No dig diary, 10th April 2021

Busy day today. The last thing remaining to do with the “no dig” greenhouse was sorting out some seals to close the gap between the frame and the door. To be fair it probably would have been pretty much ok without any, but in the high winds we’ve had over the last month or so it has been noticeably draughty inside, so I wanted to get it sorted. The manufacturers weren’t able to help (didn’t really try, to be honest), so I bought four three-foot long brush-type draught excluders (normally fitted to the bottom of doors) and have managed to clamp them in a suitable position, two each side of the door, with self-tapping screws. I had to trim the bristles down to about 15mm which was a bit laborious, but they’re a noticeable improvement on leaving the gap.

I’ve also been busy sowing. In the potentially vain hope that my calabrese might not all be ready in the same few days, I’ve made a third successional sowing. My second sowing was half a module tray, with the other half used for Greyhound cabbages which have germinated very poorly by comparison. For some reason I appear to have several packets of the cabbage seed, so I sowed some seed from each of the packets in separate trays to try to determine whether I have a dodgy batch or something like that. I also sowed more radish in module trays (four seeds per cell, once again), and having found some seed for other varieties that my father-in-law had and wasn’t going to bother sowing, I’ve sown a few samples of those in small trays to see if any of the seed is still viable.

Out in the main plot I made a second sowing of carrots — Amsterdam Forcing, Maestro F1 and “Rainbow” varieties, exactly the same as for the first sowing on 20th March. Pleasingly those first rows have germinated very nicely. Last year my carrots did pretty well (except for the root fly), but prior to that I’ve always struggled to grow good carrots so I’m happy to see things going well this early. Given that I have good germination I’m hoping that a permanent mesh covering will keep the root fly off and with a little luck perhaps this year I will have my best carrots ever. I also sowed parsnips, which possibly wasn’t a good choice given the stiff breeze, but I got it done eventually without too much of the seed behind blown off-course between hand and ground. Both the carrots and parsnips are under fleece for the moment.

Back in the greenhouse I went into full-on cucurbit mode, sowing courgettes (Orelia F1), cucumbers (Marketmore), a squash called Uchiki Kuri (which I’m sure should be pronounced “you cheeky curry” 🙂 and a loofah gourd. These are all in 3″ pots rather than module trays, and I’ve put two seeds in each. I’ll thin them down to a single plant once they germinate. They’re now all in the propagator.

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