Friday, 20 April 2012

Filling Up Nicely

Not only did I spend time at the allotment on Sunday, but I also did a bit of gardening at home too and got some more seeds sown. As you can see, the mini plastic greenhouse which is inside the proper greenhouse to give everything a little extra protection is starting to fill up. I decided that I would sow my French beans. I know that the weather isn't all that warm at the moment but I'm hoping to have some ready to go out at the earliest opportunity so that I can get an early harvest. I'll sow more at a later date, as I did last year, to extend the cropping period. The varieties I'm growing this year are Blue Lake which is a climber, and Safari and Purple Teepee which are both dwarf varieties. I also planted some courgettes, Soleil which is yellow, and Mikinos which is green. I may be a little early with these too, but I can bring them on in the greenhouse before planting them out.

I don't tend to grow salad crops at the allotment. I find they keep much cleaner and pest free if grown in containers in the garden. I sowed my spring onions in to a planter. This year I'm growing red spring onions - Furio, as well as White Lisbon which I usually grow. I also made my first sowing of radish. Again, I've chosen a different variety to that which I'm used to - Rainbow Mixed, so they should be nice and colourful. They're a round variety and I find that they grow perfectly well in a seed tray, no point wasting lots of compost if there's no need. I don't think the longer varieties such as French Breakfast would do so well without a bit of extra depth though.

I also started off some basil, a must if you're growing tomatoes. The seed tray has been placed on my son's windowsill, the sunniest in the house, though there hasn't been much sun about this week, and they've germinated already. Fingers crossed that everything else isn't far behind.


  1. Wow you're well in front of us. I thought that you were well early with french beans as I don't usually sow mine until the beginning of May. But that's only a week and a bit off isn't it. Might try to get some potatoes planted today.

  2. W£e have grown Rainbow radish in the past ad it does make a change from red!

  3. Sounds like you are well underway with your sowings - at least when we are sowing seeds it makes us feel as though we are doing something when it is too wet to do anything outside.

  4. I have tried to hold back on the urge of sowing to early and as usual I failed! It is just not warm enough for things to germinate. Think I will have to make use of windowsills also

  5. The first of my French Beans (Speedy) have popped up this week. I'm trying for an early harvest too. No sign of my Runners yet though, even though I planted them in pots in the garage. I've got some radishes growing in one of those wooden wine-boxes I got from Majestic. For some reason they are growing very slowly - must be the weather.

  6. I usually sow a few radishes in the veg patch and hadn't thought about using seed trays so I love your comment about not wasting compost! I think it's worth finding a space on the balcony for a few radishes (French Breakfast for me) and I also like your idea of growing pest free salads in pots. Well done on all your sowing, I'm having to take it easy so that I don't run out of windowsill space!

  7. Wow you have been busy! I need to get myself in gear properly.

  8. Are you dodging the April showers/torrents or is it only raining here in the south? Hosepipe ban indeed!

  9. You've been very busy. I'm also growing purple teepee plus sultana and prince. The greenhouse is filling up nicely!

  10. It looks, and sounds, as though you have been happily sowing which will keep you occupied later on.
    Flighty xx

  11. That's amazingly quick germination for your basil...I think I might start some off inside the greenhouse this year to give it a boost as I never get much of a show from it. I have sowed plenty of seeds in the I guess we all just play the waiting game!!

  12. I think I will have to sow some basil myself. I need to sow my lettuce soon, I like to grow it in pots on the patio so I can just pop out and pick some for the days lunch.My veg are coming along albeit slowly and I have got baby tomatoes on my plants now.

  13. Looks as if it is all coming together nicely Jo and everything is tucked up nice and cosy there. I am holding back with French beans until May, as the ones I sowed early last year simply did not thrive. Have sowed basil and courgettes though. I always have some salad leaves to hand at home too as I can go slug hunting at night :)

  14. I'm hoping to get an early crop of French beans, Martyn. I managed to stagger planting last year and I was harvesting for a long period of time.

    I grew rainbow carrots last year, Sue. The kids weren't keen, they like their carrots to be orange. They don't like radish so it won't matter to them.

    There's still lots more to be sown yet, Elaine, but I've made a start. It's good to be able to get something done in this weather.

    I may have to bring some things inside yet, Wigglywoo, I'll just wait and see how they do first.

    I think the weather's holding lots of things back at the moment, Mark. I'm giving runners a miss this year, we all much prefer French beans.

    It can be a problem when the only space available are windowsills, Caro. I always grow my salad veg in containers, it's handy to have them in the garden too rather than having to make a trip to the allotment to harvest something.

    There's still lots of jobs needing to be done, Deco Cat. I'm hoping that the weather improves so that I can get on with them.

    We've had lots of rain here, Don't unplug your hub. Those reservoirs must be nearly full by now.

    I've never heard of the variety Sultana, Damo, I'll have to look that one up. I shall look forward to hearing what you think of them.

    I'm just waiting for everything to germinate now, Flighty. I'm trying to use the greenhouse rather than having seed trays all over the house so some things are taking a little longer than usual.

    The basil seems to be growing well, Tanya, it won't be long before I'm pricking them out.

    I can't believe you've got little tomatoes on your plants already, Anne, you're way ahead of me. My lettuce have germinated. I grow mine in containers in the garden too, so much easier than having to go to the allotment to harvest a few leaves.

    I won't plant the French beans out for a while yet, Anna, I'm just hoping to get a longer cropping period.


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