Growing Awareness at The Barn - planting beans and winter salads
Welcome to our latest gardening news-post with The Barn's gardener Jane Knight.
Here she tells us about green compost and her planting plans for September and October.
Sowing spicy leaves and broad beans
I've been busy planting winter salads at The Barn, like red mustards, frilly mustards and winter-hardy lettuces.
If you want to sow things now, I’d recommend Mizuna - it's yummy and the plants look spikey and are a lovely fresh green colour. It's got a little bit of a kick - it's slightly hot and spicy, so it adds a bit of a zing to winter salads.
Mizuna can be a bit ‘Marmite’: some people really like it, for others it’s too hot for the palate. Not everyone’s had a chance to try spicy leaves.
Sow the seeds inside, under glass or put a cloche over things you’re sowing outside, which is as good for winter protection.
There’s also time to sow winter spinach seeds, which you can then plant out at the beginning of October.
Here in the Barn’s organic gardens we’ve also been sowing green manures.
These are a crop designed to improve soil structure and fertility and to cover the soil.
We’ll plant broad beans or fruit bushes later in the Autumn, so planting green manure is a way of nourishing and protecting the soil until you’re ready to plant your next crop.
We’ve sown mustard and red and crimson clover and we’re going to be sowing vetch as well. They germinate really quickly and when you’re ready to plant your next crop, you just turn in the green manure, which has fed the soil and kept weeds down in the interim.
October means that it is time to sow broad beans, and you can do this directly into the soil.
Here in the Barn gardens we sow them undercover first, then plant them out. Then you don’t lose them to the birds and mice! Aquadulce is the main one for sowing in the autumn, although there are other varieties. Good luck.
Find out more about Sharpham's gardens here