Mid-Spring Gardening

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By mid-spring most of the seedlings have made the big trek down to our greenhouse, which is now absolutely rammed with fresh new growth. I usually feel like there’s not enough time and definitely not enough space at this time of year….

This is the second in a series of posts about the joys of springtime gardening on our organic allotment. Sowing new crops, hardening off, planting out and the first harvests. Life is good….

On the allotment: We’re harvesting the rhubarb and spring onions (our first spring fruit and veg!), pulling up the old kale and leaf beet plants, that have given us delicious leafy greens throughout the winter and continuing to tend our overwintered onions and garlic.

All the other beds are given a final tidy and the whole allotment garden takes on an air of great expectation! I’m literally leaping around with the exciting prospect of growing and cooking our own organic food.

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Sowing: This month we’re sowing the amazing-looking romanesco cauliflower, autumn leeks, sweetcorn, french beans, summer carrots, the next overwinter crops – brussel sprouts and purple sprouting broccoli, plus lots of successional sowings of the earlier crops. I’m determined to master successional sowing this year, so every month I’m sowing more spinach, lettuce, leaf beet, fennel, beetroot and celeriac.

We sow everything from seed that we’ve either saved from last year or bought from organic seed suppliers, in fact the only thing I’m having to buy this year is a companion plant called tagetes, because I forgot to sow them early enough!

Hardening off: Windowsill, greenhouse, cold frame, allotment – that’s the journey our plants take at this time of year.

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When the seedlings look strong and the weather is warm enough, I start to harden them off in preparation for planting out at the allotment. They spend the nights inside the greenhouse and the days outside, before trekking down to the allotment cold frame. Totally depends on the plant and the weather, but I usually harden off for around 7-10 days.

Planting out: Mid-spring sees our first crops planted out on the allotment, which is always an exciting moment! The broad beans and peas both love the cooler weather of mid-spring, so I plant them out as soon as they’re big enough. The early potatoes are also planted out using comfrey leaves as a natural kick-start fertiliser (more info here). Everything else is biding its time.

Roll on late-Spring….

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6 thoughts on “Mid-Spring Gardening

  1. Michael says:

    Did you know HomeGrown Kate that tagetes (which I love) are named after the Etruscan Tages?! He sounds like the original bio-dynamic farmer!

    Cicero in 50 BC tells the story: They tell us that one day as the land was being ploughed in the territory of Tarquinii, and a deeper furrow than usual was made, suddenly Tages sprang out of it and addressed the ploughman. Tages, as it is recorded in the works of the Etruscans (Libri Etruscorum), had the face of a child, but the wisdom of a sage. When the ploughman was surprised at seeing him, and in his astonishment made a great outcry, a number of people assembled around him, and before long all the Etruscans came together at the spot. Tages then spoke in the presence of an immense crowd, who noted his speech and committed it to writing. The information they derived from this Tages was the foundation of the science of the soothsayers (haruspicinae disciplina), and was subsequently improved by the accession of many new facts, all of which confirmed the same principles. We received this record from them. This record is preserved in their sacred books, and from it the augurial discipline is deduced.

    Liked by 1 person

    • homegrownkate says:

      WOW! That is fascinating stuff Michael. Thanks for sharing. I’d love to know what Tages said to the crowd when he sprung out of the ground. Do you know? I’m off to check out what ‘augurial discipline’ means?? Kate. x

      Like

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