Monday, 2 May 2016

A Little Bank Holiday Seed Sowing

So I have a different kind of sowing for you today, with the good weather this morning I spent some time up the greenhouse to sow some seeds. There's nothing better than getting your hands stuck into fresh compost. These are the last ones i'll be sowing under cover, everything else will be direct sown later in the month.

This is my second year of 'growing my own' and i've tried to scale things back a little this year. Last year I grew as many different vegetables as I could possible fit in my little 'allotment' space in my back garden, but this meant that my time was too stretched to keep up with and harvest everything before things spoiled. A common rookie mistake I believe! So less is more this year.

I have already sown a few seeds earlier in March which I shall show you in my greenhouse tour blogpost coming up soon. Today I sowed some Runner Beans, Peas and French Beans. Also a yellow variety of Courgette.

My chosen varieties of Legumes this year are:

A classic red flowering variety. Runner Beans are my favourite crop to grow, because I remember sowing them in the garden with my Grandad as a child. They are so easy to grow and are prolific croppers as long as you pick them regularly. They also freeze brilliantly without having to blanch them first, many a night I spend sitting in front of the tv slicing up runner beans into freezer bags. You can put them straight into boiling water from frozen for a delicious summer vegetable all year round.

These are a petit pois variety of pea that I chose because they're a bush variety and don't need any support. Last year I grew climbing peas that got very unruly and messy which got on my nerves A LOT! Haha! So i'm trying to keep them neater this year with a nice row of bush plants. I have sown 24 seeds here and will fill up the rest of the row with seeds directly sown, depending on space. I only want one row as i'm not sure how successful these will be, a bit of trial and error this year.

A yellow variety of french bean, chosen again because they don't require any support. These are bush plants that produce heavy crops of long yellow beans. I've sown 18 seeds here to have one row of them in my legume bed. They need to be 4-6 inches apart so, if I have any space left over i'll direct sow some seeds for cropping later in the year. 

I have linked where I bought the seeds from, if you click on their names it should take to the websites. I got all my seeds online this year from Sarah Raven or Premier Seeds Direct on Ebay. I've heard really good things about PSD on various Facebook groups so decided to try them out this year. Their prices are really reasonable for a good amount of seeds. Should my beans and peas be successful this year, i'll buy all my seeds from them next year, their variety to choose from is huge.

Above you can see i've sown 3 Courgette seeds, these are the Soleil F1 variety from Sarah Raven, quite expensive at £2.50 for 8 seeds. So I hope they're successful. I had a lot of Courgettes last year, but those were a green variety I got free with a magazine, so these have a lot to live up to. I grow them in a large half barrel type of container. I love Courgettes so I'm hoping these are heavy croppers. I also feed courgettes to my chickens, they love them too!

I was very lucky when I bought my house to inherit all my Grandad's tools and gardening equipment. So I didn't have to start from scratch buying everything I needed. The greenhouse also came with the house when I bought it, although it needed a lot of work getting it ready to grow anything in it. But I still had to buy quite a lot last year... building raised beds on the lawn, buying plants, pots and seeds trays, canes, plant food, lots and lots of compost, etc. 

So some things I wanted had to wait, one of those things was this Brother garden label maker. A treat for myself to bring in the new growing season. I saw Rob promote this on Twitter last year and decided I had to have it, it's perfect. The labels are fade-proof, waterproof, super sticky and look pretty swanky in my greenhouse, haha! You literally type in your plant name, print, peel of the back and stick it to your plastic plant labels - awesome.

So there you have it, a little garden update for you all. I hope you find it helpful or at least interesting. If you're growing your own this year, please feel free to give me any tips or tell me where i'm going wrong. This is my own little adventure and I don't know anybody who grows vegetables like me in real life. It's all books and youtube for me. I'll leave the blogpost here with a couple picture of my greenhouse helper. 


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