Mushroom update… they are growing a lot better then I ever expected, especially considering that I expected a total failure. This weekend I harvested some Button Mushrooms as well as a delicious Portobello. The Portobello was much larger then those you would buy in the store and tasted very fresh, with a subtle peppery flavor. As you can see in the below image, I made a tasty dish of garlic butter mushrooms for lunch on Sunday.
I have taken some cuttings from the base of these mushrooms, in the hope that I may be able to grow some at a later date.
The seedlings which I planted don’t seem to be working out. The majority are growing pretty well, yet at least 20% have either failed to germinate or died shortly after sprouting. You can see it the below image a selection of the Broad Bean seeds which have failed. One has made a huge amount of roots, yet the seed seems to have failed to make a sprout, the others just seemed to have rotted in the ground.
This was a real mystery to me. I have been looking after the plants as well as I can. As you can see from previous pictures I have posted, many of the seeds have taken root and grown very well. I have even started transplanting some of my 6cm high tomato seedlings into my garden (where they are very happy). Yet some of my seedlings failed to grow, infact, none of my lettuce grew at all! While looking into this I went through the process I used to plant the seeds. I was using the same seeds, the same mini greenhouses, and similar growing trays. The only real differences were that I was using a different soil, and that the water I was using was town water (as opposed to rain water)…. even the different location was not a serious consideration as I was growing the seeds in mini greenhouses. Then I realised… same seeds! I was using old seeds! While I did buy some seeds recently, I decided to keep most of them for next year and use my older ones. These seeds must be past their use by date.
Some of the old bean and pea seeds that I planted under my fruit trees have germinated (most have failed), yet the seedlings are very week in appearance. The only beans/peas which seem to be growing well were the seeds that I harvested from last season.
With this realisation I went out yesterday and purchased a few new seed packets to try and get my garden back on track. I bought some high quality Broadbean, Snow Pea, Lettuce and Carrot seeds. I planted these out last night and I hope that it will not be long till they start to grow.