Monday, 19 March 2012

Let's take this outside

All of my plants so far have been sown and grown inside, so I decided to plant a few things outside. I planted carrots (chantenay red cored 2), parsnips (hollow crown) and radishes (sparkler 3).

I started with a yellow plasterers bucket that I found in my garden and washed with some watered down bleach to kill any nasty germs that may have been living in it.
Then I filled it up with various compost mixes that I had in my garage. The bottom section was mainly the Wilko multi-purpose compost, because that's lumpier and I thought it might be better for drainage to have it lumpy at the bottom.
The middle layer was mainly the John Innes seed compost, because that's really sandy and I read that carrots like sandy soil. I mixed a bit of the B&Q Value stuff in with it too because the John Innes was a bit too heavy, and the B&Q Value helped with that.
The top layer was a fairly equal mix of B&Q Value with Miracle-Gro potting mix, because they're both really light and my other plants seem to find it a bit easier to sprout through the finer soils.

When I'd eventually finished filling it up and getting a mix of layers that I was happy with, it was time to sow the seeds. I've done a bit of reading online about planting carrots and parsnips, and I found the best way was to scrape a few lines into the soil, sprinkle the seeds thinly in the lines, then fold the edges of the lines over so the seeds have a thin covering of soil.
I put quite a few more seeds in there than I should have, but I'm going to pull up the weakest ones when they start growing, so it won't be a problem.

After that, I tried to fill in most of the other gaps with radish seeds. They're super easy to plant too, I just roughed up the soil a bit, sprinkled seeds over it and then smoothed the soil out again so they were covered.
The reason I planted radishes in with the carrots and parsnips is that I read they grow nicely together. The radishes fill in the empty spaces and finish much quicker than the carrots, so when you pull them up it loosens the soil a bit so the carrots and parsnips can grow better.
Lastly, I gave them a nice big drink of water so they'd be moist enough to germinate.

I'm quite happy with how it turned out, hopefully I'm rewarded with a tasty harvest in a few weeks.


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