Friday, 8 May 2009

lettuce hope something grows

At home in the greenhouse (aka the conservatory!) we have been propagating seeds and bringing on plants before planting them up. We had over-sown lettuce thinking that they wouldn’t all germinate and ended up with loads of seedling lettuce. They looked ready to plant out so we decided that we’d plant some up in vegetable bags on our decking at home and plant the rest on the allotment.

We prepared the lettuce bed by digging out trenches and filling them with well rotted garden compost before transferring the young plants into the ground. We had brought them on in cardboard tubes found in the centre of toilet paper rolls – not only does this reduce cost but is a great way to recycle the cardboard (which The Council does not accept in its recycling boxes). Each lettuce was kept in its cardboard tube when planted into the ground to protect the roots from damage and frost. The cardboard will soon rot down into the soil so there shouldn’t be any worries about the roots not spreading.

As our plot is rather windy and exposed to the elements, I decided that the lettuce needed a little extra protection so I installed some bamboo arches (cheap to buy from local hardware store: 3 for 99p) and covered them in garden fleece creating a warm cloche. The fleece will allow moisture to get through so that the plants don’t dry out while protecting the young plants from the worst of the wind and cold.

#7 – lettuce planted and bamboo arches installed

#8 – garden fleece finishes off the protective cloches

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