This week marked the second big sowing phase for this spring, as my neighbour Antonio helpfully pointed out last week. You just walk around the village innocently, when you are approached by your neighbours, telling you what to sow and when.
Anyway, the weather forecast predicted the Scirocco wind to start up again the tail end of this week, so we were quite keen to get the sowing finished before then. The Scirocco brings warm and moist air our way, so ideal for freshly sown seeds (indeed during the night there has been some rain and it looks like more in the air).
So to start off with I needed to make some room in the cold frame. As usual I sowed out far too many lettuce seeds and they were growing fast. Now I can't stand simply thining them out and discarding the extras. So I started transplanting some. I counted 57 plants so far which have gone partially amongst the leeks and onions on terrace 6 and partially on an empty bed by the Rennet apple tree on Terrace 10 (the locations are mainly as a reminder to myself, so you can skip over those).
The other thing that was screaming to be transplanted were the lentils. They had started to hit the ceiling of the cold frame. There were some 17 plants which had already developed an amazing root system:
I'm not sure if they need any support, but I gave them a bit of bamboo each, just in case and interplanted them with a few more lettuces.
Now for the sowing. In the cold frame I sowed the following:
- 2 types of tomato kindly supplied to me by Beck of http://greenspain.blogspot.com/: kumato, a brown tomato, which matures from the inside out and can therefore be eaten when still green on the outside and Campari a slightly larger cherry tom. Incidentally, my cold frame proved so effective, that during one of the sunny days last week my main tomato variety, marmande, simply frizzled and burned. So I'm glad to have some backup.
- 2 types of cucumber: Verde China and Market More
- 3 types of squash, 1 summer and 2 winter: Now, apart from courgettes, I've never really grown squashes and have rarely even eaten them. The varieties I went for were a pattypan squash called sunburst (mostly because it looked pretty on the picture of the seed packet, although I have no idea what it's going to be like or even how to cook it), a kind of butternut squash called violina lunga and an actual Halloween type pumpkin called Big Max. What possesed me to go for the latter I have no idea. I don't even particularly like pumpkin ever since I was introduced to sweet pumkin pies one Halloween I had the misfortune to spend in America back in 1979. And this fellow is said to produce 45kg fruit if you let it. How on earth am I going to stagger up our terraces with a pumpkin that size and how are we going to manage to eat it all!?! Well to solve the space problem that comes with these ginormous plants I have been gathering old car tyres and the like to place in little niches to small to dig a whole bed. So I'll just fill them up some compost and let them get on with it out of the way of other veg, just competing with their surrounding olive trees.
- Another chilli calledPiccante a Mazzetti, an Italian varietal growing upright in little bunches.
- more basil. You can never have enough!
- another lettuce called Romana verde
- dwarf nasturtium amongst my brassica (T9)
- wild rocket (rear bed T2)
- Leaf chicory Catalogna Gigante di Chioggia (rear bed T2)
- 2 types of chard: Coste verde a costa bianco and bionda a costa argentata (T10 rear)
- flat leafed parsley (T10 amongst chard and onions)
- Endive Romaesco (T10 front amongst lettuce)
- and finally sweet corn mixed from saved seeds (T 13).
So for those who have read this far and haven't fallen asleep yet, here a pretty pic of some coltsfoot. Makes a good cure for coughs apparently. I'd gather some if ever I'd egt a cough.