notes from the garden shed: August 2018

Are you thinking about Christmas? Well some advertisers certainly are and if you’re a gardener so should you for now’s the time to plan and sow those lovely winter crops.

So what needs to be sown now – keep it simple so how about Parsnips, Swiss chard, Leeks, and some potatoes. Useful potato varieties such as ‘Maris Peer’, ‘Charlotte’ or ‘Nicola’ - these are first and second early varieties that go straight into warm soil they don’t need to be chitted (sprouted) prior to planting. You could also sow some Broccoli seeds to harvest next spring.

The parsnips and the Swiss chard can be sown in lines directly into their final bed or container but the Leeks and the Broccoli do better if sown into a prepared seedbed. The thinking behind this is that of the many seeds that you’ll get in the packet some will like your micro-environment better than others and grow more strongly – these you then transplant into their final bed or container. Seedbeds don’t need to be a prepared plot in the ground they can also be made in a largest pot. Choose the largest seedlings to transplant into their final growing bed.

By now hopefully you should be harvesting some crops from your plot (whether a container or something larger) but you’ll find that just about everything else wants to join in the feast. So I’ve made a Summer Quiz ‘Goodness who’s eating my…’ to test your knowledge of the competition for your lovely crops which you can take here!

A summer harvest of Red Currants and broad beans (copyright: Zoë Petersen)

A summer harvest of Red Currants and broad beans (copyright: Zoë Petersen)

Now’s the time to start harvesting seeds both from your vegetables and the flower garden especially after this heat wave – many plants have gone straight to seed. This month ‘net to protect’ your precious crops - happy harvesting after all your hard work.