Saturday, 17 September 2016

Winter salads?

In an ideal world I would have sown loads of seeds this Spring and have enjoyed a greenhouse full of edible loveliness.  At risk of repeating myself it ain't an ideal world!  I was too tired, too run down, in too much pain earlier in the year and to my shame the greenhouse has produced nothing but the occasional stray weed.  Thankfully, that has now all changed.

Encouraged by the success of my leaky hose in the bed behind the house, and having had the foresight to order a very large roll, I have finally got some irrigation in the greenhouse.  Unfortunately our idea of feeding the hose from the IBC tanks isn't working - not enough water pressure.  BUT, it will not take much to put a small header tank between the IBCs and the greenhouse and chuck in the smallest submersible pump, which should sort out that problem.

Inspired by Charles Dowding, who is an absolute God and guru when it comes to sensible gardening, I'm going to see how we get on with winter salads.

It's all in this short video:


Charles says sow seeds in September in modules and plant out the plugs in October.  So, on 5th September I had a mammoth seed sowing session.  Prior to this there was a lot of hot hours bent over a sieve preparing the top four inches of soil, and a huge number of cans of water to rehydrate the beds after a long hot summer of abandonment.  I didn't bother with modules going straight into the soil, hopefully carrot root fly are not around at this time of year . . . If I took any photos that day then I've lost them ... but eight days later it all looked like this:



Nearly two weeks on the amount of germination has exceeded any expectations (although one of the warmest Septembers on record might be helping a little).








I have now extended this experiment to the small fruit cage next to the greenhouse.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained . . .


Ever eagle-eyed, Management spotted that some of the mixed baby leaves have already germinated.



It has been surprisingly easy to slip back into the routine of going to the greenhouse each morning, checking the plants, watering, opening windows.  It's all rather lovely, really :)  I wonder how soon the weather will turn nasty and mess everything up?





12 comments:

  1. Fingers crossed. It's looking promising. You've put in lot of work. I am just in the process of cutting back our overgrown small garden ready for the winter months and clearing out the raised bed so Lily and I can have a try at growing something next year. Not sure what yet as I don't have green fingers. X

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    1. Thanks Jules, good luck with your clearing. To encourage Lily I would look for things which are fast and easy. I just Googled "fast germinating vegetables for children" for you and there are a lot of promising results. Good luck.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Sue. I'm going to have a go at putting together some cloches for the 'outside' seedlings to give them a bit more protection from the winter.

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  3. It looks like a wonderful set-up, hope it all goes well.

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    1. Thanks Mereth, I'm fighting against shortening days, and chilly nights but if I wasn't doing this then the greenhouse would be empty, so there's not much to lose.

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  4. Beautiful! And very timely. I've been cleaning out my hoop house beds in preparation for planting soon. I should have already planted, but no rain and still in the 90sF is not conducive to gardening!

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    1. Thanks Leigh, I think we're all fighting with strange weather - it has been an unusually warm September here.

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  5. What an elaborate greenhouse! I bet you do love going out there to work each day. Those winter salads will taste fantastic. Well done!

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    1. Cheers Jayne, now I've got the greenhouse tidy again it is a lovely place to go to. Slowly working my way round cleaning all the inside of the glass . . .

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  6. Replies
    1. Posibly {{grin}}. Or just having a fun experiment, and using up a great deal of old seed!

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