11 March, 2008

More seeds go in - progress update

My tomato seedlings are growing very well- really, I can't quite believe it. They look pretty good and increasingly like tomato plants. My new worry, after the one that involves paving the terrace with growbags to accommodate my overambitious tomato sowing, is that you need a degree in structural engineering to deal with indeterminate i.e. growing madly up and away up poles tomatoes. And of course all four varieties I chose are indeterminate.

I also have four tiny San Marzano plum tomato seedlings recently emerged and one Lylia Cerisette from the second sowing. My carrots are starting to look carroty, I have about eight unbelievably small celeriac seedlings and lots of leggy looking lettuce seedlings which don't look anything like lettuce. I had to check with my cousin's superior gardening knowledge that this is what lettuce looks like at this age. And apparently it is. The cabbages are a disappointment. Only three came up out of ten or so and they don't look great. Mind you, I'm mildly relieved as I don't actually have enough room for everything I have planted and the weather has been so lousy and my inclination nowhere near digging that I haven't had a chance to expand the gardening plan.

Yesterday I started off four French beans (Slenderette), some basil, some chives, some sage and some more lettuce. I have grown basil successfully in London before without actually trying but not the others.

Meanwhile outside, the broad beans went out for their first day of hardening off in the newly constructed (by Tom of course) cold frame. Not very impressed by the cold frame but I hope it will do the trick and it did cost under 50 quid. The first problem was that the lid wouldn't shut over the rather leggy bean plants and their sticks. The second was that the wind started up again and one of the lids came off. The cold frame has now battened down its hatches and the beans are inside on the sitting room floor, waiting a second outing tomorrow. Possibly I am taking all this too seriously. I wonder what happens if you just bung them outside into the wide world to make their own way?

In the raised beds, there are signs of growth. The garlic has sprouted well and the shallots look all right. No sign of the broad beans I planted outside as yet. But there are two tiny rows of radish marking out where I planted my parsnips. You see I am doing it by the book. And the book in question is The Allotment Book by Andi Clevely.

I will add pictures once the risk of being blown away while taking them has died down.

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