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Sowing Salad Crops

When we moved from Crewe, I left the greenhouses on the allotment behind for the next tenant. I could claim I’m a wonderful and generous person but the truth is that taking an old greenhouse down is a fair task and the big one was a bit cobbled together to start with.

Also glass ages becoming more brittle as the years go on and the chances of getting the glass transported to the new home without loss were slim. On top of all that, I know that horticultural glazing is not really good enough for our windswept plot. So I really didn’t lose much by leaving them behind. They only cost me £100 originally anyway (he says like he’s money to burn!)

One thing I did mean to take and since I can’t find, I assume I left, were the automatic vent openers. So a new one on the new greenhouse. I could do with two but I thought I might turn up the old ones.

Fitting an automatic window opener is only a ten minute job, in theory. In fact it took me and my neighbour about an hour to make head or tail of it. The next one will be a doddle now I’ve got it figured.

Having got my greenhouse sorted, propagators set up and so forth, I actually started sowing some seeds. It’s all good fun planting trees and clearing overgrown orchards but it’s wonderful to just get back to some growing.

Last year was, from a growing point of view, a bit of a damp squib. No greenhouse for starters so that limited me. We really missed our own tomatoes and peppers etc but hopefully this year will be different.

I sowed:

  • Chilli Pepper Hot Stuff
  • Sweet Peppers Worldbeater and Mohawk
  • Cucumber Carmen and Burpless Tasty Green (which may end up outdoors)
  • Tomatoes: Sungold (my favourite), Gardener’s Delight, Black Krim (thanks to DD from the forum) and Roma, a plum type and Marmande which we bought in France.

I then made a bit of a discovery, a tin in the bottom of a box which contained some seeds. There were some Egyptian and Romanian cucumber seeds given to me by a forum member some years ago and some Red Beefsteak tomato seeds from another forum member. I must have put them there for safe keeping and forgotten.

Anyway, they may come up and it costs but a few pennies in compost to find out. You never know with seeds, I once found a pack of courgette seeds that were 7 years past their sow by date. Every one came up and did well.

Our unseasonable summer is coming to an end, today we’re back to average temperatures for the time of year. My shorts and T shirts are back in the drawers and someone said they’re predicting we’ll have more snow yet this year.

It’s easy to be fooled by the weather. I always keep an eye on the forecast and have fleece ready to protect tender crops. We’re learning the weather patterns here, being just five miles from the sea which acts as a heat store, we may be relatively frost free. On the other hand, being 600 feet up, we catch the wind and are generally a couple of degrees cooler than down at sea level. It’s all about micro-climate.


Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
2 comments on “Sowing Salad Crops
  1. Duncan Grainger says:

    Frost free is ambitious! We’re slightly along from you in Trelogan/Berthengam at around 600 feet too. When it freezes, it freezes hard and the wind has the most terrible bite to it as in sure you know! One thing I’ve noticed is to ignore the threats of rain on the weather. After a while you’ll know if rains on the way, you’ll be much more accurate than the met office! In the summer be warned, that same biting wind can be very leeching from the soil, so keep an eye out for dryness. The worst problem of all though is the wind, as I’m sure you know. If you think you’ve got it secured down, give it anoth bolt/brick/heel in just to make sure!

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