Sunday, 31 January 2016

The caulis are coming


Yesterday my eye was drawn to the window by a sudden bright light in the garden. The sun had come out on January 30th.

I went into the greenhouse and found it was warm enough to produce those delicious soily, leafy smells that are as much a part of the pleasure of having a greenhouse as what you see in it. 

Could it really be 29 degrees, or do I have a thermometer programmed to tell people what they want to hear?  

Well, maybe it's right. The cauliflower seeds I planted three weeks ago have already burst into life. 

Maybe Homebase's promise of "Cauliflower All The Year Round" will be fulfilled. Or at least, I could have a glut of cauliflower all at once, in about April or May.

And there's more. Last weekend I managed to sprinkle a big pot with Parsnip Student seeds ("very good long-rooted narrow cored heritage variety"). They're not due to be harvested until October at the earliest, but there's no harm in giving them a good run at it. 

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Ten vegetables for 2016


I have too many half used packets of vegetable seeds. I don't want to waste them, but nor do I want to waste my time preparing the soil and planting them if they're too old ever to germinate. I'm abandoning them for the moment.

Instead, as kind of new year resolution, I went crazy and spent £3.99 on a Homebase bumper pack of ten kinds of vegetable seeds. They're not particularly exotic - just things like  marrow, parsnip, spinach and onion. But they come with easy to use directions about when and how to plant, and so I'm thinking that if I can just get them out of the packet and into the soil at the right time, it could be an easy way to produce something useful from the greenhouse this year.

I started today with the 'all-the-year-round cauliflower'. I can't be bothered to plant seeds with measured spaces between them, so I just scatter them into a pot, cover them with a bit more soil, and will transplant the best ones when they pop up.

If I keep it up, by February, I should have leeks, onions and parsnips under way too.

The instructions don't say anything about a greenhouse, but I'm assuming it will be frost-free, and that they should have a better chance in there than outside. Of course I'll have to water them, although the greenhouse seems permanently damp at this time of year, so that shouldn't be too much work.