Chooks & Cooks

Chooks & Cooks

Food, Foraging & Adventures from the Heart of England

Growing Veg: Documenting my Vegetable Seedlings

I’m pretty new to all this veg growing malarkey – until last year I didn’t have any idea that gardening would grow (hah, grow, pun innit) to be one of my biggest hobbies and a refuge from the “real world”. This means that everything I’m doing is on a wing and a prayer – I’m reading books left right and centre, swotting up on gardening blogs and trying to learn how far apart to plant seedlings in my raised beds. The reality though is that I’m still making things up as I go.

One thing I’ve found surprisingly difficult to get hold of online is images of baby plants. I’ve made rookie errors like planting three loads of seeds, and by the time I’m writing the labels I’ve forgotten the order  so being able to quickly identify the little dears when they push through the earth would be very helpful! In addition, it take a long time for plants to grow up – and I enjoy every tiny millimetre of the process. a heads up on what to expect would be much appreciated!

So, in absence of being able to find the photos myself, I thought I’d share some of my own for other newbie gardeners!

Some of my spring vegetable seedlings

Baby Coriander Plant Seedlings

Up first, these are my little coriander seedlings. Notice the excellent spacing between seeds – not. These were pretty fast to sprout – there are three herbs in this tray and coriander was way faster than the basil and the tarragon. In fact, the basil only started coming through this week!

Baby Carrot Seedlings

These are baby carrot sprouts, which took a couple of weeks to come through. They were way tinier than expected – I don’t know if I expected them to look like carrots right away?! Anyway, these seem very fragile so I’ll be careful when the time comes to transplant them. Before then, of course, I’ll have to steel myself and thin out some of the weaker seedlings – the bit I hate!

Baby Salad Turnip Seedlings

These are baby salad turnip seedlings. These are a kind of turnip that basically designed to be eaten raw, they should be really sweet. I didn’t realise when I sowed them but apparently salad turnips don’t like being moved, so we’ll see if they cope with it when the times come . If not, never mind, another lesson learnt! Anyway, these shot up in literally days from sowing, the only other plants I have that have done the same are my polycress seeds for salad!

Courgette Seedling (mixed colours, all round)

These are my favourites – my mixed seelction of spherical courgettes in chunky, courgette seedling form. When the time comes they should be green, yellow, white – lots of different varieties to enjoy. These take a while to start going, but then burst through in such solid, robust glory that I just love them. And look – you can see an adorable baby courgette lead starting on the fella on the left. Am I the only one who gets quite so attached to her seedlings?!

Beetroot seedling

Beetroots! A range of beetroots in fact, as you can tell from the different colours stems on the beetroot seedlings – some read, and some green. They will be a real feast for the eyes when they’re done. I’m growing these beauties in a pot as I only want small, salad sized beets rather than big buggers! I had a few too many in this pot as most germinated, so a few are fending for themselves in the outside veg bed now, wish them luck.

Baby Purple Sprouting Broccoli Seedling

Finally are my survivors, purple sprouting broccoli seedlings. These have survived a systematic attack by the cat, who slept on the tray, dug them and then threw them on the ground. Little terror. It’s amazing they’re alive! These will be a slow veg as far as I can tell – harvesting many months down the line and then over winter.

Hopefully these will be helpful for someone!

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