Today begins by taking three people from Sarratt Horticultural Society on a pre-visit tour of the garden to help them to decide whether to bring their group to visit us. I'm pleased to say that by the time they had reached the fruit cage they had decided in the affirmative.
I am hoping to finish planting the seeds today (or at least the seeds that need planting now). I started by adding seeds to the tray of delphiniums that I planted ages ago, as only 4 have germinated. I added Rudbeckia 'Gloriosa daisies' (28) and Australian Honey Suckle (7). I then sowed an 84 cell tray with 35 Larkspur 'Giant Imperial', 21 Joker Pansies 'Light Blue' and 28 mixed cosmos. I then planted another 84 cell tray of French Marigolds (excellent companion plants) - 39 Defender, 3 Red Knight (end of packet), 21 Zenith and 21 African Crackerjack. I then planted an 84 cell tray of Californian Poppy 'Eschscholtzia', another tray of 84 'Ammi Visnage' and finally, a tray of 84 Calendula 'Touch of Red'.
I then return to sowing vegetables and start with a 40 cell tray of Chinese Cabbage Scarvita (10), Atsuko (15) and 'Collard Cabbage Champion' (15). I sow a further tray with more cabbage January King (5), Savoy Vertus (5), Guardian (15), and Duncan (10), and 5 'Enkhulzen'. I then sow a tray of mainly, quicker growing smaller cabbage Greyhound (5), Offenham (10), Golden Acre (10), Green Express (10) and 5 more Enkhulzen. This is a lot of cabbage, but apart from being good to eat it looks beautiful. I will still plant Brussel Sprouts and Cauliflowers, but although I love to eat both of these veg, the crops tend to be disappointing. I sow a tray of Cauliflower 'All Year Round' (10), Romanesco (10) and Broccoli Stemia (20). I then sow a tray of Brussel Sprouts Crispus (10), Cascade (10) - both of these varieties are new to me and will hopefully be more successful, Trafalgar (5), Doric (5), Nautic (5), and Groninger (5). I then sow a tray of Calabrese/Broccoli - 10 Green Calabrese, 10 Green Sprouting and 20 Marathon. A tray of Chicory Macun (5), Grumo Loverde (10), Rossadi Treviso (10), Palla Rossa (10), and Palla Rossa Precoce (5). Finally I plant another tray of beetroot - Bettolo (40), another new variety to me.
I have now filled my 42 foot long bench with a double row of seed trays, apart from a small section where I work. The DIY protected shelf unit is full, the last 4 trays of veg went onto the small green house staging tables on the opposite side of the tunnel, and all the trays of flower seed that are not in the propagator are now sitting on this bed, along with the first plug plants and some herbaceous perennials and climbers awaiting planting. It is becoming a very crowded tunnel!