We are postponing the Kitchen Garden workshops for the time being. However I shall be keeping the Kitchen Garden going and will give you monthly updates on how it is developing.

Our Wasabi Pea, ideal for wet shady gardens, are now 10cm tall and ready for planting. I will plant them near the broad beans under the shade of the walnut tree.

The broad beans ‘Sutton’ are growing very well and are covered in flowers. Soon the first beans will appear from the oldest flowers at the base of the stems. Once this happens, I will pinch out their growing tips to encourage the plants to put their energy into producing nice large bean pods.

Our tomatoes Red Albert and Reisetomate have grown into sturdy seedling around 20cm tall. I will plant these outside towards the end of April when the risk of frost has passed. (This video might take a little time to load)

The Nicotiana Affinis, (tobacco plants for companion planting) have grown well and are ready to be hardened off in preparation for planning outside. ‘Hardening off’ is the gardening term used for the process of allowing your greenhouse grown plants time to adjust gradually to the harsher weather conditions they will find outside.

We have some lovely little seedling of Lettuce Senorita and Little Gem, both ready to be planted out into the Kitchen garden. I have treated the ground with ‘nemaslug’ so the lettuces should have a good chance of getting established without being eaten by slugs!

This week I will start off our beans, the Dwarf French bean ‘Red Swan’ and the climbing bean French Golden Gate by sowing them in pots in the greenhouse.

Similarly I will sow the seeds of the Cucamelons, two seeds to a pot and these should then germinate in around 7 days time.

Both beans and Cucamelons are frost tender, meaning that they would be damaged by the frost, so we will wait until the beginning of May before planting these little plants outside.

The Florence Fennel likes warmer conditions so I will start it off in the greenhouse in modules. Then once the roots fill the module I will ‘harden them off’ and plant out once the soil is warm and there is no danger of frost, from early May onwards.

This week I will directly sow rows of the three varieties of beetroot we selected, Bolthardy, Barabietola Di Chiglia and Cylindra, alternating with rows of Rainbow Chard and Sunset Chard. Also in the same area I will sow our two varieties of carrots, Chantenay and Rainbow Mix, (following our planting plan.)

The pea seeds we sowed in the ground during our last workshop are germinating now, and little green leaves are emerging from the ground. They are Kelvedon Wonder and Tom Thumb peas. With emerging seedling like these it is really important to water regularly, up to once or twice a day in warm dry weather, because seedling are vulnerable to drought.

The rhubarb that we divided up and mulched with well rotted manure is growing well and almost ready to start harvesting. Rhubarb can be harvested regularly from around now until mid summer.

Cat