Early seed sowing at the Kitchen Garden

Posted in Category Organic Gardening | by Jo

Here at Stephanie’s Kitchen Garden, we will be sowing seed outside this week. In our Superior Raised Beds, we will be sowing ‘Amsterdam Forcing’, an early variety of carrot.  These will be given protection using a PVC cover and Hoops kit to keep them warm and snug whilst they germinate.  

We’ll also be sowing early peas direct into the ground.  Last year our peas were a disaster thanks to mice, so this year we are trying a different approach.  We are going to use chicken wire laid onto the top of the soil and sow the seeds through the holes in the wire. The peas will have added protection from cloches until they are a good size and ready to be trained up our Pea Frame. We may be taking a risk sowing outside so early in the year, but given the mild weather, we think it’s worth a try. Who knows, we may be rewarded with a bumper early crop!

Parsnips and Leeks

This week we will be harvesting leeks and the last of this year’s parsnips. Stephanie will be putting these to good use with a couple of her tried and tested recipes: Leeks in a Thyme Butter Sauce and Roasted Parmesan Parsnips.

Leeks  in a Thyme Butter Sauce: 

Wash and chop the leeks into 1 inch pieces and then pop them into a freezer bag and put in the fridge for a couple of hours. Melt butter in a heavy bottom pan and add some finely chopped garlic. Add the leeks and some chopped thyme, season with salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes...Delicious!

Roasted Parmesan Parsnips: 

Finely grate Parmesan, mix with equal parts flour and season with pepper. Spread out on a large plate. Cook the parsnips in salted water for 5 minutes then drain and immediately coat in the cheese mixture. Roast in hot rapeseed oil for 30 minutes...Enjoy!

Meet the Author: Jo Blackwell
Jo Blackwell

Jo Blackwell is our well-established Horticultural Advisor and the Kitchen Gardener in Stephanie's Victorian style Kitchen Garden. She caught the gardening bug when she bought her first home 21 years ago. Her first greenhouse soon followed and she later gained an allotment.

As well as tending the Harrod Horticultural Gardens, she enjoys maintaining her own vegetable plot at home. She has been a gardener for Harrod Horticultural for over 4 years now and has a wealth of experience in organic vegetable growing, ornamental gardening and in using all Harrod products.