A few weeks ago, after one of the seemingly endless weeding sessions required in the vegetable patch this year, Little Mudlet was given the task of sowing lettuce seeds between the parsnip rows which would enable them to be protected by the fine micromesh already covering the parsnip and beetroot seedlings. One row was a mixed salad leaves and the other was iceberg and she carefully sowed them, back filled with soil, watered and then helped me put the netting back in place. Then we just left them alone.
Well two and a half weeks on and I noticed that we had what appeared to be quite an abundance of tiny little seedlings, most of which seemed to be in a rough sort of line but there was obviously a fair few weedlings sprinkled around the bed as well, (including more of the annoying mares tail that is ever present), so some more careful weeding needed to take place.
Half an hour later with the weeds carefully pulled or prised out, the rows were much more clearly defined but it was clear that the spread of seedlings was a little lopsided and that there were some gaps in the rows.
Thankfully, lettuce seedlings are a forgiving bunch and don’t seem to mind being handled and transplanted, so I was able to carefully thin out the clumps and plant newly evicted seedlings into the gaps which left me with a nice looking, balanced bed. In the few days since I carried out this process, all the seedlings have continued to grow well and show no adverse effects from their relocation.
More lettuce has been sown between the carrots and beetroots in one of the raised beds, again under netting but not as fine as the mesh that is over the parsnip bed. With the weather looking set to improve over the next few days, I fully expect to see more little lettuce seedlings popping up in the next day or so and I suspect, some of them will eventually have to make their way over to the school garden.
At a time when other blogs I follow (beentheredugthat and pamsyarn) are reporting failure of outside sown lettuce seeds, I’m counting myself lucky to have so many through, not to mention a little surprised, as I think we’re further North than they are. All I have to do is keep them slug free and hope they don’t bolt, then it should soon be salad all round at Mudville.