Sunday, 25 April 2010

Sowing For Success

Purple Sprouting Broccoli


I have started to pick my purple sprouting broccoli and it's delicious. From the moment it's picked to the moment it's on my plate, is a matter of minutes and you can't get fresher than that!

I spent yesterday sowing seeds galore, with the sun shining down on my back, it felt wonderful.  I sowed sweetcorn, butternut squash, climbing green beans and climbing purple beans, in modules. I am going to grow these vegetables using the Three Sisters Method.  This method was used by Native Americans. The Iroquois women of the tribe were the gardeners. They planted these three crops together which grew in perfect harmony with each other. The corn was planted and the beans used the sweetcorn for support and also fixed nitrogen in the soil. The squash scrambled over the ground suppressing the weeds and retaining moisture. What a perfect relationship. (Source: taken from Carol Kleins Grow Your Own Veg). I haven't forgotten flowers, which are not only pretty to look at, in the garden and in the house but also they encourage beneficial insects into the garden to help with pollination and pests. I sowed five different varieties of sunflowers, calendula and mallope, again all in modules, which hopefully will give them a flying start. I did chance sowing some seeds straight into the ground. Some parsnips and a row of carrots which I will sow more of, over the next few months. As the parsnips take an age to show, I scattered some cornflower seeds in between the rows for a pretty summer display and some more cut flowers for the vase.

I am watching episodes of Carol Kleins Grow Your Own Veg, which has just been aired by the Good Food Channel. I have been gardening for over 20 years but I am still very new to vegetable growing and this series is so informative and enjoyable to watch. I have learnt so much plus the background music is supplied by two of my prog rock favourites, Emerson Lake and Palmer and Genesis (The Peter Gabriel years). If you missed her programme, then I can thoroughly recommend her book which accompanied the series and for authenticity, how about listening to some prog rock whilst reading it. I often listen to Plant Rock radio station, whilst gardening. The plants seem to enjoy it and if the neighbours children are out bouncing on their trampoline, it helps to drown out their squawking!

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