Tuesday, 14 May 2013

hotbed update

The seeds that I sowed in the hotbed back in March are now ready for transplanting out into the open garden.  There is a bucket full each of kale and cabbage plants, and enough seedling leeks for two decent rows.  I also have about twenty parsley seedlings that I'm hoping are at that 'hard to guess' moment - big enough to make it past the slugs, but small enough that the transplant process won't make them bolt straight into their flowering phase.  I'm sowing more leeks and cabbages straight into the ground but my hotbed babies should produce a much earlier crop.

'Brunswick' cabbages

young brassicas ready for transplant

As you can see the it's still very cosy in there.  Obviously the air temp has caught up somewhat by now, (although you wouldn't believe it listening to the rain hammering on the roof as I type this).  The important point is that the temperature doesn't fall away at night and the glass light protects the plants from being battered by the weather.

mmmmm - toasty!

I've put 6 cucumbers in there - okay, so I have to admit I cheated and started them off in pots on a sunny windowsill. This is my first go at this and I just wasn't sure how long the warmth would last, next year I'll have the confidence to sow in-situ.  I realise this picture makes it look like the Norman Foster glasshouse at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, but it's just my lil old hotbed.  *smiles with fake modesty* 

cucumbers in the hotbed

The cucumbers are a variety called 'Parisian Pickling' from Real Seeds, which claim to be good as a gherkin/cornichon for pickling but also okay to grow on as small salad cucumbers.  Previous hotbeds have produced big gluts of prickly skinned fruit that no-one was interested in buying - we couldn't even give them away, which seems a bit sad. We get through tons of pickled cucumbers in this house - my favourites are Mrs Elswood's Haimisha and the Ogorki Kwaszone ones from the Polish section in the supermarket.  So it seems like a no-brainer to put the two things together and have a go at pickling my own. I'm getting in touch with my inner granny - maybe I'll start wearing a headscarf tied under my chin too.  Watch this space...

1 comment:

  1. It is amazing that we are both growing leeks and brassicas at the same time in different hemisphere. Of course I have no cucumbers at this time of year and I think the rats had more than I did this year, sigh. I will have to find a new position later in the year