I’m a “real grown your own” fanatic, but sometimes in life things don’t quite go according to plan!
In early May I planted broccoli and wild rocket in my veg patch and waited patiently for my seeds to burst into life. Well I’ve waited and waited and the results are pants!!
I’m not a girl whose easily defeated, so a few weeks ago I dusted off my seed trays and planted the following:
Peas and Broccoli
I’ve used Kelvdon Wonder Peas from Johnsons. They’re a dwarf versatile variety, very suitable for summer sowing in June or early July for an early Autumn harvest. This variety produces masses of narrow, dark green, well-filled pods filled with delicious juicy peas.
I’ve sown the peas in a seed tray with 5cm between each seed and have placed on a window sill. Seedlings appear between 10-18 days and I’ve kept the soil moist to ensure good growth. When they’re slightly more robust I’ll plant out directly into my veg patch. For best yields pick regularly!
I’ve used Mr Fothergill’s (www.mr-fothergills.co.uk) Broccoli (Autumn) Beaumont F1 seeds. This type of broccoli is a vigorous early cropping variety, with well-rounded, quality heads of tight beads. They also have a long growing season and are an excellent source of Vitamin C and antioxidants.
This is a great way to pep up all types of salad. The delicious pungent, spicy leaves, are best used as “cut and come again” baby leaves. Wild Rocket is slow to bold, cropping over a long period.
I’ve used Johnson’s Wild Rocket seeds which can be sown from April to August. For continuous crops sow every 2-3 weeks. In a seed tray sow seeds thinly in rows 25 cm apart and cover with 0.5 cm of fine soil. Seedlings appear in 7-21 days. To harvest take a few leaves from each plant and they will regrow for up to 3 or 4 cuts or pick whole mature plants.
Tarragon and Dill
Tarragon has always been one of my favourite herbs, especially with chicken (do look up my chicken, mushroom and tarragon pie recipe!) I’m growing some Russian Tarragon from seed. This is a strong growing type, hardier and easier to grow than French Tarragon but with a less distinct aniseed taste.
In trays of seed compost sow thinly and cover lightly with compost. Seedlings appear between 21-35 days. When large enough to handle acclimatise to outside conditions. Pick the leaves as required but note the leaves do lose flavour in winter so freeze for winter use.
This year, I’m trying my hand at dill for the first time. It’s a hardy annual and I’ve bought my seeds from Unwins. I’ve sowed them thinly in a shallow row and will harden off in my veg patch once they’re slightly bigger. I’ll harvest the leaves when the plants are about 30cm high.
In my book it’s never too late to sow, even if I sometimes end up growing things inside!
Good luck and happy sowing!