A dull photo..
I did say it'd be a dull photo!!!
This morning I sowed up a few more of the little sq ft areas. I trawled through my seed drawer and found some little packets a dear friend sent me a couple of months ago. I was so surprised to find that they are recommended for summer sowing. I really must tidy up my seed drawer....
So today I have sown....
Kale "Cavolo Nero" (Packet from last year)
Broccoli "Romanesco Navona"
Cabbage "Durham Early"
Cabbage "Offenham 2 Flower of Spring"
And into another bed when I have finished my sit down with coffee Climbing Bean "Italian Gold". This last is intriguing. It says it can be sown as late as July so here goes! I'll bet it will be producing it's crop when we are in the US in September. Ah well! The dog sitters will enjoy them.....
The cabbages are a little experiment. Mel Bartholomew (Sq Ft Gardening author) suggests one cabbage plant per square. I think this is a bit close but we will see. I have done as he said and sown a tiny pinch of seeds in the middle of the square....direct rather than starting in pots.....and will see how they go on. I also sprinkled a few more seeds in each of the corners to get some early leaf pickings for salad.....these will be gone before the plant in the middle needs the space.
I just found some horrid holes in my (last week) healthy red cabbage plants. There was also a lot of insect "dust" in the middle of the plant. The others are all still healthy.....so I have sprayed the lot with an organic bug spray and will keep an eye on them from now on.
I am hoping this Square foot method will work better this time. Mel Bartholomew says if the beds are not marked out with something then it isn't Sq Ft Gardening. He is right.....! Marking out all those little squares encouraged me to try lots of small sowings of lots of different veg. If I find this a success then I will revert to just growing the bulk crops on the allotment (spuds, carrots, beetroot, broad beans for the freezer, and fruit) and keep the kitchen garden for our day to day meal stuff.
As an early Anniversary present (In September it'll be 38 years), DH has funded the purchase of some Link-a-bord deep beds for my tunnel. I now plan to take out everything this autumn, level off the floor, cover it with membrane, then install the beds. These have been specially made....2ft deep by the length of the tunnel (4 metres-ish!) and will go along the long walls. In the middle I will have the staging, with the lemon tree in its pot one end, and the dustbin of compost the other. There will be room for paths both sides of the staging. If I mark the beds into Sq Feet just like the garden I should be able to grow as much as I have now in the tunnel, and have good access to it all. At the moment I am struggling to get to it all.
I will have over 50 Sq Ft areas to sow in there. At 4 lettuces per square, or one plant such as tomato, cucumber, melon, pepper, etc it should be very productive. It will be a lot of work installing it, and I'll have to invest in some compost and vermiculite and peat substitute for it, but it will solve the problem of the soil getting stale in there......always a worry. I will also build a permanent climbing net behind the beds.....for tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, and courgettes. I have got some seeds of a climbing one I am anxious to try next year. It isn't self fertile so I'll have to get a brush to help it along, but it will be easier to manage than the huge monsters I have in there at the moment.
So....back to my gardening!