February always surprises me – it’s technically still winter but light levels have increased a lot since the winter solstice.
Sunrise is at 7 am and and it doesn’t get dark until five in the afternoon.
And the temperatures at the moment are double the average – up to 16 celsius!
Now is the time to start sowing seeds.
I’ve multi-sowed beetroot, radish, spinach, onion (varieties are Bedfordshire Champion and Kyoto Market Garden).
Broad beans have been sown one seed per module.
All will then be planted out in a few weeks time.
The temperatures can fluctuate so wildly at this time of year that sowing direct is asking for trouble if we get hit by bad weather like last year’s Beast from the East.
Plants sown under cover first can also resist slugs and woodlice better as bigger plants – seedlings are much more vulnerable.
Lettuce has been sowed on damp compost in clumps which I will then prick out individually before planting out under fleece as single plants.
It’ll be interesting to see if some old lettuce seed I picked up from the Norwich Seed Swap last Sunday germinates.
I’ve sowed a mixture of begged, borrowed and saved seeds this year.
The varieties are bronze arrowhead lettuce, oak leaf, and red salad bowl. I’ll sow Brun d’hiver later in the year.
One thing I won’t be doing is switching on the heating in the glasshouse if it does turn cold – last year we got hit by an extremely high electricity bill when I did that!
I have also sown early Greyhound cabbage and calabrese seeds I picked up at the swap – like the lettuce they’ve just been sowed randomly into a tray of compost and will be pricked out after they show the first true pair of leaves as single plants.
Coriander’s also gone in.
Still got to get Purple Milano turnips and kohlrabi underway.
The persimmon mash is bubbling away and is smelling more and more like vinegar.
I keep it covered with a tightly drawn muslin and an old tea towel and stir it with a big clean metal spoon every day.
Quinoa, avocado, blueberry, radish and rocket dressed with cider vinegar, salt and olive oil
I made a lovely salad last week and shock horror it was mostly veg I bought at Follands organic stall on Norwich market – where I also obtained my persimmons.
I just fancied a change.
But it has given me the idea to buy a couple of blueberry bushes.
Soon I maybe able to grow all the ingredients next year except for, maybe, the avocado.