Friday, 25 July 2014

Seed sowing in July/August

Last week, I took a day off work to clear the soil on the new side of the plot.  I had some help from a great friend who dilligently sieved the soil.  It is now perfect to sow some seeds. 

Whilst at Hampton Court Flower Show a few weeks back Alys Fowler's advice was that now is the time to grow oriental veg.  So I went through all my seeds looking for the orientals and anything that can be sown now for Sam (my new fellow allotmenteer) to grow.

I gave her a full assortment of everything we could possibly sow right now in my possession. 

Here's a picture of the full selection she chose: turnips, white radish, rocket, beetroot, salad leaves (now that we've passed mid summer the hope is that these will not bolt) and mizuna.  I think we're pushing the sowing window for turnips and beetroot but we'll see. You never know - autum might be mild.  I would also like to get some kohl Rabi and some Kai Laan in the ground before it's too late - I love the sweets stalks of Kai Laan!

When I sow seeds on the plot I also do a second sowing at home in modules just in case the pests eat the emerging seedlings.  On the plot the battle is with slugs, lots of birds, mice, squirrels.  Some allotmenteers have had what looks like badgers dig up their potatoes.  I always garden organically and I've often found when sowing seeds I often don't see them emerge so now I sow things in modules at home, make sure that the main stem is sturdy and then plant on site. 

On the new section, I've also been populating it with seedlings I had ready for growing: leeks, quinoa, chard and orache.  I've also moved some globe artichokes to the plot as once they are established this will be a much better site for them than my cooler home garden.

From my side of the plot we have quite a few things cropping: last of the broadbeans, chard by the bucket load (Fiona, these are the seeds you gave me for Christmas - thank you!), kale and radish pods.

The sweetcorn and squash plants are growing well so a bit more comfrey feed and I think we'll be eating summer squashes soon. Although a pest does like chopping the sweetcorn down so we may not get to eat corn on the cob, but we'll see.  

Please, any suggestions you have with dealing with the pests organically would be very much appreciated.

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