Gardening Magazine

Vegetable Planting

By Notcuttsuk @notcuttsuk
A few days ago when I went in to the garden I put my hand on the bare earth in the new raised vegetable bedVegetable Planting and felt the warmth on the surface from the sun’s rays. Even after the large amount of rain that we have had over the last week, the soil is not too wet and now is the perfect time to begin sowing. One advantage of a raised bed is that any excess rain soon drains away and the soil can be worked more easily than it may be in a ‘normal’ border or allotment.


Being watched by our inquisitive cat - who is now banned from this area - I made a start with some seed sowing this afternoon. I have broken one of my rules by using last year’s seeds, but the use by dates are correct and the packets unopened so they should germinate! This bed will mainly be used for salad leaves and other fast maturing crops, so I have started with some Radish ‘French Breakfast’ which will be a good indicator of soil warmth. Radish will germinate within a few days in good conditions and then sowing of other seeds can begin in earnest. I have also sown Mizuna, Spinach for baby leaves, Lamb’s Lettuce and Rocket so that we will have a selection of salad leaves. I was late with my first sowing of loose leaved lettuce, which are still in the greenhouse having just germinated, so I have ‘cheated’ and bought some plants of the deep red ‘Lollo Rosso’ to pop in and give us an earlier crop!  The bed is not large and with a row of Carrots and another of Spring onions, it is almost half full already! I am very glad now that I accepted the offer of my farmer friend to look after one of his!


There will be room for a few broad beans and I have bought these as well. I usually grow ‘The Sutton’ - a dwarf variety that does not need staking and was ideal for the exposed conditions on my former allotment - but these plants are ‘Bunyard’s Exhibition’ a tall variety that I will put in at the far end of the bed so that they still get plenty of sun but don’t shade the other plants as they grow. I will have to stake these with bamboo canes and remember to pinch out the tops once they are in full flower to help prevent damage from the horrid Black Bean Aphid. With the help of Ladybird larvae who eat huge numbers of aphids, I hope that this pest will be kept under control!


The borrowed raised bed which is not far away has been dug over and is also ready to plant. I hope to spend some time here over the Easter weekend and put in my onion sets and pea seeds, along with more broad beans. Now that the evenings are lighter it’s much easier to carry on with the garden and do a little each day – weather permitting! 

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