Most mornings during spring and summer, I wonder down to the vegetable patch to check on my seedlings and plants. I peer into the raised beds through the netting, glance around at the normal beds and the planters and then open up the greenhouses, checking that all is well. One morning earlier this week, as I surveyed my newly emerged seedlings through the netting on the raised beds, I realised that whilst there were a goodly number of lettuce, carrots, beetroots and parsnips through, there were still some gaps in the rows where germination had not occurred.
This would never do.
So out came the seed packets and off came the netting and I spent an enjoyable 15 minutes or so, popping fresh seed into the gaps in the row and whilst the netting was off, I sowed a second row of beetroot seed.
What to do with the gaps in the lettuce and radicchio rows was my next decision and I quickly came to the conclusion that sowing more seed was not an option as the number of seeds already through, were more than enough for now. No, the solution this time was to plant some of the greenhouse lettuces into the gaps and so Really Red Deer Tongue Lettuce, Moretons Secret Mix Lettuce and some radicchio seedlings would be plenty big enough for the gaps in the respective rows. In addition I planted a load more greenhouse lettuces next to my newly sown row of beetroot.
Mind you the rows do look a little odd with my direct sown lettuces which are all of about 1 inch across, dwarfed by the older greenhouse seedling. I did think the tiny direct sown lettuces looked pretty in their row, with significantly more colour than the greenhouse ones but, that said, just a couple of days later and one of the Moretons Secret Mix lettuces that had originally been in the greenhouse, has developed from green speckled with pale pink/purple, to a glorious deep purple.
With the gaps plugged I moved onto the next job on my list and took down the plastic growhouse under which the onions have been growing, alongside some sprouting broccoli. The broccoli plants were ready for composting and so protection from butterflies was no longer needed. The other growhouse will remain in situ’ for a while longer as, to my surprise, we have cauliflowers growing and I really don’t want the Cabbage Whites destroying them.
It’s really good to have things growing in my garden again and on Tuesday night, we even had the first salad leaf harvest of the year, taken from some of the plants still in the greenhouse and on to the plate in less than 10 minutes. Home grown produce for tea ……. you really can’t beat that feeling you know.