With January now over it is time to look forward to the Spring and start with some of our seed sowing. This week we have begun sowing early crops for the poly tunnel, such as spinach and Pak Choi. The spinach we sow in cell trays, a couple of seeds per cell, and as soon as it is big enough we will plant directly from these cells into the poly tunnel. Other early crops, such as radish and rocket, have been directly sown and we will continue to sow small amounts every couple of weeks to ensure that we have a good supply for the kitchen when they reopen. Pak Choi is an important crop from the poly tunnel and we grow it under cover all year round. We use a particularly good variety called Yuushou, which is not only tasty but also quick to develop and slow to bolt. The sowing which we did in the late Autumn is now in the ground and will hopefully be ready to harvest in May.
Other seeds we have started are the early crop of kale. Although this is earlier than one would usually start kale, and the plants invariably start bolting in mid-summer, this sowing is very important as it provides fresh young kale in the late Spring and early Summer when other crops are still only just starting to get under way. Also started at this time are early Summer cabbages and cauliflowers. By pricking out the seedlings and putting them straight into the cold frame they produce very hardy plants. When they have produced a couple of good sized true leaves they will be ready to go straight from cells into the Kitchen Garden.