The risk of frost is well and truly over so you can quite happily sow outdoors. Sowing seed outside is simple and perhaps a little bit riskier than doing it indoors what with the chance of wildlife getting to the seed before it germinates and the seed may rot if there’s a lot of rain (that happened to my runner beans sown earlier this year) but I wouldn’t worry too much about that, give it a go!
Firstly make sure the ground has been well prepared beforehand (organic material dug in earlier in the season but not in the case of carrots or they will “fork”), any large stones taken out and the soil broken up to a fine tilth (rake it and then rake again). Depending on how dry the ground is I also wet the soil lightly an hour or so before I sow. I then get a stick and make a slight indent where the seeds are going to go and then pop the stick in at the end to mark the row. Sow as thinly as possible to avoid any waste of seed (remember any left over can be used next season.) Cover over as directed on the seed packet (the rule is about twice the size of the seed) then give it a light water.
Then it’s fingers crossed and wait for the seedlings to appear watching out for any obvious weeds coming up that might choke them. I have also been putting a couple of long twigs over the area to deter any cat that wants to ruin my OCD straight lines. Always use a plant label to mark the row to avoid confusion like I’m having at the moment with my courgettes and cucumbers.
Over the last week I sowed more sweet peas and garden peas which I got all off ebay. They arrived in some unconventional packaging to say the least, in the case of the sweet peas in a folded over square of kitchen towel and the peas in a plastic sarnie bag. The peas looked like the ones me mum used to boil for 30 mins after soaking them the night before in a saucepan in a net with a white tablet.
Also you might have heard of the term successional sowing, all that means is to stagger your sowing as to avoid the plants harvesting all at once which would cause a glut. Peas, beans, lettuce and cut again salad, carrots and beetroot all do well sown like this and you’ll benefit from a longer period of cropping. Sow little and often (once a fortnight in season).
On a different note the garden is going bonkers at the moment what with this mad weather (sun then rain, then rain and sun.) The early spuds are flowering away like there’s no tomorrow, the pond is buzzing with tadpoles, waterboatmen and dragonflies and there’s fruits forming on the tomato plant in the hanging basket. I’ve now started to feed the tomatoes by using some of the worm juice (not a technical term) seeping out from under the “I didn’t buy it” wormery diluted in a bucket of water. It’s all going off!