Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Lettuce eat salad

Well in about 6 weeks we should have a fresh supply.
I sowed the 12 leftover soaked peas, rocket, little gem, American land cress, spicy mixed leaves and 'Quattro Stagioni' mixed leaves into a long plastic 'window-box' type of container. Plan is to eat the pea shoots and start picking the salad as young leaves, eventually leaving a few to mature.
In other seed sowing news I've sown about 40 peas in the module tray, as I don't have enough guttering for another large batch. I also soaked them overnight to see if that makes them germinate quicker than the first batch.
I've decided on growing three of the normal shaped but stripey courgettes 'Striato d'Italia' and two of the round 'Tondo di Piacenza'. I might also make a second later sowing, depending on how well the summer shapes up. I sow the seeds on their sides (see photo) as its supposed to make it easier for them to germinate and stops them rotting in the soil.

The Growing Season starts here...

At last the weather's warming up and it feels like Spring.

Did a solo digging session last night and managed to clear an area about 6 metres squared of weeds ready to plant out the broad beans when I get back next week. Found some very large but chewed-by-slugs potatoes that I missed when digging last year's crop up. Oh well at least the soil is nice and crumbly.

On Sunday we managed to plant the rest of the potatoes - the maincrops, Pink Fir Apple and Cara (2 rows each of 20 tubers). MJC planted the last of the onions (hope they're not too late in!).

Monday, I transplanted the rest of the tomato seedlings and tranferred them upstairs out of the way of the kitties.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Start of the marathon potato planting...

We spent a few hours yesterday evening planting the first early potatoes - Nicola and ? (forgot to write the name down!)
At least I hope the unknowns are earlies...then today we're hopefully going to plant the maincrop - Pink Fir Apples and Cara. Each row takes 22 of the early pots and we've planted 1 and a third rows of Nicola and the rest in ??. I need to count the remaining potatoes and work out how many more rows we need to weed and dig.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Peas and Beans

Peas have finally emerged and I've put the broad beans out into the mini-greenhouse to start to acclimatise to the great outdoors.

Must sow some more of both and start thinking about sowing some french and borlotti...maybe when things warm up a wee bit more.

And in other news...

We harvested some more forced rhubarb.

MJC planted 2 beds worth of onions - Red Baron and White Prince (sound like characters out of a fairy tale) - and we still need another bed for the New Fen Globe. We'll definately be self-sufficient in onions next year.

I started weeding the area where the potatos will be planted and after I left to go the the allotment committee meeting, MJC dug two trenches ready for some of the potatoes.

If the weather's nice tomorrow evening then I think it's another solo visit for me.

A sign of things to come?

A trip to the plots tonight revealed new growth despite the cold weather.The blackcurrants are already flowering and there are lots of clusters of them on the plants so maybe another bumper crop? Mmmm blackcurrant jam!

The gooseberries are also blooming. Gooseberry fool or crumble? Tough choice!
The ramsons also seem to thriving where we've planted them by producing some pretty but smelly flowers.

The garlic is looking lush and healthy. I wonder if it's had enough cold to split properly into cloves? Well I'll have to be patient and wait until summer... The shallots have sprung into life.

And finally just had to take a picture of one of the artichoke plants from above because it makes a perfect star shape.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Little and Large

The littlest seeds - Celeriac - have emerged at about the same time as the biggest - Broad Beans - despite being planted a week or so later. I suppose the Broad Beans have a big energy store that they can burst into life as soon as they're given the right conditions.

(You can see the tomato seelings in the background). But that doesn't quite hold true for all legumes as the sweet peas and the edible peas (only just emerging now) took quite a long time to germinate.

No potato planting today

When you wake up to the street looking like this...
then its definitely not the ideal conditions to be planting potatoes. So scuppered by the weather its transplanting time for the seedlings and maybe some more sowing. But I'll have to go and buy more pots as I'm already running out of them...

The kitchen windowsills were becoming full up with trays so I've moved the seedlings that I've already transplanted upstairs to the back bedroom on the folding camp table.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

'Chokes are go

Spent a couple of hours with MJC yesterday evening finishing off weeding (lots of couch grass roots, grrr!) the Jerusalem Artichoke beds and tucking them up with a cosy blanket of well rotted horse poo! There's a farm/riding stables a couple of miles down the road that lets you shovel as much of the brown gold as you can transport, for free. So we filled the back of the family stationwagon with a few barrow loads.
As we were putting the last artichokes in I noticed that the sky was really pretty (not sure the photo does it justice though).

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

You go away for 2 days....

...and this happens! The beetroot and kohl rabi seedlings try to make a run for it.
No sign of the celeriac but then they are very small seeds which means they take longer to germinate. There is the merest hint that the physalis are about to break through and the Love in a Mist are finally out aswell. Meanwhile the other flower seedlings look like they need transplanting as they're producing their 1st set of adult leaves already.

Going to try and plant the Jerusalem Artichokes one night this week if the weather behaves as they're sprouting. Also going to start preparing the early potato bed and maybe get them in too. I think we got a variety called Nicola, but I can't remember and I've lost the label...hmmm.