Thursday, 22 March 2012

Sowing Sparingly

What have I been doing every afternoon this week - seed sowing - that's what.  Trying to catch up after my holiday.  Of course there's no rush - it's just that I like to get a few things underway in March - little and often is my sowing motto.

Boltardy Beetroot
This morning I sowed a row of parsnips and beetroot in the allotment garden
Tender and True Parsnip
The trick is not to sow too many at a time.  I try and space them thinly so that I don't have the job of thinning them later on.  It is quite easy with the larger seeds like parsnips and beetroot, but a little more difficult with carrots, say, as the seed is quite small.  I will sow more beetroot each month till July so that I have a continuous crop right through the year.  Then, to extend the season, I will sow some in containers, that I can bring them in to the greenhouse when the weather gets colder again.   That's the theory anyway.

I have sown five types of lettuce in modules, three to each station:-


Iceberg, Little Gem, Webbs Wonderful, Lobjoits Green Cos and All the Year Round.  The first four are crispy lettuce, All the Year Round is a Butterhead.  I love the crispness of  the first four but will grow salad leaves as well to mix in with the others to give different textures and colours on the plate. I tend to use each lettuce by breaking off the leaves rather than pull the whole plant - that way they keep growing and producing more leaves.  Lettuce do over winter well , so I will keep sowing little and often right through the year, giving the plants protection later on.  Even in summer I protect them with some shading mesh when it gets too hot.

Lettuce look pretty good in the flower garden too, used as edging plants - and if they bolt, and throw up spires, they look even prettier.

The last job for today was to transplant Broccoli and Cauliflower seedlings which now have two true leaves.  So far I have transplanted a dozen of each, but again, I intend doing a bit of succession sowing.  Broccoli did well for me last year, enabling me to pick for quite a few weeks.  But with Cauliflower it is best to harvest them quite small as they all produce heads at the same time.

So, I am slowly getting to grips with the growing season, Leeks have been transplanted , more Broad beans and Peas sown, and  a row of Charlotte potatoes put in the ground - I feel I am making a little progress at last.  If this weather holds and I am able to carry on doing a bit every day I'll be a happy bunny.


  1. I'm only just beginning to realise that you have to be very organised in the garden, plan things a bit better than I have. Thoroughly enjoyable though.

  2. I need to take a leaf out of your book, I've sown very little yet, but I agree that little and often is the way to go.

  3. Definitely caught up's almost as if you never took a holiday at all :)

  4. I’m trying to stager sowing too so I avoid what happened last when I had about 36 lettuces all ready at the same time...

  5. I am learning all the time with veg growing.I will definitely be staggering the sowing this year.
    I am thinking of trying to grow beetroot, never done so before, but we love it pickled.Is it easy? And can you eat the green tops-leaves?

  6. I still have just a few Beetroots in the ground, and I recently made some Beetroot chips. Sliced very thinly and deep fried; they were delicious.

  7. My you have been busy! I shall be sowing little and often once I start. Flighty xx

  8. Sounds like you are getting organised now hun! x

  9. You sound well in front of the game to me!
    We also get self sown lettuces from the ones that run to seed.

  10. It's still early in the season despite the recent Summer weather. Glad you are "easing" back into things after your holiday, no rush yet.

  11. I think it is too early for me to sow parsnips. I sowed them in April last year and had good germintion and good crops. When you say you have transplanted your leeks do you mean you have planted them out in the beds. I have only just sown mine! Sowed my first salad in the raised bed at the plot and have Rocket potatoes in. Charlotte will be in a few weeks when I have finished digging the bed - which seems to be going on for ever!

  12. I sowed my beetroot in modules for the first time last year, 3 to each and planted out. They grew really well. I'll probably do that again. The flowers on lettuce are lovely too. x

  13. Just stumbled upon your blog. What lovely produce you have!


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