TopVeg – growing veg,fruit&herbs

October 31, 2012

What to do in November

Filed under: Uncategorized, calendar — Tags: , , , — TopVeg @ 8:36 pm

There are still a lot of jobs to do in the garden in November, particularly in this mild weather; there are seeds to sow, crops to harvest & there is the general tidying up of the vegetable garden.

Sow in November:

broad-bean-rows-seedlings

broad-bean-rows-seedlings

Plant in November:

November Harvest:

fresh-celery

fresh-celery

big-sprouts-below

big-sprouts-below

Other gardening jobs to be done in November:

dig

dig

  • digging, if it is not too wet, otherwise leave till the new year
  • applying well rotted farm yard manure or compost to ground where next year’s crop will be peas, beans, onions, leeks, celery or spinach
  • clear fallen leaves and put them on the compost heap
  • collect, clean and store bean supports
  • check stored crops & remove any which are starting to decay
  • keep an eye out for pigeons & slugs which may be a problem in November
http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=2283&awinaffid=86595&clickref=&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thompson-morgan.com%2Fseeds1%2Fproduct%2F138%2F2.html

July 18, 2010

How to Plant Brassica Seeds

Filed under: brassicas — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 4:31 pm

Seeds for leafy Brassicas are usually sown into a small patch known as a plant bed, and when the seedlings are strong enough, they are transplanted into their final position.  So growing leafy brassicas is a two stage process:

  1. raising the young plants from seeds in a bed
  2. transplanting the young plants, from their bed, out into their final growing position

Sometimes gardeners miss out the first stage and buy the young plants in.

Leafy brassicas include brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower & brocolli. Root brassicas, such as turnips and swedes, are not transplanted.  The seeds of root brassicas are usually sown on the site they will grow for their lifetime.

preparing-to-plant-seeds preparing-to-plant-seeds

 

  • It is most important to prepare a seed bed to give the best growing conditions for the seeds. 
  • Place markers in position at either end of the row, using a tape measure to give the correct row width.
  • Gently firm the soil down.
  • Use a walk-board, which is not resting on the soil, but supported at either end of the bed. Line the board up with the row markers.
  • Draw a seeding groove with a spade. Use the walking board to produce a straight line, & work carefully to get the correct depth.
making-seed-row making-seed-row 
creating-seed-row creating-seed-row 

Sowing Vegetable Seed

    * *only place a few seeds in the hand
    * *pinch a few seeds between finger and thumb and work them out
    * *try to get them dropping singly, not in a bunch
    * *take plenty of time, as it is worth the result
    * *make a mark in the row, before taking another pinch of seeds from the hand, as you loose sight of the last seed
    * *avoid sowing doubles

seed line seed line 

*Cover the seed with fine soil. Then put a few small cobbly bits on top & gently firm in. These lumps help to keep the soil open and prevent capping

*Water  the vegetable seeds in.

 Planting brassica seeds carefully will allow them to develop into good, strong plants.

February 12, 2010

16 Seeds to sow in February

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 1:49 am
These 16 seeds can be sown in February if the soil conditions are dry enough – some of them will need to be protected from the cold weather.

Seeds needing protection from frosts:

beetroot-growing

Seeds which can be sown outside in February:

young-parsnip-plant

January 28, 2010

Sow carrot seed now

Filed under: Uncategorized, root veg — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 8:36 pm
Carrots---Nairobi

Carrots---Nairobi

Carrots are hardy enough to start sowing the seed right now.

  • the soil must be dry
  • if  it is wet, cover the soil for a week or two to keep the rain off
  • carrot seed can be sown directly into the ground outside & does not need any protection

Click this link to buy carrot seed to sow now.

SweetheartCarrots

SweetheartCarrots

May 11, 2009

How to Speed up Parsnip & Parsley Seed Germination

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 2:16 am

One way to speed up the germination of parsnip & parsley seed is to allow the seeds to soak up moisture before they are planted.  Both parsnip and parsley seed are notoriously slow to germinate, but this speeds the process up.

To aid germination:

  • wet a towel & wring out the surplus water
  • cover half the wet towel with a single layer of seed
seed-on-wet-towel

seed-on-wet-towel

  • wrap the other half of the towel over the seed, so that it is covered
  • keep the towel moist & at room temperature
  • sow the seed 24 hours after wrapping in the towel
  • once soaked, the seeds must be sown, as the process of germination will have started
  • do not allow the seeds to dry out, as the germination will be upset
  • do not keep any seed that is left over,  for sowing later, as it will probably not germinate once it has dried out

Gardeners are always wondering why their parsley & parsnip seed is not germinating, so try this way to speed up germination.

May 10, 2009

Equipment Needed for Sowing Seeds

Filed under: Uncategorized, fruit, vegetable gardening — Tags: , , , — TopVeg @ 8:07 pm

This collection of equipment shows the tools we use for sowing seeds:

seed-sowing-tools

seed-sowing-tools

  • a wide toothed rake for raking soil before sowing – which will allow some lumps to be left on the surface.  This helps to reduce soil capping.
  • rake for tamping down (firming ) the surface
  • tape measure
  • walking board – to spread weight over the soil & avoid compaction
  • trowel
  • marker pole – with seed spacing marked on the pole
  • marking sticks – for marking row ends

Collecting the equipment needed for sowing seeds before starting saves time.

