Saturday, December 2, 2023
HomeGardeningThe City Veg Patch: Sowing seeds in January

The City Veg Patch: Sowing seeds in January

A jumble of seed packets
The cull. Most are solely simply ‘outdated’ .. however maybe adequate for micro leaves?

With the beginning of a brand new 12 months heralding a 3rd lockdown, the arrival of seed catalogues is particularly welcome, steering my ideas away from gray sleet-filled skies in direction of the colorful harvests of spring and summer time. And with the itch to hurtle in direction of spring and embrace the brand new rising 12 months, it’s thrilling to find a variety of crops that may be began off this month. 

Aaahh, that is higher. 

Whereas I nonetheless have a couple of winter crops to select from within the veg patch (kales, chard, purple sprouting broccoli, brussels and hardy herbs), and normally relaxation on my laurels in January, I learnt my lesson final 12 months about getting my seed order sorted and beginning off seeds in a well timed style.  Now could be the winter of our discontent … ahem, apologies … no, now’s the time to consider early crops and vegetation needing an extended rising season. 

I’m pleasantly stunned as to what I will be sowing this month, clearly each indoors and with the security internet of residing within the extra temperate city setting of north London. In a colder space I undoubtedly wouldn’t begin sowing this early and, in fact, this can be a little bit of an experiment given the decrease mild ranges inside my dwelling. Then once more, “why not?” I believed. 

It’s, in fact, too chilly to count on seeds to germinate exterior – they want a minimal soil temperature of 5°C – however it is rather attainable to begin off a couple of seeds indoors or beneath cowl after which plant out in a couple of weeks beneath fleece for cover in opposition to frost.

I select my spot rigorously for indoor rising. I’ve quite a bit in frequent with my indoor vegetation – a low tolerance for being both too scorching or too chilly and I like a little bit of recent air. So no sitting seedlings on high of radiators please! (Or behind a curtain on a cold windowsill in a single day.) I’m tempted to purchase a small heated propagator to take the guesswork out and have thought-about getting some develop lights previously (however didn’t) however the place could be the enjoyable in that. No, I shall soldier on with what I’ve received.

 Expertise has taught me that I’ve all I want to begin vegetation off … seed trays, plastic covers,  a brilliant windowsill, an unheated greenhouse, (the small plastic one which I’ve in my sheltered salad backyard) and a roll of fleece for cover, 

So, which seeds will I be sowing within the subsequent couple of weeks when the air temperature is forecast to be a balmy 8°C? 

  • Chillies. These want a protracted rising season and, when dimension is reached, will ultimately be moved to the little greenhouse.
  • Aubergines. Identical as chillies
  • Kales akin to Cavolo Nero (my favorite) 
  • Broccoli raab. A quick rising vegetable that has piqued my curiosity in previous years. 8-9 weeks rising time from planting out? Sure please. This 12 months I’ll discover house to do this.
  • Broad beans. In autumn 2019 I experimented with sowing Superaquadulce seeds and rising the vegetation on via winter however the outcomes weren’t value it. This 12 months I’m returning to my favorite Karmazyn spring sown beans as a result of the style is simply so significantly better.
  • Child leaves for salads and sandwiches. I’ve seeds for winter lettuce and tremendous hardy winter greens; these are presupposed to be sown in late autumn for a winter crop, however the urge to develop is robust. My ideas? Why not strive sowing right into a shallow lined tray of compost and see what occurs?  In any other case oriental greens akin to mizuna, komatsuna, mustard greens and Pak Choi are hardy little souls, plus peas for pea shoots – which leads me onto …
  • Early peas (the graceful spherical seeded sort) will be began off in modules. Outdoors, the seeds will simply present a tasty snack for mice. By the top of April I hope to be selecting recent peas from the backyard. 
  • And their scented  cousins, candy peas. No, I haven’t began mine but, and didn’t get spherical to candy peas in any respect final 12 months so missed these frothy blooms come summer time. Positively one to treatment this 12 months.

One last item … for sowing seeds indoors, I at all times carry the compost in a day forward in order that it warms as much as room temperature. Apparent maybe, however it makes a distinction to germination occasions.  

So, anybody else beginning off a couple of seeds this month? 


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