Not normally one to get biblical, but when it comes to growing veg, there is such a large degree of luck involved that I completely understand why our ancestors racked up the tally of Gods in the vain hope that they could please at least one of them and get some favourable weather conditions (My favourite ancient Brit deity has to be Debranua who is somewhat ironically goddess of speed and fat).
So when the seeds start their journey, and enter into some well-prepared soil, this is when I start to get excited.
The burst of heat that punctuated March’s otherwise average weather prompted a flurry of sowing activity. All the trays got laid out in rows, with my 3 year old helper filling them all with compost, her enthusiasm sadly incompatible with tidiness. This is a task best executed outside, as you can imagine. From my hotch-potch collection of trays, I am able to fill some of the smaller trays with a single type of seed, such as broad beans and cucumber. I’m planning to sow broad beans straight into the soil as well in April, and cucumber, which I won’t need more than half a dozen successful plants of. I have had mixed results with cucumbers before and they require a lot of TLC grown outside, so I’m going to allocate 6 plants worth of TLC to the cuc only. In the bigger trays, I choose related veg to get friendly, module to module. Broccoli nestles happily alongside cauliflower; courgettes and butternut squash get neighbourly.
And now, a small admission. In my excitement I planted out all of the sweetcorn. On 16th March. So a month early and what happened? With the exception of 3 more manly kernels they all rotted. You can see why I was seduced by looking at them in the pic below, aren’t they lovely looking?