Sunshine, salad and seedlings

Gardening at this time of year – especially with such warm weather – is amazing: you turn your back for five minutes and everything is going mad. I planted squash, courgettes and anchocha in the propagator a week ago. After five days they looked like this . . .

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. . . and two days later, they’ve been evicted on the grounds of pushing the roof off. Just hope they slow down a bit, it’s too chilly for them to go anywhere else just yet.

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Mind you, they’re not the only things going slightly crazy: the tomatoes, aubergines and peepers are virtually banging on the bedroom window to be let out.

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We love to barbecue all through the year (a habit we picked up living in Cyprus many years ago; if you’ve never barbecued in the middle of winter, please try it – it’s brilliant) so decided to go for it this week. The overwintered salad crops have suddenly put on a spurt again: ‘Winter Density’ lettuce, rocket, giant red mustard and chervil. Add some fresh growth of mint, chives and marjoram they made a delicious salad – just right!

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Plenty more to come, too. I don’t know if you can see them, but here come the mixed lettuce seedlings – planted outside just six days ago.

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Since the polytunnel went up on Monday I’ve been working 😦 which is so frustrating, I’m itching to get busy in there. There’s a lot of work to be done in there but Roger is on a dig-and-plant-a-patch mission: since I took this photo on Tuesday, these lettuce have more than doubled in size, and are now sharing their space with a whole host of newly-planted seeds. No sign of any slimy beasties yet but I’ve bought some ‘Natria’ slug and snail pellets to try this year. They are an accepted organic gardening product so we’ll see how they go.

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When we arrived here last July, we cleared a patch of ground and threw in some mixed – actually, at that point – mystery brassicas in the hope of having at least some winter/spring greens. The cabbage didn’t come to much but we’ve been eating the tops and side shoots like spring greens. To be honest, I was almost at the point of declaring the whole lot official chicken food when . . . lo and behold, out of absolutely nowhere, we suddenly have purple sprouting broccoli coming out of our ears. HOORAY! Hard luck, chickens.

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The sunshine has certainly brought the flowers out this week and there are clumps of daffies flowering on both sides of the stream – slightly more on the ‘west bank’ in Wales which seems very appropriate. They are full of bees, honey and bumble alike. Spring. Lovely. 🙂

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5 thoughts on “Sunshine, salad and seedlings

  1. Yes, things are getting going at last. I’m hoping to catch up with the potting up of seedlings today, everything has been a bit neglected because of the heather garden. Nice-looking salad. And nice purple-sprouting broccoli surprise! I had a mystery brassica bed myself last year, most of them turned out to be sprouts with a few cauliflowers.

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  2. It sure does! Half an hour ago I began to pot tomato seedlings… I had sown 4 seeds of Black Sea Man from one packet; it is a determinate, potato-leaved, reddish-brown fruited heritage cultivar. It seems I have two potato-leaved seedlings and two with normal tomato leaves – no idea whether the latter ones will be determinate and mahogany-fruited (never mind “heritage” in this context).

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  3. Yes, potato-leaved are the “true” ones, i.e. according to the cultivar description – BUT last year we had also these strange (= tomato-leaved) ones and their fruit were undeniably Black Sea Man. So we are going to plant both types and treat them as determinate.

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