Today I couldn’t wait any longer. I had to start sowing. Too early for outside but with one of my polytunnels now empty after completing harvesting new potatoes I had prepared a lovely series of seed beds a week ago, giving a light dressing of fish, blood and bone. In the warmth of a the polytunnel – it being another glorious, sunny day today – I sowed two varieties of carrot; an F1 early from Dobies called Parano and Amsterdam Forcing 3 Sprint from D.T. Brown. I also sowed two varieities of beetroot; Red Ace and Boltardy, both from the Organic Gardening Catalogue. Lettuce varieites were Winter Density from Mr Fothergill and Winter Lattughino, bio-dynamic seed I was given by the head gardener at my oldRudolph Steiner school, Michael Hall. I also broadcast a handfull of winter mixed salad leaf from Dobies and sowed too a short row of rocket from Franchi seeds and Scarlet Globe Radish from Garden organic. To be sure of lots of tsaty leaves in March and April I also sowed a short row of a spinach variety called Campania from Marshalls.
It’s been a very strange winter so far. On 7th October last year I sowed the pea variety Douce Provence in one of my polytunnels. Normally I would expect this variety to grow through the winter to no more than six inches. However, I have a crop now at least a foot hight, if not taller and coming into flower. In fact the first flowers appeared before Christmas. I will be fascinated to see if the crop will set properly if temperatures remain low – already the first flowers have set – and maybe I’ll be eating peas before Easter.
Although I do keep a minimum temperature in my greenhouse I have not expected to still have chillies ripening. However, Pubescens Rocoto, a black-seeded variety is still gowing strong. Very hot and pungent, I expect to keep harvesting through to the end of February!