veg coursePeas in Gutters

Peas are usually sown direct in the ground but they can be prey to cold soil, biting winds, mice and slugs.  Another technique is to sow them in 120cm lengths of guttering in the warmth of the polytunnel and then transplant them a few weeks later by sliding the contents of the guttering into a shallow trench across the width of a 120cm wide bed.  The peas are sown in two rows in the gutter with peas about 7cm apart.  The compost in the gutter can be watered prior to inserting the peas a nail's width deep; cover with dry compost. 

The gutter technique can be used for a variety of crops such as lettuce and salad leaves.

A useful video -

veg courseBroad Beans in modules

Broad beans are often sown directly in the autumn to overwinter as small plants; this gives an earlier crop and avoids the worst of the blackfly that broad beans attract.  However we will sow in modules.  We need 16 plants later to be transplanted, spread along two rows on our 120cm bed.  Fill and firm the compost in the modules and then make a small hole and press the beans so they are on their edge, rather than lying flat, below the surface. Water the compost after covering the seeds.  We used two six-cell modules each.

veg courseWe sowed root trainers, which are deeper, with the spare broad bean seeds.  Root trainers are useful for crops with long roots.  You can make out one seed at bottom left before covering with compost.

veg courseLettuce and Cabbages

We sowed three types of lettuce and one row of 'Greyhound' cabbage (not labelled in photo) in a seed tray.  The well firmed compost was watered prior to sowing the seeds and then the seeds were covered with a thin layer of dry compost.

We could have used use a small pot (7-8mm) for each sowing. 

We also sowed some lettuce in 'soil blocks' made from pressing wet compost in a mould.  We shall have another go at this and take a photo.

Radish seedlings and Onion sets

The radish seedlings should be transplanted asap.  Plant about 10cm apart in a single row - twelve clumps in all.  Cover with fleece.  Last weekend, on Hannah's plot, I transplanted some I had sown early so take a look to see how the modules are planted deeply and covered with fleece.

It was too wet to plant onion sets.