Friday, 10 May 2013

Impatient

Gardeners are always impatient, aren't they? Well, I certainly am. It's scarcely a month since I started sowing seeds, but already I'm yearning for a harvest. I've put in seeds for some quick-growing vegetables to tide me over until the slower ones get going. Like this Baby Leaf salad, for instance:-


This is a mixture I assembled myself, comprising many different things, like lettuce, rocket, cress, corn salad, spinach, beetroot etc, etc. It is growing in a large plastic crate full of compost:


My seed distribution was a bit uneven, evidently! Actually it's not quite as bad as it seems at first sight, because if you look closely you can see several tiny red lettuces, which don't show up in the distant shot:


Some of these will be ready in a couple of days I think. I'm going to use it in "cut-and-come-again" style, snipping off individual leaves with a pair of scissors.

I also have some other lettuce seedlings which are nearly big enough for planting out:


...and some much smaller seedlings, which are nowhere near ready for transplanting yet. These are a mixture of "Valdor"( foreground), "Delicato" (the red one in the centre), and "Fristina" (rear). As you can see, the germination success rates have been a bit patchy. The seed-tray on the right is supposed to contain two different types of Endive, but one type failed completely to germinate, though to be fair, the seeds were quite old.


The Endives that did germinate are the variety "Pancalieri".


Elsewhere, in amongst my Broad Beans, I have a few Radishes that are just about ready for pulling:


Radishes are the classic impatient gardener's vegetable, because they can be ready to harvest within a month of sowing if the conditions are right - in other words wet and warm. This year I have put lots of Radishes in, sowing them as a catch-crop between the rows of slower-maturing veg. So far however, this is all I have harvested:


13 comments:

  1. I like nipping out in the evening with my scissors to harvest some salad leaves. Do you leave the leaves on your radish after you harvest them? I did on our first harvest of the year and they were lovely.

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  2. I do get impatient. I was taking the leaves off of my lettuce for a couple of weeks. But I love the older leaves and the lettuce wasn't getting bigger so I finally had to leave them alone for a week. I ought to plant ones just to cut early but I never do.

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  3. i'm so unbelievably impatient... we planted a whole load of stuff last weekend and have been in London this week. Got back about an hour ago and nothing's showing!... so impatient.... oh by the way I have a fab giveaway on my blog for a new drinking gazpacho that you'd love http://www.belleaukitchen.com/ (hope you don't mind me sharing)

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  4. I'm a very impatient gardener, no sooner have I sown the seeds, I want to be harvesting. Those radishes look lovely, I haven't sown any yet.

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  5. Don't give up on your endive, Mark - I sowed several types of salad leaves into a divided up container and I've been amazed at the different germination rates - Lamb's lettuce only just germinating whereas Rocket (aptly named) is already an inch tall. I have the same lettuce sowing system as you - baby leaves (yum yum) and bigger plants for going out. Seems to be working so far! Lovely radishes, btw - must get some sown. :)

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  6. What tasty looking radishes!

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  7. I can remember growing radish as a child - always a good encouraging plant to start with!

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  8. With regular small sowings of salad leaves you should be enjoying them all through the summer. As an aside can I ask you when you sow your chicory I have just bought some Franchi seed of a lovely stripey one but the instructions are unintelligable.

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    1. Elaine, is it "Cicoria Rossa di Treviso 2"? (I have this one too). If so, you should sow it between May and Sept for harvest between Sept and Dec. The little coloured dots on the back of the Franchi packs indicate when to sow and harvest. The UK is in the Blue zone... Chicories come in many different varieties, but basically Early or Precoce for Spring sowing and Late or Tardivo for Summer sowing. Many of them are hardy and will survive the Winter quite happily.

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    2. No Mark it's Cicoria Variegate di Castelfranco and it looks bloomin gorgeous. I am looking at the packet right now and the blue dots start in June (ah I see the little map at the top now I wondered what that was for) I am really looking forward to seeing how this turns out I'll be sure to post plenty of pics if they survive. Thanks for the info.

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  9. I'm inspired by all the work you put into your garden. Love those radishes...beautiful!

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  10. Some nice starts! and radish harvest already. Super! Gotta go thin mine...

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  11. Do you have any trouble with hop flea beatles? (I think that's what they're called in English). I've laid insect netting over my radishes because they've started attacking my rocket, which isn't far away.

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