Planting out at last

With the weather finally starting to warm up and the sun breaking through, the Other Half and I have started planting out. Normally, we’d sow the seeds of early germinating, cool climate plants, such as lettuce and some brassicae, in late March or early April. At the same time, we’d sow the seeds of less hardy plants under glass for planting out in late April. Not this year.

The long, cool and wet spring has prevented the ground warming sufficiently for germination, while the soil has remained waterlogged and unworkable most days. We tried sowing some lettuce and cabbage seeds outside, but they failed to germinate with most rotting. To make up for the slow start to the season, we had to sow lettuce, spinach, cabbage, kale, broccoli and cauliflower under glass. They took up space intended for peas and beans but needs must.

The seedlings were large enough to be pricked out a week ago, but on each of the three days I took the trays out it started to hail within minutes of my starting the job. This time around, the weather remaining clear and sunny so the OH and I were able to make a good start on the job. We covered the rows of seedlings with fleece just in case the hail, sleet and snow return.

Even with practice it takes some time to plant out hundreds of seedlings. There are 55 cabbage seedlings to a bed, with three beds dedicated to them. There are a further three beds for other brassicae (kale, cauliflower, broccoli, swedes etc). There are six beds for salad vegetables and they have a higher density than the brassiere. Then, if the sun continues for a couple more days and warms the soil sufficiently for germination, there will be the carrots, beets and chard to go in. The peas and beans will be started under glass. The celery will come outside. The cucumbers and tomatoes will be potted on inside, as will the pumpkins, squashes and courgettes. How are other vegetable gardens progressing?

6 Responses to “Planting out at last”

  1. “Even with practice it takes some time to… and they have a higher density than the brassiere.” :-))

    Love it – have you tried that line of chat with the SPIT callers? Could get some very interesting results. Thanks for the laugh on what still feels like a bl*.*y cold day in the Midlands.

    • That’s the auto-correct again. Every time I type brassicae it gets changed. I go back, change to brassicae and the computer changes it again. I click on the X to say “no, I don’t want it changed” and it still changes. I have check spelling while typing set to off, check grammar set to off and correct spelling set to off. And still the computer insists it knows better than me.

      Mind you, the auto-correct has done worse things that change brassicae to brassiere. It’s just no one has noticed before I’ve managed to force the correct word to stay in place.

      While I appreciate computers enormously, I detest the ever increasing trend to assume the user is a moron who can’t choose the correct word, can’t spell and can’t make decisions for themselves.

      • “While I appreciate computers enormously, I detest the ever increasing trend to assume the user is a moron who can’t choose the correct word, can’t spell and can’t make decisions for themselves.”

        Couldn’t agree more; I am a poor speller so I like the spell checker – greatest thing ever invented – but I too detest the trend…

        Readers might like An Ode to the Spelling Chequer – go to http://www.cooper.com/alan/homonym.html and scroll to the bottom. Tis a persnle favrite of myne :-))

  2. Germnation terrible, am on second or even third sowing, here–indoors and outside. Wonder if it is due to the low er light levels because of the gloom we have had, since the nice weather in March?

    • Up here failed germination is down to soil temperatures remaining at or below 5ºC in combination water logging and minimal sunshine. It’s why I decided to start almost everything inside.

  3. Do you get the option to add new words to the spell checker’s dictionary? You might have to enable the spell checker for a while.

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