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From Brassicas to Blanching Leeks via Sweetcorn

Fair Weather Gardening

Yesterday we braved the motorways to visit my Mum and Sister so we enjoyed fair weather but got nothing done on the plot. This morning the sun didn’t take too long to hide beneath grey skies and we”ve had light showers, on and off.


Since I don?t like gardening in the rain I decided to have a really lazy day and just sow a few seeds in the shelter of the potting shed.


Yet More Brassicas


I want to spread out the harvest a bit -if everything comes at once it can be overwhelming ? so some of the brassicas are at the end of their time to sow. However, everything?s a bit behind this year so it won?t be the end of the earth if I sow a few things late.


First I sowed the purple cauliflower, yes purple. I?m really looking forward to seeing what others on the plot say about them. Should raise a few eyebrows, at least.


Next Calabrese Chevalier, which I grew last year and really enjoyed the crop and then Romanesco. I?ve not grown or eaten this before and a curious to see what it tastes like,


Last of the brassicas was some purple sprouting and some white sprouting. The intention is to keep these covered so the pigeons will have to find their own dinner next year!


Everything was sown into modules and I will thin to one seedling per module.


Sweetcorn


My record with sweetcorn has been patchy, main problem being poor germination.. Once I?ve got them going, I do well with it but that initial sowing has often resulted in less than 50% germination. My new technique is to sow into very small pots ? about 1? ? and put the pots in a large tray in the lounge. Sweetcorn likes a temperature of 20 to 25 degrees to germinate and the lounge is the warmest room in the house. Because it doesn?t like root disturbance, as soon as I can see some sign of germination, the small pots will move on into 3? pots, which I can do with minimal disturbance. I?m also trying chitting some seed to see if that works well. Chitting is the process of pre-germination of seeds, most often used for potatoes but not limited to them. Some seeds are chitted to improve germination but I?m doing this with the sweetcorn to save having lots of pots in the warm lounge that may not germinate. This way, I can just pot the successful ones.


Onions


Last job in the potting shed was to move some Bedfordshire Champion onions from the seed tray into modules. This will allow them to get a little further on before they are planted out. I?ve been meaning to do those for a while now, so it was about time.


I?ve still got a lot to go out over the next few weeks, this is the busiest time of the year in the garden.


Sorting Seeds


Despite spreadsheets and lists of seeds, the easy way is to sort them out into a filing box dropped in the correct slots for each month / fortnight for the busy part of the year. For successional sowing, the packet is moved from one slot to the next.


Blanching leeks


Having harvested the last of the leeks from the plot and giving some away, we still have about 5lbs in the fridge. These will be saut?ed tonight and frozen for use in stews and casseroles.  

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