Seeds on Sunday (548)
by Max Akroyd
Sunday is our day off. Not on any religious basis, just a day of doing very little, whose existence is a morale boost during the rest of the week. It gives a chance for my boots and waterproofs to dry out properly. Of course the animals still need feeding and mucking out, and the bread still needs making. And the process of organising the garden continues on paper and in my head…
Today, by stretching the rules a bit, I revisited the seed viability box (first mentioned here). It’s been a big success: I’ve determined which seeds are worth the effort of sowing and which ones are fit only for the bin. Some ancient chicory seeds did just fine whereas some recently purchased onion seeds didn’t sprout at all.
From now on a small sample of all my seeds will get the viability treatment. It’s also a good way of getting the big seeds started too: those burdock seeds are only just germinating now – something that might never have happened in the great outdoors. Finally, and decisively, I’ve discovered our five year old is very keen to get involved in sowing the seeds into each compartment and checking their progress regularly… so, the box is here to stay.
Looking ahead to next week and the forecast confirms that it’s getting to the time of year when dry weather also means cold weather. From now until February, the gardener in Brittany is confronted with soil which is either too wet or too frosty. A decent mulch helps extend soil accessibility and I’ll be removing some plastic mulch to trench the dry soil underneath. There’s also raspberries to plant as I received a large order of bare-rooted canes last week. Raspberries go really well around here, I think they must like the acid soil, and they offer excellent and much-needed wind protection. Even better, they will provide an abundant source of fruit for me in 2011 when most of the fruit trees I’ve planted to date will still be too small to provide a meaningful harvest.