April 2010

 

                                                                            

  

Mar 28th

Well,the tomatoes have all started to send up their 1st true set of leaves so I'm now confident enough to nip out the weaker seedlings and leave 1 per pot.

                         

And the Sweet Potato experiment is still on,more roots appearing in the water but no top shoots yet.

Sowed a couple of types of Cabbage earlier in the week and both have germinated after only 5 days.

                         

I sowed a green cabbage "Minocole" which is a great F1 variety which will stand for months when ready without splitting and also a Red Cabbage "Fuego" which is new to me.

                         

Planted out my onion sets this week.As usual I plant mine 6" apart in rows 12" apart so that just the tip is above the soil surface.

                         

I use a piece of wood marked out at 6" intervals which makes planting really fast as you can use this as a straight edge too and literally throw 'em in.I planted 100 in just 5 minutes.

I also managed to get hold of some Giant Red Onion plants which I'll be trying to get as big as I can.

                                    

It's just for a laugh but I'm aiming for a 5 pounder.

April 2nd.

The recent few days of warm weather's got things growing a bit in the polytunnel.

                         

My Strawberries in pots are starting to send out some new growth,and a million weed seeds seem to be germinating in there too.

                         

Over on my small fruit bush cage as you can see the Blackcurrants and Gooseberrys are only just coming into leaf.

They're absolutely miles behind last year.

I think the Goosegog bushes thorns have grown even bigger and more vicious than ever,just look at the size of 'em !!....Evil plant.

                         

Similarly with my Rhubarb,a good 6 weeks behind last year.

And can you believe it ? my1st daffodil has just come into flower in April !! Global Warming my Arse !!

                         

So into the protection of the tunnel and the added warmth the few cabbages I sowed recently are all up and growing and the Parsley could do with a bit of a pricking out.

                         

The potatoes are all chitting away nicely with really dark green stubby shoots and even the odd leaf appearing..

These will be planted outside soon once I can get round to it.Sowed my peas too,see the vid below.

April 10th.

Decided to plant the Early Potatoes "Nicola" variety.They are my favourite potato by far,really waxy texture.

                         

As you can see they are well chitted with some great green shoots on so they should grow away quickly.

As normal I just take out a trench about 6" deep,spread some blood,fish & bone over it then plant the potatoes about 9" apart.

                         

Then simply back fill the trench with soil and that's about it.

I did a video of me doing it if you want to watch,It's not particularly exciting though.

 

Anyway,I got some proper outdoor sowing done which to me means the start of the season proper.

                         

I simply prepared the soil by raking in some Blood Fish & Bone and raked the surface to a fine tilth.

                         

Then using a plank as a straight edge and a cane I make a drill about 1cm deep then simply sow the seeds as thinly as possible.

I sowed 3 short rows of Lettuce,little gem,Lakeland Iceberg and some Rocket,plus a short row of Beetroot boltardy and a full row of Carrots.

I sowed the remaining Exhibition Sweet Candle seed as this years carrot crop as they were the sweetest tenderest carrot I have ever eaten last year,and they were a good 12" long to boot !

                  

It still amazes me how tiny Rocket seeds are,If anyone has a good way of sowing these thinly then please let me know.

                         

Starting to get some growth on the Shallots and Garlic I planted a while ago which is always a good sign.

                         

I have self seeded Chives coming up all over the shop around the path edges,Can I grow Chives in a pot ? can I buggery,but left to their own devices they seem to thrive.

Wahey !!! my Rhubarbs got a leaf !!

                  

Finally,I've noticed a Pheasant flying away when I get to the plot recently and today I now know why.

In amongst my Daffs I found it's nest with eggs.

I'm hoping It won't eat anything so I'll keep an eye out for any damage.

If it knows what's good for it It'll behave itself.

April 17th.

Well,I decided to sow my French beans "Cobra" Courgette "Defender" Cucumber "Marketmore" and Squash seeds.

As they're all going to be planted in the polytunnel then they're ok to be sown now,but a little early if you were going to plant them outdoors.

                         

I always sow my beans with the little slit downwards and the cuc,squash seeds etc always on their edge just under the surface.

Sowing on edge means there's less resistance for the emerging shoot from the compost and they tend to germinate more sucessfully.

                         

Sowed some corriander seeds also,but as they are 3 years old I'm not sure if they'll sprout,I'll have to wait and see.

Then I just put everything in the propagator and hopefully in 3-4 days we should see some action.

                         

My Tomatoes are flying along with all the sunny weather lately and the cabbages are just starting to send out their 1st true leaves.

                         

Over in the polytunnel my early potatoes have just broken through and the Strawberries in pots are doing really well.

                         

Just a quick update on the Pheasant.

It's been laying an egg every day.

                         

So now there's 7 in the nest.

Nothing's been eaten or nibbled either yet so I'll leave it be.

You'd never know the nest was there as it's right in the middle of a big clump of my daffs too.

April 24th.

Well all the cucumbers,squash,courgettes etc have germinated and are growing away nicely.

                         

The beans germinated really quickly too within 2 days.

I've got some room in a big greenhouse this year so I've planted out a few of the tomatoes already.

                         

I like to grow my tomatoes in big 15-20 litre pots rather than in grow bags as you can move them around if necessary.

I put a bit of plastic over the compost just to help retain the moisture.

                         

I've had a much better germination rate this year with the peas since I only sowed them really shallowly,about 1/2" deep.

If you're wondering what the mesh is it's my 100% guaranteed anti mouse protection.

Just place the 10mm mesh over the peas after sowing in a sort of upside down trough shape and the mice can't get in and dig 'em up but the peas happily grow straight through the holes.

I rigged up my usual pea frame using canes and chicken fencing,I find this to be much better than the flimsy annoying pea and bean netting you can buy and you can use it year after year.

                         

My lettuce have started to germinate but with the bone dry soil I've had to give them a good watering every day.My shallots have burst forth too.

                         

Over in the polytunnel I now have a single solitary strawberry flower..Wahey !! and the leeks have been thinned out to about an inch apart.

                        

The parsley's coming along well and the cabbages are starting to produce their 2nd set of true leaves.

These should be ready to go out in a couple of weeks.

And at last my Rhubarb !!

                  

After the slowest start in history it's now growing !! I think a bit of weeding wouldn't go a miss though.

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That's it for this week folks.........

Thanks a lot for looking.

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