Thursday, 4 April 2013

room to grow

Even though it's still head-shrinkingly cold here with a raw wind coming in from Siberia, my little seedlings have been growing away nicely in the hotbed.  Today I thinned the rows of brassicas so that each individual little plant has a bit of elbow room to develop.  If they were in open ground I would thin progressively to allow for potential losses from slugs and other lurking dangers; dustbathing birds, pooping cats, passing herds of schoolchildren etc.  In the safety of the hotbed I thought I would cut to the chase and give them enough room to get to transplantable size in one go.  It looks a bit drastic when you first do it, but they will reward your bravery by growing on quicker.


And despite my tendency to rant at the telly at the merest mention of the word 'microgreens', I do have to say that the thinnings make very tasty additions to any salad bowl.

The gardens that I tend are open to the public so there is always a balance to strike between harvest and display.  It's easy with stuff that you can pick without removing the plant, like peas, beans, rhubarb etc.  The difficulty is with things that are gone once you pick them - with one row of leeks I could maybe feed 20 people or educate/inspire 650,000 (our annual visitor figures). It's a tough choice.

lovely leeks

But the moment arrives when I need to start getting the space ready for the next crop.  Today I cleared a handsome bed of leeks so I could prep the soil for spring sowing. They were still in good condition so I trimmed, washed and bagged them up to sell in the staffrooms.  The money that we raise this way supports the work that we do in the gardens.

cennin is Welsh for leek

1 comment:

  1. I think my thinning is being done by something that doesn't like the radish once it has been pulled from the ground. Rather annoying at this stage. Where do you work? I am coming across to the 'mother country' when the weather warms. I can only hope my leeks come out as beautifully as yours