March 2009

 

                                                                            

  

March 1st

Well,starting to see the first signs of life on the plot.

                                   

The Rhubarb I transplanted has miraculously survived and I'm just seeing the first buds on the Blackcurrants.

P.S on the subject of fruit I planted a supposedly dwarf rootstock Cherry tree a few years ago and the nursery promised it wouldn't grow any taller than 8ft tall and would be ideal to net to keep the birds off.

                                                      

So as you can see 3 years later and getting on for 20ft tall I'm now of the opinion that he sold me a "Lemon"

Anyway,I decided to sow some tomatoes (Gardeners Delight) Peppers (Californian Wonder) and some small Chilli plants (Patio Sizzler) today.

                                  

As you know I think that life's too short to prick out so I just sow 3 seeds to each pot and I'll just remove the weaker seedlings if more than one germinate.

                                  

So,I just sieve some compost over the seeds,water in and stick 'em in the heated propagator at about 70f.They should start to germinate in 7-10 days hopefully.

Over on the continuing giant onion saga,nothings moving particularly quickly after the dodgy compost so I decided to replant one tray of seedlings into some brand new compost and see If they fare any better.

                                  

I've now moved them to a window with some natural light but still have the grow light above for some added lighting 8 hrs a day.

March 8th

The Tomatoes germinated in just 2 days and the Peppers after about 5 and now after 7 days the Chillis are all up too,so,so far a 100% germination rate.

I'll just leave them to grow the 1st true set of leaves and then nip out the weeker seedlings.

                                   

The onions are still growing OK-ishly and the chillies are just starting to sprout.

                                 

March 15th.

The Potatoes are starting to chit and produce a few stumpy buds,I'll plant a few in the polytunnel shortly for an extra early crop.

                                 

The chillies are now all germinated.It's amazing I planted 3 seeds of the Tomatoes,Chillies and Peppers to each pot and every single one has come up.

I'll just nip out the 2 weaker ones once they start to grow their 1st true leaves.

                                  

March 21st

Oh my GOD !!!

Just got back from the North East with the onion plants that were being grown for me by an Onion Growing Superhero.(Cheers Gary you're a star !)

I thought they'd be good, but I couldn't believe my eyes when I actually saw them in his greenhouse.

It was a 200 mile round trip but well worth it.

  

Those are 3 litre pots by the way.

                                                                              

Just to give you an idea of the size of them,mine are usually only this big in about June !!

So I then fertilized my onion bed as to his instructions by adding various amounts of Bonemeal,Sulphate of Potash,Superphosphates,Blood Fish & Bone and Chicken Manure Pellets.

                                  

Then I mixed it into the top few inches and levelled and tamped it down a bit.

                                  

I'll keep the onions in their pots for another couple of weeks or so with a couple of paraffin heaters on at night so that If there's any chance of a hard frost, I can give them as much protection as possible, and even cover with fleece if necessary.

I'm still going to continue growing my own seed grown plants and use them for the dressed onions,I know they're miles behind these big ones but should end up reasonably ok eventually.

Back down to earth now and I planted my Onions,Garlic and Shallots today.

                                  

I just raked in some Blood Fish & Bone and some Pelleted Chicken Manure.I'm doing a test this year by using some of this apparently miraculous stuff called Nutrimate.It's a naturally occuring substance which has extremely high amounts of Humic acid and apparently 5kg of the stuff has the same amount of Humus as a Tonne of well rotted Horse Manure.So I'm going to add this to half the rows of everything I grow this year and see if I notice any major differences.

                                  

I just space the Sets about 6 inches apart and a foot between the rows with the set pushed into the soil so that just the tip is poking out.

These are Heat Treated onion sets which almost eradicates the risk of the Onion running to seed or "Bolting" in Summer if there is some undesirable weather.

                                  

I'm planting my own Garlic again from the best of last years saved crop,this is now  a 3rd generation lot and seems to be accustomed to the weather up here.

I plant the cloves singly,6" apart and a foot between rows so that the top of the clove is about an inch below the surface of the soil.

                                   

The Shallots are planted like the onions so that just the tip is showing.

I plant mine 9" apart and 18" between the rows.These are Red Sun variety.

March 28th

Sowed my leeks this week,the same old Musselburgh variety.

I sow them in a 18x12x6" polystyrene container which has a good depth of compost and produces really strong plants when it comes time to plant them out.

I just sow a whole packet and then thin the seedlings out to about a 2" spacing which will give me a good 40-50 plants per box.

                                      

Planted a few potatoes in a tiny little bed I have in the Polytunnel for an early crop:I should have really done it 3 weeks ago for a really early crop but I just forgot.

                                   

Finally found a use for one of those "Toy" plastic greenhouses that's been knocking around for ages by laying it flat and putting my strawberries in it as a sort of a cold frame.

                                    

Having real problems keeping the Big onions frost free and I'm having to put 2 paraffin heaters on each night just to keep the frost out.

                                    

Now the tomatoes are producing their first true leaves I've thinned them down to one plant per pot,the same with the chillies and peppers.

                        

And finally after repotting my own sowed big onion plants into some decent compost instead of the terrible stuff they were in before,they've stopped dying and are now doing quite well.

Better late than never.

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