Marching on with some first-time growing and mowing

Seedlings are popping out of loads of pots of compost in my ever-growing collection of propagators. My houseplants, who are the usual occupants of the windowsills, are beginning to be relegated to other surfaces as their spaces are filling up with sown seed trays.

This weekend I’ve managed to sow some some seeds that are for plants that are new to me:

Squash ‘Sunburst F1’

I’ve enjoyed growing Squash ‘Spaghetti Stripetti’ for a couple of years now, so this time I’ve decided to try growing at least one other type. This idea has stalled a few times as I discover yet another variety each time I tread near my local garden centres.

So far, I’ve sown 2 seeds for a bright yellow flat-shaped Squash ‘Sunburst F1’. I’ve never eaten these before but the Johnsons’ seed packet describes them as ‘highly versatile’ and if left, ‘used as courgettes’. So we’ll see – but I’m intrigued as to what these eye-catching fruit will taste like.

Spring Onion ‘White Lisbon’

Believe it or not, I’ve never tried growing Spring Onions until now. Today, in beautiful spring sunshine, I gently created a drill in the soft composty-soil of my raised bed, and sowed my first line of them. The tiny charcoal coloured seeds were a little difficult to see – so I’m not sure how well my sowing went, but within the next few weeks, I should begin to see them germinate.

They join the already sowed Broad Bean ‘Crimson Flowered’ and Parsnip ‘Gladiator F1’ into this raised bed – both of which I’ve grown before, and the former has already begun to emerge.

Pak Choi

Next to the Spring Onions, I’ve planted a row of Pak Choi.

I cook a lot of stir-fries and Pak Choi are a wonderful addition to it. I really look forward to seeing these grow, and hopefully not get eaten by slugs or caterpillars which will inevitably arrive in the garden in the next few weeks.

Lettuce ‘OutREDgeous’

I’ve grown lettuces loads of times. The first week of living in my new house in 2017 saw me plant out a load of them into a freshly broken lawn, and quickly rewarding me with their fresh salad leaves each morning for my work lunch.

Lettuces planted out in garden
The mixed Lettuce plants that I quickly planted out in the brand new garden in 2017.

This time though, I’ve picked this variety – these red-leaf lettuces were grown in Space by astronauts, and so there’s that fun element to it, but they also deal with growing in lower-light conditions, which is perfect for one part of my garden when my boundary fence casts a late afternoon shadow. When I last grew lettuces, it seemed that the slugs would ignore the red-leaf ones… so hopefully this will happen again.

Other jobs in the garden

I’ve re-sown the Pepper ‘Sweet Friggitello’ from a fresh packet of seeds. The old seeds have not appeared yet (but neither have the other new seeds for normal peppers) that I sowed about 3 weeks ago.

Pepper 'Sweet Friggitello' seeds
I’ve re-sown the Pepper ‘Sweet Friggitello’ with fresh seeds

This fresh batch saw 12 seeds get sown… and I’ve just realised that they’ll all probably grow now and I’ll be inundated 😀

Whilst sowing the Spring Onions and Pak Choi in the raised bed, I think I saw about a dozen Sunflower seedlings. Last year a monster sunflower appeared and grew right in the middle of my raised bed carrot row. It was about 6 foot tall, with multiple flowers. At times it looked like a monster, but the bees loved it. It loved the sunshine, and it added an unexpected blast of colour to a dry and fried garden. I’ve sown some bought seeds this weekend (just 2 Sunflower ‘Giant Single’) but I suspect that I’ll have plenty self-sown from the bird feeders.

Alien Sunflower
This self-sown Sunflower must have come from a bird feeder. It was huge, with multiple heads.

It also seemed to be National Cut Your Lawn Weekend here in the UK. The sunshine ushered in a crescendo of lawnmowers in my village, almost in a call and answer routine. I’ve managed to give my front lawn, and the tuftier back lawn their first cuts. My little Bosch electric mower (thanks Jenny & Mick!) handled the longer grass without a grumble, and as soon as I had stopped, the birds returned to the garden to feast on the freshly unleashed seeds, bugs, and bits of grass clippings that escaped the bag.

My Bosch electric lawnmower
I was given this Lawnmower by family friends in 2017, and it doesn’t flinch at longer grass.

Have you cut your lawn yet? How is your seed sowing going this year? – Let me know in the comments below.

As ever, thank you for reading, and have another great week of green-fingered gardening.

Andrew

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