March 2010

 

                                                                            

  

Mar 1st.

I decided to sow my leeks a little earlier this year and give them a head start.

I'm trying a different variety "Longbow" which as the name suggests apparently have very long shafts and are very Winter hardy.

I use big polystyrene vegetable boxes which you can pick up for freee from the greengrocers or supermarkets that have been used for the transportation of Broccoli.

                         

They're far better than seed trays because of the depth.

I simply cut the depth down to about 4-5" and then punch a few drainage holes through the base.

                         

Then simply fill with compost,sprinkle the seed over and cover with a fine layer of compost.

As the boxes come with lids I put it back on after sowing to keep the moisture in and just check every day for germination.I sowed a bit of Parsley too.

March 7th

Thankfully I got a bit of seed sowing done today.

Sowed my tomatoes,just good old reliable standard varieties,Gardeners Delight Cherry type and Shirley for the normal toms,both varieties are a little more cold tolerant than some of the other varieties.

I also use some shirley for some of the shows as they are a reasonable show variety too.

Sowed half a dozen Peppers too,again just a good old reliable variety Calafornian Wonder.

                         

So now it's just a matter of placing them in the propogator at about 70f and hopefully I should see some germination in around a week or so.

                         

The potatoes that arrived really too early are chitting away well and some of the Leeks are starting to germinate.

March 10th.

I'm really chuffed today !!

Nothing to do with veg growing,gardening or the like.

                                                        

I was walking the dog and a group of Chaffinches literally fell from a tree obviously scrapping over mating rights, and then flew off.

One,unfortunately, flew off head first into the tree trunk and almost knocked itself out.

I went over and picked it up and it slowly came round sitting on my hand,then I sat it on the bench.

About 10 minutes later,It started to come around,and I kid you not,It looked at me,chirped and flew away.

That really made my day !!

March 13th

Well my Tomatoes have germinated really quickly and all the Leeks seem to have germinated too.

                         

I will admit I'm not the best tomato grower owing to the fact that I don't have a greenhouse so what I do is put them on a sunny windowsill with some tin foil behind to reflect the light back and stop them growing towards the window.

Above this I put a small 2ft fluorescent light set on a timer from 9-5 and this does seem to help them grow.

                            

It probably looks like a cannabis factory to the neighbours with all the brightly lit foil 1st thing in the morning,but It'll give 'em something to talk about.

Over on the exhibition Carrot front.

I decided to get the tedious job of mixing the Carrot growing medium.

The mix I am using is exactly the same as last year even though many top growers steer well clear of any topsoil,as far as I'm concerned,If it aint broke dont fix it.

Click the link above to see it in detail if you're at all interested.

A new thing I'm trying this year. Sweet Potatoes.

                         

I'm trying to produce some Sweet Potato Slips which apparently appear as shoots out of the top of a sweet potato which is immersed half way into a jar of water and roots emerge below.

I've read that once they appear and are a few inches long you just snap them off and immerse these in water which induces roots to grow,then plant them out in the garden once the frosts have gone.

Apparently they do best at around 80f so I'm putting it on a heat pad to warm it up a bit.

I honestly thought that you just planted a sweet potato like you do normal spuds but apparently not.

It'll be interesting to see what happens anyway.

Planted out the Garlic and Shallots too today.

 

March 20th.

 Can't believe how far behind everything is in the garden.

                         

Almost into April and no daffs even close to flowering and even the crocus aren't even open yet.Crazy !!

                         

Last year my Rhubarb had stalks and leaves in February but this year it's only just starting to emerge.

Same with the willow I have,absolutely miles behind.

                         

Anyway,inside at least all the tomatoes and peppers have germinated and seem to be doing well.

I'll thin them to one per pot once the 1st true leaves start to grow.

                         

The sweet potato has sent out a root into the water so hopefully It'll send out a few more and then some top growth.

Fertilized my polytunnel beds in readyness for planting the exhibition onions out shortly.

                         

Staying in the polytunnel my leeks have all germinated and need thinning to about an inch each way and the parsley I sowed has germinated quickly considering It can take an age to do so sometimes.

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

Thanks a lot for looking.

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