The Siberian winds this March have put a stop to any outdoor seed sowing in the Edible Garden.
However, it is still possible to sow hardy crops indoors if you have space on a windowsill, cold frame, greenhouse or polytunnel. We have sown peas, broad beans, leeks, summer cabbages, sweet peas, radishes and oriental salads in our polytunnel over the last few weeks. It was very exciting to see the radishes and cabbages had germinated this week despite the cold weather.
If you do start things off inside it is very important to acclimatise them to outdoor conditions before you plant them in the garden. This is known as ‘hardening off’. It involves putting the plants outside each day for progressively longer periods of time. This should be done over the course of 2 weeks, but not until the weather has improved.
While the cold weather continues the Edible Garden volunteers have had chance to get on with a few other jobs. We have started netting our new fruit cage (donated by Harrod Horticultural). This will protect our soft fruit from the resident blackbirds who would happily gobble up all the raspberries and blackcurrants.
We have also built supports for our runner beans, if we ever get temperatures warm enough to plant them out!