April 25, 2009

Planting Beetroot Seeds – Beta vulgaris

Filed under: root veg — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 4:03 pm

Beetroot, also known as Red Beet (latin name – Beta vulgaris) was planted today:

    * variety – Boltardy
    * rows 30cm apart (wide enough to get the hoe down)
    * depth 2cm
    * seeds 2cm apart in the row

The seedbed was dry because it had been covered to keep the rain off.

beetroot-seedbed
beetroot-seedbed

The corky beetroot ’seed’ in the packet is really a fruit containing several seeds. So they will need thinning, even though the ’seeds’ have been carefully spaced.

beetroot seeds 2cm apart

beetroot-seeds-2cm-apart
beetroot-seeds-2cm-apart

seed 2cm deep

beetroot-seed-2cm-deep
beetroot-seed-2cm-deep
beetroot-row
beetroot-row

The beetroot seeds were then gently watered in to tighten the soil in the row.

how_to_grow_beetroot_sheet
how_to_grow_beetroot_sheet

Contact us if you are planting beetroot seeds and would like a pdf of the How to Grow Beetroot sheet.

April 4, 2009

Planting Brassica Seeds

Filed under: brassicas — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 2:16 pm
purple-sprouting-broccoli

purple-sprouting-broccoli

Today we are still harvesting purple sprouting broccoli, and at the same time planting seeds for next year’s crop. In fact we are planting lots of brassica  seeds including brussel sprouts and cabbage.

preparing-to-plant-seeds

preparing-to-plant-seeds

  • It is most important to prepare a seed bed to give the best growing conditions for the seeds. 
  • Place markers in position at either end of the row, using a tape measure to give the correct row width.
  • Gently firm the soil down.
  • Use a walk-board, which is not resting on the soil, but supported at either end of the bed. Line the board up with the row markers.
  • Draw a seeding groove with a spade. Use the walking board to produce a straight line, & work carefully to get the correct depth.
making-seed-row

making-seed-row

creating-seed-row

creating-seed-row

Sowing Vegetable Seed

    * *only place a few seeds in the hand
    * *pinch a few seeds between finger and thumb and work them out
    * *try to get them dropping singly, not in a bunch
    * *take plenty of time, as it is worth the result
    * *make a mark in the row, before taking another pinch of seeds from the hand, as you loose sight of the last seed
    * *avoid sowing doubles

seed line

seed line

*Cover the seed with fine soil. Then put a few small cobbly bits on top & gently firm in. These lumps help to keep the soil open and prevent capping

*Water  the vegetable seeds in.

March 16, 2009

When is the right time to sow vegetable seeds

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — TopVeg @ 9:21 pm

*The right time to sow vegetable seeds varies according to the
weather experienced in the spring. A cold spring will mean the ideal
time is later than if it was a warm spring.

*The soil takes time to warm up, to reach the right temperature for
seeds to germinate.

*Weeds are a good indicator. If it is warm enough for weed seeds to
grow, it will be warm enough for some vegetable seeds to be planted.

*Look out for the first seed leaves of weeds (they are called cotyledons).

cotyledon-of-weed

cotyledon-of-weed

 

weed-cotyledon

weed-cotyledon

*As soon as the weeds appear, hoe them out.

*Read the back of the seed packet to see the recommended time period
for planting.

*Listen to the weather forecast & cover the seeds & seedlings when frost
is expected.

April 16, 2007

Preparing to Plant Seeds

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — TopVeg @ 3:22 pm

The soil must be prepared before seeds are planted. The prepared soil
is called a seed bed.

The vegetable seedbed should be:

    * *level
    * *made up of fine particles
    * *even – the same all over, & to a depth of 2 or 3 inches

rake-seed-bed

rake-seed-bed

                 

rake-soil

rake-soil

Use a rake to get an even depth of fine soil so that the seeds can be
planted shallow.
Stand on a board, placed over the adjacent ground, to protect the soil
from being trampled down.

firm-soil-down

firm-soil-down

*Mark the row with a stick at either end of the row, & stretch a string
between the two sticks to give a straight line to work under.

*Make a shallow trench by dragging a blunt object along the line of the
string (check the recommended depth on the seed packet).

*Scatter the seeds thinly along the open trench using finger & thumb.

*Cover the seeds with soil

*Press the soil down.  A rake can be used to gently firm the soil down,
so that the vegetable seed is in close contact with the soil particles.

firm-in-seed

firm-in-seed

*Label the seed row, recording the type, variety & date.

                      

water-seeds-in

water-seeds-in

Water the vegetables seeds in

    * *so that the seed bed is wet to a depth of 3 inches.
    * *use small droplets of water, so that the soil is not puddled &
      the seeds not washed out of the row.

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