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Time to Sow

The long-awaited and eagerly anticipated day arrives. First outdoor sowings on the lottie. A big flask of coffee, a bunch of bananas and half a dozen apples in the trug and we arrive at our plot with blue sky above and warmth of the sun making us feel good.

We began by tidying our paths, I mowed and Jude, “The Undergardener” trimmed the edges. Instantly the plot looked the business. We removed the cloches that had been warming the soil for a fortnight and discovered warm, moist soil below all raked to a fine tilth.

Cloches in place warming the soil ready for sowing.

The tools for the job collected from the shed, seed packets at the ready and the sun on our backs – ready for off! I use a range of tools by Wolf – three handles, short medium and long, and a range of inter-changeable heads. For today’s sowing I got ready a wide rake, narrow rake, cultivator, drill-maker, seed-sower and hoe.

Tools at the ready.

Where the soil had been warmed with a covering of cloches we sowed legumes, Broad Bean “Super Aqualdulce”, Pea “Sugar Ann” which we enjoy by eating the young pods whole, Pea “Oregon Sugarpod” a mange tout type. First job is to take out a 2 inch deep drill six inches wide with a draw hoe and then keep watering along it until the water stops draining away quickly. The seeds are then placed in the drills and covered with dry soil to keep in the moisture and a final topping of compost to act as mulch and to clearly mark where we have sown. Although we label our seeds as they are sown we take this second precaution against the Blackbirds who enjoy pulling our labels up and throwing them on the paths.

Waiting for the heavily watered drill to drain.
Two rows of Broad Bean seeds neatly set out.
The darker compost mulch marks the rows of peas and broad beans.

When we returned home we planted up our first batch of seed potatoes, Rocket and Kestrel. The Rocket will be ready first, hopefully within 11 weeks and the Kestrel a few weeks later. Kestrel looks good with its purple eyes and tastes good too.

Potatoes chitted ready to plant.
We grow our potatoes in potato bags, using old compost as the growing medium.