Out of season

Look at any gardening book and it will tell you when you ‘should’ sow certain seeds. Search the Garden Organic website and it tells you that in August (at least here in the UK), you should be planting (amongst other things) amaranth, chicory, Chinese cabbage, kale, lambs lettuce, winter lettuce, oriental greens, rocket, spring cabbage and turnip.

However, Garden Organic were not awaiting their indoor growing space during the spring and early summer like I was. They don’t have all the facts, namely that (1) I bought a whole heap of seeds last winter, (2) Plans for the limery were hatched after purchase of said seeds and (3) I don’t believe everything I read!

So yesterday I sowed seeds… leeks, parsnips, basil and purple sprouting broccoli. Oh, and kale, which is on the list. All except the basil are in modules or little coir pots in the limery… where it’s warm and lovely. Maybe they will thrive and maybe they won’t. Maybe they will be so shocked when they are planted out (not the basil, that’s staying indoors) they will keel over, but maybe they will have had such a good start in life that they grow into be healthy plants and give us a stupendous crop.We will see.

Repotted courgette

Repotted courgette

A couple of weeks ago I planted three courgette seeds – only one germinated, but that has grown into a large plant in the limery, so yesterday that was potted up into a very large pot in the hope that, by keeping it indoors, we can have some completely out-of-season courgettes. Because of the poor germination, I also sowed a couple more seeds last week (a different variety) and both of those have germinated even though they were a year older than the first ones. The variety is large and probably totally unsuitable for indoor growing, but, again, we’ll see. I have really missed my glut of courgettes this year, so it would be lovely to have at least a little crop in order to re-live past harvesting glories.

Maybe I’m just over-optimistic, but there is such a joy associated with the transformation from seed to plant to crop to dinner on my plate that I simply couldn’t wait until the ‘right’ time!

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26 Comments

  1. I always grow out of season and use the greenhouses and polytunnels. I love being able to go and pick vegetables beyond the time they ought to be fruiting or getting ripe. 🙂 This year I have out of season courgettes and marrows. Both in the polytunnel. Not sure how long they will fruit but hopefully they will be fine until late October as long as the weather doesn’t get too cold. Good luck with the limery… xx

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  2. Isn’t this half the fun of having both a Limery and a garden? Experimentation is the name of the game. Good luck with all your trials – if nothing else you will have learned much and as they say, knowledge is power!

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    • I loved just getting my hands dirty yesterday and I’m sure if nothing else I will get some basil. It’s so good to have space to try things out like this – my old greenhouse was too small for experiments, and I had to focus… but not any more!

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  3. Luckily for those of us who like to ignore what “they” say, the plants haven’t read the books. I think given enough of the right conditions plants will thrive. I like your little mosaic, did you make it?

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  4. As far as I’m concerned, ‘out of season’ refers to soil temperature. If the ground’s too cold, nothing will happen, and if the ambient temperature is too hot, certain plants will not thrive. The Limery is a controlled environment, and your soil should be warm enough to produce results irrespective of the time of year. I’m looking forward to seeing you produce lovely vegies through the winter!

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    • I’m sure you are right. I think I might experiment with keeping some in and putting some out. I know the short days will have an effect too, but hopefully I will have some success. The basil and brassicas are already germinating five days on!

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  5. And that is the point of having the limery….so that you can have fun bending the growing rules and seeing what happens. I wish you a bounteous success.

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  6. The only way to find out whether it will work or not is to give it a go. Good luck 🙂

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    • I’m so hoping that I can extend the period during which we can grow our own fresh food. Wales is generally damp and miserable in the autumn and plants often rot in the ground, so fingers crossed this will be successful.

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  7. I think all gardeners are optimists by nature. I’m optimistic you will have wonderful veggies no matter the time of year. You have an edge. 🙂

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  8. I don’t blame you at all for doing this! After all the anticipation and work, you HAVE to give growing a whirl!

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  9. Sharon

     /  August 19, 2015

    I look forward to seeing what comes of this experiment! Having already had bell peppers fruit into December simply in a west-oriented window, I have very high hopes for your new seedlings. Also I am jealous of your lovely courgette transplant, mine always seem to grow leggy, no matter how much light they have had.

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    • I did wonder about the courgettes, but the limery is very light – much lighter than our greenhouse ever was, and initial indications are promising. Fingers crossed that this will be a way to spread the crop and avoid quite so much of a glut.

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  10. You go, girl! And thanks for the reminder–I am way behind on fall planting. It’s just been tooooo sticky out there.

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    • It’s always a bit of a dilemma for me whether to try to grow things outdoors in the autumn – it’s usually so wet here that many plants just rot (or drown). I’m hoping that I may now be a bit more successful – especially since the garden had improved drainage installed at the same time that the limery was built.

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  11. “IS” there such at thing as being over optimistic Ms Snail? Isn’t that another word for “cheerful?” ;). It’s all about experimentation and if it “comes to nout” as my dear granny (who I swear was the basis for Granny Weatherwax in T.P’s witch series in the Discworld), then what harm have you done? A few seeds, a bit of water and potting mix and a lot of optimism never harmed anyone and the worst you can have is “nout”. The best you can have is a harvest. I call that good odds! 🙂

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    • To be honest, just seeing the seedlings emerging is a positive outcome for me… and like you say, there is nothing to lose apart from a little time. If it doesn’t work the pots will be reused and the compost will return to the garden and I had the seeds anyway. I’m pleased to say, however, that the basil is already appearing and that’s bound to grow into something usable (even though Mr Snail doesn’t like it).

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  12. I like your style and your thinking and will look forward to seeing how it all goes.

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