This week in the garden, you will see that our tomatoes, beans ( french beans and runner beans) lettuces, cabbages, and kales have all been planted outside into the vegetable beds where they will grow for the rest of the season. They have been released from the protected environment of the greenhouse to fend for themselves outside!
We have cut back the tips of our upper greenhouse grape vine just beyond their second fruit trusses, and have made cuttings from the plant material we removed. These cuttings are in our heated propagator, where they are receiving bottom heat (from the heated coil in the grit that forms the base of this propagator.) This bottom heat will encourage root growth, while at the same time the cuttings are being misted, ( watered with a fine spray) from above to ensure that the cuttings stay moist and do not die from dehydration before they have a chance to develop roots.
We will check our outdoors vines in the walled herb garden to see if they also need to be pruned and we may be able to make more cuttings from these.
We will continue earthing up our potatoes in the lower garden. The leeks that we started off in the greenhouse in deep pots are now almost pencil thickness, so are ready to be planted out. We will be planting these in the roots bed in the lower garden.
Our vegetable beds are filling up with little seedlings and it is time that we thinned out our chard and beetroots. The number of seedlings we take out and the spacing we allow for the remaining seedlings depends on whether we want our vegetables to grow to full size or if we’d prefer to eat tender young plants. If we are aiming for baby beetroot, then we will leave the seedlings tightly spaced. If however we would like to grow large beetroots by the end of the season, then the spacing should be much farther apart.
Seedlings are usually thinned when they have one to two sets of leaves and are at least 5cm tall, making the plants easy to handle. Thinning is easiest to do when the soil is moist, as this makes it easier to pull out the extra seedlings without disturbing everything nearby. The remaining seedling can also benefit from having the soil firmed up around them after the thinning out process, ensuring that they are once again firmly rooted. Whenever possible thinning in the evening gives the added advantage of enabling the remaining seedlings a chance to recover from the inevitable root disturbance caused by thinning out before being exposed to greater daytime stresses of heat and sunlight.
Although temperatures have been rather low for this time of the year, the day light hours are long and plants are growing fast. This also means that weeds are growing fast, so we need to keep up with weeding around the whole garden including those that are encroaching into our paths!
In other BPCG news, would you like to join our Thursday morning propagation team and/or our Friday morning maintenance team. These fixed-term groups volunteer on Thursday and Friday mornings between 10am and 1pm. Volunteers for these sessions should be able to volunteer for 6 sessions at the same time for the 6 weeks following June 3. This is a chance to develop your propagation and/or DIY and making skills. If you’re interested, please reply to this email.
On Tuesday evenings throughout June 5.30pm to 8.30pm, Steph will be running plant propagation workshops. We will be learning how to grow new plants by taking leaf and stem cuttings from BPCG’s collection of house plants, as well as taking some softwood cuttings from a selection of outdoor plants. There are 2 slots for Steph’s workshops and there are also 4 volunteer slots to join Kate cooking and preserving 5.30pm to 8.30pm on Tues evenings. Sign up on the volunteer spreadsheet.
There are also still a few places left if you’d like to join our Pizza Making Team creating delicious pizzas out of our cob oven on selected Sundays. Sign up here https://docs.google.com/
STOP PRESS there are 3 places for BPCG volunteers at today Wednesday 26th’s Full Moon Five Rhythms dance. Please arrive at 6pm at BPCG to help set up and be happy to stay on until 9.30pm to clear up. If you would like to take part, email email@example.com
On Saturday 19th June and Sunday 20th June Josh is running 2 workshops on how to spot and snap nature and wildlife at the Greenhouses and in the wider world, and the basics of video editing and project work. This is a part of our Windows to Nature project – where we’ve added cameras to bird-boxes* and wildlife runs across the site. Don’t worry if you can only make one of the two sessions – there will be another workshop later in the summer. Sign up via the spreadsheet here (if you’re yet to have a BPCG induction, please note it on the spreadsheet):https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1v6nifAKcjYGHAnuKqehl4K2LWFFVZACBOjJ2LklBX00/edit?usp=sharing *We have some fantastic film of a great tit hatching and feeding her three chicks in the nesting box on the big Sycamore above the office which we will share shortly with you!
We are happy to have Jelena Oblutak back running her brilliant Fermentation workshops again. Her first one is on this Saturday May 29th 2.30 to 5pm and you’ll be learning to make Sauerkraut and Rhubarb Hot Sauce which is truly delicious. For more details and to book, go here https://www.
In other news, There’s a free Community Art course starting this Wednesday 26th. To apply and for more details, have a look at this poster or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to seeing you soon at the Greenhouses
With all best wishes from us all