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Sowing vegetable seeds outdoors


by Jane Moore

I'm forever sowing vegetable seeds at the moment, and when I'm not sowing vegetable seeds I'm pricking out seedlings, both on my allotment and on the vegetable patch at work.


Sowing vegetable seeds outdoorsI'm forever sowing vegetable seeds at the moment, and when I'm not sowing vegetable seeds I'm pricking out seedlings, both on my allotment and on the vegetable patch at work.

I always seem to be behind, however, and last year I completely forgot to sow any butternut squash seeds; it was too late by the time I realised.

I try to stick to my crop rotation plan and to save time, I sow many seeds directly into the ground, such as carrots, beetroot, chard and parsnips. This method works, as long as the seedlings are not attacked by slugs. Last year this was a real problem, and many of my young vegetable plants were lost to slugs and snails.

When sowing seeds outdoors, it's important to prepare the soil well, fork it to a fine tilth and rake it level. This ensures the seeds have the best possible conditions in which to germinate, and prevents them from being sown too deeply.

Last year my carrots were a disaster. It wasn't entirely my fault รข?? more a combination of the endless rain and the constant attack from slugs. This year I'm determined to do better; I'm trying out two varieties I've not grown before: Tendersnax, an early-maturing sweet carrot and Flyaway, which is supposed to deter carrot root fly. I'm also growing my favourite variety, Parmex, which has lovely ping-pong ball-sized roots, grows anywhere and tastes great. It's the perfect carrot.



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Gardeners' World Web User 06/05/2008 at 19:48

Can you please tell me this - i know this is probably a stupid question - i know its a good idea to cover carrots with either a plastic run or use fine garden mesh. I though you were not supposed to then disturb these physical barriers or the carrot fly would detect it asap. How though do you water the carrots that are beneath the barrier. Is it just a case of simply taking it off really quickly watering and then just replacing it - or am i missing something v obvious??

Gardeners' World Web User 07/05/2008 at 14:51

Hi I'm new to gardening, but I'm going to have a go at growing my own veg. My question is I want to give the soil a boost what should I dig with it, to give it & the veg I want to grow a kick start?

Gardeners' World Web User 07/05/2008 at 18:38

Hi Jean, you can improve your soil for growing vegetables by adding compost and well-rotted manure to it every year. For a quick fix for this year, try adding comfrey pellets to each planting hole before you pop your vegetable plants in. You can also add an organic fertiliser, such as seaweed, to your watering can to water the plants with, which will improve the plants' uptake of nutrients without damaging the soil's structure. Good luck, Kate.

Gardeners' World Web User 07/05/2008 at 22:04

I planted my peas nearly three weeks ago and there is still no sign of anything coming through, should I start again with a new set?

Gardeners' World Web User 10/05/2008 at 08:28

I built my raised beds in Feb' and had cabbage, runners and broad beans in them by March. I also have small pumpkin, courgette and even melon plants out and doing great. I constantly feel as if I'm behind but every time I read the blogs I feel good as it seams I'm ahead. WooHooo!

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