4 weeks ago I sowed some seeds outside and covered them with straw to protect them from drying out and against the cold. (See the post sowing vegetables outside) Now I’ve carefully checked what it looks like under the straw. The result is not entirely satisfying.
I had already shown that the Romaine lettuce underneath the plastic cover came up. This grew on nicely. From the other 3 rows of a different lettuce hardly anything came up and the celery root did not come up at all. Now, when I took the pictures, we still have one week to the ice saints. Then I will take away the plastic cover, because I am afraid it will be to warm for the lettuce underneath the cover during the day. Of course the weeds also did well underneath the plastic cover and where now removed.
The sweet peas are doing well underneath the straw and are sticking there heads out above the straw already.
Other than that I am not very happy with the result, among other things because following seed did not come up at all:
- Wilde Rocket
- Onion red Robelja
- Onion Rijnsburger 5/ Bajosta
- Onion Cuisse de Poulet
- Cauliflower Neckarperle
- Kale Lerchenzungen
- Oak leaf lettuce Red Salad Bowl
Obviously I should have known that the plantlets that did come up are long, thin and pale underneath the straw. These plantlets came up:
- Red cabbage Rodynda
- Palm cabbage Nero di Toscana
- Broccoli Calinaro
- White cabbage Dottenfelder Dauer
- White cabbage Holsteiner Platter
- Swede Wilhelmsburger
- Oatroot (vegetable oyster)
I do not really like the looks of this, but I will just wait and see what happens. Maybe once the plantlets get above the straw they will get better, otherwise I could just plant them a bit deeper once they are big enough to replant.
For the next year I very much would like to build a classic raised bed greenhouse, but I will probably also experiment with straw again. Only with a thinner layer. Other than that I will also have to have more patience and not sow so early, but wait until the ground has warmed up some more. Then the seed will probably come up better.
A week later I hat sow some more of which the radishes, dill and lemon balm already came up.
The onion sets and the garlic are coming up nicely, but there are no potatoes yet.
I had sown red beets and carrots between the rows of onion sets and the garlic. I had forgotten that carrots need light to sprout and I had covered everything under a nice thick layer of straw, because it would be protected against the cold. So with the carrots I did not find anything, but I found some small red beets.
The first week of Mai has past and it is high time to sow the corn, pole beans and green beans. I have sowed 2 varieties of green beans (Sanguigno 2 und Brigit). Other than that I sowed corn and pole beans in half a bed with the short side facing south. The skin of the pole beans is very hard, so I should sand it a little to help the sprout. I preferred to soak the seeds in water and hope that will also do.
In the other half of the bed I sowed carrots and different varieties of lettuce. I hope that the carrots and mainly the lettuce will profit from the shade from the corn this summer. Here where we live that is necessary because the sun really burns and would damage the plants. I put a moderate layer of straw on the corn and the pole beans. With the carrots and the lettuce I did things differently. I put down a very thin layer of straw, hoping this will be enough to keep the soil from drying out. Then I just sowed the carrots and the lettuce over the straw and lightly wiggled the straw so the seed would fall further down. This way the sunlight still reaches the seeds. I hope this way the carrots and lettuce will do better, because we love eating carrots. But I will have to wait and see.
Parallel I also pressed some soil blocks to sow in. I will put these in a somewhat protected spot and will have to water these regularly. This is nothing for the carrots, but for lettuce and onions it functions well. I also am going to use this for sowing some summer flowers, since I am not sure jet where I want these.