As I have mentioned before, I find the time between sowing seeds and the first signs of seedlings almost unbearable and can be found checking propagators and vegetable beds on an hourly basis, in my hunt for signs of life, for confirmation that my seeds haven’t failed en mass. As much as Mud is obsessive about his Land Rovers, so the same can be said about me and my seeds.So it is always with great excitement that I announce the arrival of the first of the seasons seedlings.
I recall one such occasion back in March 2010, when Mud was spending every available spare moment working on the newly acquired Ciggy, weather permitting. There had been a particularly bad run of weekends, with cold and wet weather preventing much progress, as this was before he had built the temporary workshop and so the advent of a relatively warm, dry couple of days was a real mood lifter.
Having changed into old clothes and with a list of jobs to do, Mud gleefully prepared to go spend some quality time with his new toy and almost skipped to the back door, content with the prospect of several hours surround by rusty, oily parts and the very distinctive Landy smell of diesel – before dismantling the engine, he was never able to spend time around Ciggy without starting her up.
I was in the kitchen at this point and happened to glanced at my propagators, again, and there, just starting to peep out of the compost was the tiniest speck of green. A closer inspection confirmed that this was indeed the first seedling of the season and it was with my usual enthusiasm and excitement that I announced “We’ve got a Leek!”
“What? Where?” was Muds’ horrified response, as visions of his much coveted time with Ciggy disappeared into a nightmare of plumbing tools. Poor Mud.
I’m much more careful how I announce such happenings these days. For example, I’ll refrain from announcing that this morning I have discovered 8 Greyhounds in the dining room, as Mud is highly allergic to dogs 🙂 – instead I will quietly celebrate the emergence of 8 Greyhound Cabbage seedlings.
I don’t normally grow brassicas of any sort, as they generally require a lot of room which is at a premium in our patch, not to mention the inordinate amount of protection required to ensure that the pigeons and caterpillars don’t get a free feast. But I love cabbage raw or cooked and I was determined to try and grow some in our garden this year, after seeing how relatively compact and successful this particular variety was when I grew it with the children at school last season.
I do have a piece of enviromesh which is big enough to cover one of the raise beds and will sit nicely under the dark green net which we use to cover the raise beds anyway. I’m hoping that this combination will be sufficient to protect the crop from above, while a beer trap or three should suffice for slug and snail control. Only time will tell and in the mean time Mud can go about his business safe in the knowledge that the only Greyhounds and Leeks that we have, at the moment, are the edible kind.