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Bramham Blogs

A Good Day for Hiding in the Greenhouse

Lottie

Thank goodness for the greenhouse. I managed to stay warm and dry all afternoon and avoid the hail stones, snow and rain while the husband dodged the storms out on the allotment. I bought all my seeds this weekend and so had a good excuse to spend the afternoon hiding in the greenhouse planting everything up. I also took the opportunity to give it a good clean out too as it tends to end up as a bit of a dumping ground at the end of the season for used pots and anything else we can’t be bothered to sort out. I had to evict some pretty huge spiders who had made their homes in the plant pots but after the way was clear I could focus on sorting out the seeds. If there is one plant that is the easiest thing in the world to grow from seed and you end up with thousands of seedlings most of which you have to throw away which is heart breaking it’s the leek. From one packet of seed at a cost of about £2.00 you can grow thousands of leeks if you want too. This year instead of buying the seed I actually bought a tray of seedlings from the garden centre for £2.50 which when you consider the compost I’d have had to use means they were no more expensive and I could miss out a stage in the planting cycle. When the seedlings are no more than three-four inches tall and look like individual blades of grass you can seperate them and pot them on until they grow to about pencil thickness when you plant them out. This is what I did this afternoon and potted on 75 leeks and still had hundreds to throw on the compost heap, but unlike most seedlings where the success rate is low and so you can keep the others as spares just in case, with leeks it doesn’t seem to matter what you do to them, other than if you let them completly dry out, they all grow on fine. The other seeds I planted were my brassicas. I plant a few seeds in individual pots and then thin them out later leaving one plant in each pot to grow on for planting out. Once they are all planted and watered I cover them over with an old compost bag to keep out the light and then it’s just a waiting game. It means daily trips into the greenhouse to make sure they don’t dry out and as soon as the seedlings show through I will remove the plastic and let them enjoy the sunshine. I’ve stuck to the usual favorites purple sprouting broccoli, brussel sprouts and green kale instead of the purple this year. We need to lime the brassica bed now to give it time to settle before planting as brassicas prefer an alkaline soil and we won’t dig the bed over as they also prefer a solid compact soil. This helps to stop the brussel sprouts from opening up and keeps them nice and tight. We are still harvesting out broccoli and next on the list to try is the rhubarb which you can see from the picture is going mad. I want to see if I can use it savoury dishes this year as I’m not a fan of rhubarb crumble, so I’ll be having a look in the internet to see what I can find.