Bryony's Blog

Now's the time to get busy...

(04/04/20)

Many of you will have watch Adam West on Gardener’s World last night (if missed, it should be on again tomorrow – Sunday morning). He demonstrated how easy it is to sow vegetable seeds with the minimum of kit and, since I still can’t upload images onto my blog, it was great as it showed you how to do it – and more. If you are lucky to have the super weather forecast for this weekend you could start sowing vegetable seeds and some flowers in the garden. The soil has to be warm enough for the seeds to germinate and there are three ways to make sure:

1. Read the instructions on the packets and if they say ‘March/April’ you will be fine, or
2. Look to see if weeds are germinating in the beds – sure sign things have hotted up, or finally
3. Sit with your bare bottom on the soil and if it isn’t cold, now’s the time!

Your choice!

I shall be back later when I have a moment to tell you what I have sown. Enjoy the sunshine and keep busy and safe.

UPDATE ON LETTUCE AND MIXED SALADS

(02/04/20)

With any luck and a fair wind, the seeds you sowed of lettuce and salad mixes hopefully are beginning to germinate. Keep them in a light space and lightly watered but not waterlogged. When the seedlings are about 1” tall and with two little leaves, it is time to prick them out and transplant them into fresh compost.

1. Fill a seed tray(s) or other free-draining container with fresh compost and pat level.

2. Find something like a small fork or chopstick.

3. Using one of the above, gently prise out the seedlings being careful not to damage the roots and lift out. Next, with your finger, make a series of holes about 1” apart in the seed tray and, taking hold of one of the small leaves, drop and bury a seedling into the hole at least half way up the stalk. Carefully push back the compost and continue until you have filled the tray and water them in very gently. You will probably end up with more seedlings than you have trays, but they can always go into small flower pots two or three at a time.

4. Keep the young plants moist and then, when they have grown more leaves which look like lettuce, you need to ‘harden’ them off before planting into a growbag or the garden. Hardening off is a term used to get seedlings adapted to the outside world and toughen up. If you planted them straight away into the soil, the slugs and snails would have a field day. For about two weeks, leave them outside during the day and take them in at night.

5. The final task is to plant them out either in a raised bed, trough, old colander anything in fact which has some drainage. Space them about 4” apart and then, instead of allowing them to develop into full blown lettuces, simply remove a few outer leaves from each and you will have enough for a salad. The leaves will continue to grow and give you a steady supply.