Coronavirus: John will do any jobs in the polytunnel as mentioned in my recent email, but please read for reference. You now have time slots to do the planting and weeding on plot 251.

Pricking out lettuce and cabbage seedlings

See the Charles Dowding video ...

"Pricking out" refers to transferring small seedlings from a seed tray (or pot) into individual modules, usually into a tray of individual modules.  This is the technique we will use for our lettuce and cabbage seedlings.   It is useful to have something to gently lever out the seedlings - the narrow end of a teaspoon is useful.

You will see that you can prick out quite small seedlings.  Sometimes they come up with a small root ball of soil; you can gently shake this off if it prevents you putting the seedling deep into the compost. Hold the seedlings by their leaves rather than stems.

The seedlings can be pricked out into small module trays, similar size to those used for radishes.  Don't prick out all of them! A dozen lettuces in total will eventually give two rows and four cabbages will take up two widely spaced rows.

"Potting on" refers to transferring a module or small pot plant into a larger module or larger pot.  We shall use the potting on technique for later crops such as courgettes and squash.

Onion Sets

See last week's jobs for onion sets which could be planted this week.  On plot 251 there is a new pile of compost. You could fill in a shallow v-shaped trench with this and plant the onion sets into this.  You shouldn't need more than a litre or two of compost.  They could be left another week if you run out of time.

Beetroot and spinach

Sow 8 modules each of beetroot and spinach for single rows across the bed.

Beetroots can be sown in the same way that we sowed radishes, four seeds per module.  They will germinate in the polytunnel.  An excellent video -

For spinach sow 3 seeds per module, later thinning to one per module cell.  They will germinate in the polytunnel.  An excellent video -

Weeding and hoeing

Best done weekly before weeds develop.