Sunday, 19 April 2009

Growing pains

Well, its been some time since my last post and things in the veg patch are having their ups and downs. The original tomato seeds I planted back in March finally began to germinate, but I made the mistake of moving them into the cold back room for more light, when they obviously needed heat! They seem to be growing again now that its warmer, but I definitely lost some and the initial error of planting seeds into normal (rather than seed) compost doesn't seem to be giving them the best start in life when you compare them to the tomato Roma seeds I planted a couple of weeks ago (you can barely see the little seedlings from the initial sowing in the background behind the towering Roma seedlings...) :

Outside, things are looking a little rosier. I've been sowing additional salad seeds mixed in with some rocket into two wooden buckets, adding additional seeds every weekend for almost a month now. We had quite a bit of rain last week and they've simply sprung up - time to start harvesting soon.

The rest of the pots are sprouting, with the spinach and spring onion combo pot starting to look exciting as well. The herbs are having a mixed reaction to having been transplanted and left outside - poor old basil, which was doing very well on the windowsill inside, has not fared well in last weeks weather, but the marigolds are flourishing and really need potting on.

Altogether, the outside pots are looking quite good and I've only had to remove one snail so far! Later this month I'll sow the courgettes and asparagus peas inside, and next month the beans can go straight outside into their trough. I'm also leaning towards cheating with the toms - my fantastic local farmers market in Reading has a little man with an amazing range (at very reasonable prices) - actual, real, plants already, rather than puny seedlings (the benefits of a heated greenhouse? Or just greener fingers?!). Definitely worth investing in some varieties to ensure we get a crop as toms are one of our favourites and a staple in a range of dishes.

The discerning may also have noticed the irrigation system. Its a Hozelock Auto Aquapod 10 that we invested in before Easter when we realised we were going away for a week and hadn't thought about how to water the plants...... It seems to be doing quite well, although I may need to adjust the settings now that we're in a sunny spell again, as the plants don't seem to be getting quite enough water.

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