically for the chickens as they love them. All brassica seeds need to be sown the same way so here’s a little video showing you how I sow mine.

Next we move onto some larger seeds, now these need to be sown in individual pots. I use the square pots from H S Plastics as I can fit 15 of them perfectly in my black trays. But if you only have round ones then that’s absolutely fine. Let’s start first with Peas, now these I sowed 4 seeds per pot so one in each corner, or if you have a round pot then put one north, south, west and east. The two varieties I’ve got this year are “Nairobi” which are Snap peas and “Shiraz” which are purple pods.

Here’s a little video with a little more information.

Then it was onto the Cucumbers. This year I’m growing outside varieties and up one half of my trellis arch, the other half I’ll grow tomatoes. I want to walk under dangling cucumbers and tomatoes this summer. I know it sounds strange or tragic, but I don’t really care. The varieties of Cucumbers I have are “Burpless Tasty Green” and “Diva”. I sowed 2 seeds, at diagonal corners, per pot, which I won’t break apart when they go outside in the soil. Push the seeds in the compost about an inch.

Here’s a little video with more information.

And finally some Pumpkins and Winter Squash. The Winter Squash are a Butternut variety called “Hunter” which I’ve grown last year and they do really well. Again sow 2 seeds at diagonal corners per pot, and push these in to the compost about an inch. If 2 seeds germinate then I won’t separate them as they’ll grow perfectly well together. The Pumpkins are “Atlantic Giant” and I am determined to get a really large one this year. Last year they did well, but I know I can do better. Just like the squashes sow 2 seeds in diagonal corners of the pot. If you would prefer to sow the seeds directly in the soil then you can but this can’t be done until the very end of May. However, the germination rate is much lower and I find it better to start off in pots and inside a greenhouse or on a sunny window sill.

Here’s how I sow mine.

I also took some cuttings from the large Fuchsia in the church grave yard. Once these get big enough then I’ll plant them back in the grave yard so the Fuchsia can spread the love. The best time to take cuttings from a Fuchsia is November onwards, when you prune them back after their flowers have finished and the leaves have fallen, but I can just about squeeze them in now. Just get some multipurpose compost and make it wet. Get a stem and cut below one bed, but above another. What you need to end up with is a stem with 2 buds on it (one near the bottom and one near the top). Put the stem in the wet compost and make sure you keep the compost moist and don’t let it dry out. After about a month or so roots will start to grow and then you can move them on to individual pots. I’m hoping that the cuttings I’ve taken will be ready to plant out Spring next year. Not all will take, but majority will if you make sure you keep the compost moist at all times.

Well that was this afternoon. The rest of the week is very busy so I’m gonna have to wait until the weekend to get back out in the greenhouses to do any more sowing and pricking out, as well as moving all that soil, but remember ssshhh don’t tell the others as I’ve not told them they’re helping me do that yet. But until then have a fabulous week and let’s hope the sun shines and you can go out and play.

Happy gardening xx

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4 Responses to Monday 7th March 2022 – Half day fun!

  1. Wesley Hancock says:

    Hi Claire,
    Do you change the soil in your greenhouse on a regular basis or just top up with fresh compost,I was thinking of soil for tomatoes in particular.Really enjoy your blog.

    • The base of my greenhouses are concrete slabs so everything grows in pots.
      Yes I do replace the compost and put fresh in every year. The spent compost goes on the garden. If you have a ground area in your greenhouse then just top it up with homemade compost or bagged compost every year. A good thick layer in the autumn is perfect, then the worms can take it down over the winter. You could also put some well rotten manure on if you have some spare.

      • Wesley Hancock says:

        Thanks for your reply,I have soil in my greenhouse and renew each year but might try just covering with compost or manure,certainly not as much work!!
        Kind Regards,

  2. NebraskaDave says:

    Claire, it’s good to see somebody gets to play in the garden soil even if it’s just in the green house. I’m about to start my seeds in the seed starting station under grow lights in my basement. Weather here in Nebraska is having trouble giving up winter this spring. We are still having way below freezing temperatures at night and barely above freezing temperatures for daytime highs. The ground here is still frozen. I’m holding off on starting seeds for another week or two. I really think we will be having a late spring this year. We are already in a drought condition with very little moisture since last October. The long-range forecast doesn’t show rain any time soon. It looks like gardening will be a challenge this year. But then again, every year has some kind of challenge for gardeners, don’t you think?

    Have a great day in the greenhouse.

    Nebraska Dave
    Urban Farmer

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