Monday, May 29

More of the same

Our harvests are still on the meagre side and restricted to herbs, salads and flowers.

The crops in the raised salad bed are now growing quickly. In here I planted lettuces, Maditta, Tom Thumb and Red and Green Salad Bowl. I also planted Giant Red Mustard. These were all raised from seed in the garden greenhouse before planting in both the raised bed and on the plot as small plants

I directly sowed, Mizuna, Mixed Salad Leaves. Mixed Radish and two types of spring onion, Lisbon and Lilia which is a red variety. I also sowed some Lamb's Lettuce but the seeds didn't germinate.

The salad leaves are growing quickly now and I was surprised to compare the photo taken yesterday with the one taken a week ago.
You may be able to spot the germinated spring onions creeping into the photograph on the left. I think it will be a while before we harvest any.

We did however pull our first small radish - a white one.
The only other harvest was a bunch of cornflowers.
As we went away for a couple of days, these went to my sister.

We still have some shallots left from last year, some of which are beginning to grow shoots so instead of letting them all go to waste I decided to slice some and pickle them with thin slices of cucumber.
On the plot some things just are not going well. Many of the seeds that we sowed directly are just refusing to germinate. At least we don't think they are germinating, it could well be that hungry slugs, or some other creatures, are moving in on them as soon as they show their tiny heads.

We sowed parsnips a month ago on 28 April, four rows of carrots on 1 May, Sugar Snap and Mushy Peas on 11 May. All have only managed an odd seedling.

We usually sow broad beans in modules in the greenhouse but as space is at a premium, we decided to sow some Robin Hood beans direct on 14 May. They were covered with enviromesh to try and deter hungry mice but so far there are no signs of germination.

The same decision was made for hardy annuals which were also sown on 14 May. So far germination has been sporadic. Those sown direct last June had germinated within a week. I know seeds sown at this time of year may take longer to germinate but after the spell of summery weather I had expected something.

It looks like we will be busy resowing unless when we go to the plot this afternoon, something miraculous has happened. We can always hope can't we?

I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on Dave's blog Our Happy Acres




26 comments:

  1. That sounds like a bad situation to be in, Sue. Luckily I have had good germination on most things this year - I sowed most of my seeds in that warm spell in early April. Still, as gardeners always say "Never give up"! Maybe there will be a late rally and everything will come on in a rush...

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    1. The parsnips, carrots and flowers were sown just before we had a heavy downpour, Mark so another possibility is that the seeds have washed away or washed too deep in the soil. Also the rain brought the slugs out in force after the long dry period.

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  2. You'd think everything would be in a rush to germinate and grow with the warm weather we've had, especially now it's rained too. Fingers crossed that everything comes good in the end. Hope Tivvy's going on okay.

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    1. It wasn't too warm when they were sown, Jo. Tivvy is doing fine thanks. She was groomed last week and so her patches have disappeared now. Her coat had grown over her scars and now that it is all the same length you wouldn't know she had stitches.

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  3. Too bad about the germination issues. The pickled shallots sound interesting. I've never pickled them but I do like both pickled garlic and onions. The cornflowers are stunning!

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    1. I usually pickle whole shallots, Dave and any small onions. I decided to slice these as an easy pickle for having in a sandwich. Pickled shallots are also on sale here.

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  4. It does sound like something is getting to your newly germinated seedlings. Hopefully since everything is growing faster now, they'll move on. Your salad greens do look wonderful, our harvests will be on the lean side for awhile as well.

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    1. We're going to resow some, Phuong although our weather has taken a turn for the worse today

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  5. The spring greens really are enthusiastic growers. Too bad the other seeds aren't doing the same. I love pickled shallots. I make a quick pickle frequently by just tossing the sliced shallots with a bit of salt and covering them with a good vinegar. They're good to go within an hour but keep well in the fridge too.

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    1. I do the same quick pickle Michelle but without the salt. You could add thin slides of pepper to it too.

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  6. That's a great idea for the shallots - I'll have to remember that. I've been having a problem in one of my beds with sowbugs - my last sowing of turnips was just coming up but within a few days, nothing was left. And then I look at the older sowings and many are being munched in broad daylight. We've always had sowbugs and they are generally not a problem so I'm thinking it's the wet weather that has brought them out in droves.

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    1. I think sowbugs are what we call woodlice, Margaret. They never seem to give us a problem.

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  7. Those pickled shallots look good. I'm having the same problem with the carrots and parsnips....not much is happening but the broad beans are up and flowering.xxx

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    1. Our first lot of broad beans are flowering too, Dina but they were sown in pors and planted out. Looks like I will be resowing the carrots and parsnips this week.

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  8. Know that feeling! I've resown parsnip to fill in the gaps in my (too early) sowing. Carrots I have sown 4 times the usual amount and the germination rate looks better than usual too. Just the weeds to keep under control. After two lots of home germinated peas went out to the plot I plucked up the courage to try a direct sowing. Despite covering with chicken wire word got out to the rodent population and every single one was dug up. They don't touch the home sprouted ones!

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    1. I did the opposite and tried to sow the carrots a little more thinly this year, Mal no doubt I will be resowing later this week. I had also planned on adding more parsnip seeds to fill any gaps in germination but I didn't expect there to be more gaps than seedlings. Nothing is actually digging up our peas they just seem to have not germinated. Earlier sown ones germinated well but they were just the common or garden Onward variety

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  9. Sorry about the germination issues. Seems like there's always something that just doesn't go as planned. For us it was peppers. We didn't do greens this spring and yours look wonderful.

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    1. Hi wvhiker and welcome. One of our main problems is slugs. As soon as it gets a little damp they are out in force and it has become a damp again this week so I guess those greens may well soon fall foul of the slimy beasts.

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  10. Your cornflowers are glorious. I can't even grow lettuce, because we have so many slugs and snails.

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    1. They really are the bane of a gardener's life aren't they, Rob?

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  11. How disappointing not to have a forest of seedlings now. Parsnips at proving a real challenge here this year too. Usually there is no problem with germination but this year ... seven came up! I have re-sown. Good luck with the next batch of sowings

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    1. Hi Kathryn - thanks for visiting and commenting. I resowed the parsnips and carrots today. I found empty snail shells so it looks as though they were the culprits but we must have an ally that had disposed of the occupants of the shells.

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  12. That's a good looking salad bed!

    Hope the parsnips improve, the rain and warm weekend seem to have finally kicked ours into life so you never know!

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    1. I've resown the parsnips and carrots, Dicky but the broad beans have pushed through

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  13. Ok Sue...This question is going to be silly. I seen the picture of the corn flowers. Are they in the corn family? It's great to see everyone's harvests this week as I was unable to post. My phone broke and I am waiting for a replacement. I have a digital camera somewhere but don't even want to figure out how to use it if I do in fact find it..haha

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    1. Hi Karrie - welcome and thanks for commenting. Cornflowers 'real' name is Centaurea cyanus and they are in the aster family. The name comes from the fact that the wild form grew in cornfields. By the way there is no such thing as a silly question

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