Thursday, 4 March 2010

The First of the Seeds

These little seedlings are jalapeno peppers that I planted on 14th Feb. The other peppers sown at the same time have also begun to come through, but as yet they don't need to be planted on. The onions are coming through slowly, but the leeks are doing very well and I've planted about 2o of those seedlings into pots too.

On 21st Feb I sowed some strawberries, mint and some more friggitello and jalapeno peppers. There's no sign of the peppers so far, but I've got a grand total of 1 strawberry seedling and 2 mint! I'm expecting the peppers through any day now, and I'm starting to wonder if I've done something wrong.

Yesterday was a really busy and enjoyable day spent indoors, while the finishing touches were being made to the raised beds and the greenhouse outside. While the man was occupied with heavy lifting, I took the opportunity to sow over 20 varieties of seed; mint, 7 types of chilli pepper, cucumber, sage, 5 types of tomato, onions, carrots, broccoli, sweetcorn and leeks. There's now a huge number of pots covered with sandwich bags all crowded round the radiator in the office, waiting for the weather to warm up. I had wanted to start a few off directly outside too, but the nights are still below freezing, so unusually for me I've displayed some restraint and am holding off until the frosts have well and truly passed.

The biggest lesson I learnt last year was about avoiding gluts, and ensuring a long cropping season. Whilst Cabbagetopia was immensely successful, giving us convenient frozen cabbage right through till a couple of weeks ago, I'd like to avoid having the smell of cooked cabbage permeating throughout the house this year! Therefore, I've become almost obsessive about successional sowing.

I'm aiming to sow a new batch of seeds every fortnight, following a "little and often" approach. In order to ensure the longest possible cropping season, I've worked out the maximum amount of times I'll be able to sow. For example, if my seed pack says to sow from March to May, I'll be able to have 6 batches. Whenever I've tried successional sowing in the past, I've always ended up using them all up to soon, or having some left over when it's too late to plant them. In thinking it through like this, I'll hopefully have a long cropping season, with a manageable amount of fruit and veg, and no left over seeds. Here's hoping!

No comments:

Post a Comment