February 2010 

 

                                                                            

  

Feb 1st

Another month and still not much to report.

I finally got the new pumpkin plot finished off and filled the show carrot boxes with sand.

                          

I did test my soils PH and found it to be a little on the Acid side.

My main bed was 6.2 and where I'm going to grow my onions was 6.0

Generally for most veg 6.5 is about ideal although some prefer it more acidic like potatoes and some more alkali like brassicas.

                  

So I added the appropriate amounts of Hydrated Lime to the beds to aim for a PH of 6.5.

This will just be washed into the soil and sort it out.

A big word of warning if you are going to do the same.Hydrated Lime is lethal stuff.

If you get any into your eyes it can easily blind you and if you breathe the dust you can get into real trouble too,so I would suggest using Ground Limestone or Garden Lime sold in shops if you're worried about the safety issues.

Feb 14th.

Well,nothing much to report other than the fact that my Onions are keeping better than they have for a long time.

Not a single one has gone mouldy,soft or even started to sprout,and even the few small red ones are still in good nick.

                  

I'm putting this down to the fact that I gave them a good 2 months to dry out and ripen in my polytunnel before storing them.

I always leave the stem on whilst drying and only cut it off once it's really shrivelled,and I also don't cut it right back.

Some folk in my opinion cut the stalk back too close and too early which can allow mould spores to enter the bulb and form botrytis in storage.

Anyway,away from the gardening I decided to go to Grizedale Forest and have a go at "Go Ape"

                                      

Spot the idiot competition.

If clambering around on rickety rope bridges and tightropes 70ft above the ground is your idea of fun then give it a go.

I enjoyed the 800ft long zip wires,but being stood on a 12" wooden platform 70ft up a Douglas Fir....I nearly Shat Myself.

Feb 20th.

Well I've not gone completely mad but I have just planted some potatoes.

                         

OK,they have been planted in a tiny little 1 sq yd bed in the polytunnel.

Planting just a few this early means I can actually get a few spuds by late May and I can easily protect them from frost as they're in such a small area.

As usual I just place the seed potatoes about 6" apart in a small trench about 6" deep,sprinkled some Blood,Fish & Bone over and then backfilled and watered.

I also got cracking breaking down the soil a little in the outside beds with most important tool I own.

                         

The 3 pronged Cultivator,no plot should be without one.

All I do is to simply pull it back and forth through the soil and It really breaks it down nicely,especially as we've had so much frost that the soil has softened well.

                         

Eventually the soil ends up well broken down to a depth of about 5-6".

I usually do the whole lot of beds about 5-6 times on a weekly basis from now until late March,then finish them off with the rake and then it's sowing time.

So I'm releived to finally be getting cracking again,If only slowly, after Winter.

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

Thanks a lot for looking.

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