March 2011




February 27th.

Well I'm finally starting to see a bit of growth.


The shallots and onions are starting to sprout a little and I decided to sow my Leeks,again in a big deep polystyrene vegetable box.

I'm trying a strangeley named variety " Autumn Giant 3 Rami " this time.


Now you won't believe this but I planted some early potatoes today !!

In the polytunnel,I did this a few years ago and actually managed some new potatoes in May.

I simply took out a 6" deep trench and sprinkled a good amount of Blood,fish and bone into it.


Then placed the chitted spuds eyes upwards in the bottom about 9" apart and simply filled in the trench.


I also started to break down the Winter dug soil a bit with a 3 pronged hand cultivator which was pretty easy as all the winters frosts had really broken the clods down.


If you remember that nearly all my water butts were split by the Ice this Winter,I've managed to get hold of some huge 500 litre tree plant pots.Really heavy duty and hold ove 100 gallons of water too.

   Parsnip Boring Time.

I used the 1st sunny day for weeks to make a start on my 1st attempt at growing some giant parsnips.


As you can see I have a wide array of different containers for all the carrots and parsnips but I'm using the 45 gallon drum with an extended collar to grow the parsnips in.

Firstly as with the carrots the drum is filled with coarse sand and then allowed to settle for a few weeks,then using a 3" dia. drainpipe or similar a core of sand is removed right to the bottom by plunging this down into the sand and then removing it.

Then if all goes well the sand sticks in the pipe and the borehole is formed.


The you can use a metal bar,or in my case the handle of my rake to make the bottom a bit deeper and then rotate it to make the top a bit wider and the whole hole slightly conical.

This gives me about 4ft6 of total depth.


Then it's just a matter of trickling the compost mixture into the hole using a funnel and every foot or so just slightly compressing it with a cane.


So that's about it , 7 stations done ready to sow the seed in a couple of weeks or so.

March 5th.

Well,I finally got going today and sowed a few seeds.


I sowed two types of Cherry tomatoes,Sweet Million and Gardeners Delight,Some sweet Peppers "Californian Wonder" ,some Summer Cabbage "Hispi" Calabrese "Aquiles" Hot Chilli "Prairie Fire" Kale "Nero di Toscana" and some World Record Holding Tomatoes which at a pound a seed came in a protective vial and at that price had better germinate.


So all these except from the Brassicas will go in the propagator at about 75f and should hopefully be through within a week.


The Leeks I sowed last week are starting to germinate and I'll put these in the polytunnel along with the shallots one a few more have come through.


I'm slowly but surely getting the show carrots bored out and filled with compost even though I'll only be sowing the seed in April,I'd rather get it done in good time and covered up just in case we get another month of solid rain in the next month.


As I'm growing some show parsnips this year I'm pre chitting the seeds as all the people in the know seem to do as parsnips can be hard to germinate in cold weather.

This simply involves placing the seed between two sheets of wet kitchen towel and keeping them in a warm place until a tiny little shoot appeares called a "Radicle" and then these seeds are then planted out in the soil.

It's been 5 days now but nothings happened yet ??


Outside I've managed to get the soil in a decent condition now and should be planting some Garlic and Early Carrots next week.

March 12th.

Well a week later and all the Tomatoes have germinated and the Leeks are all through.


I sowed some Shirley Tomatoes today with a mind on the Shows,they're not the best but they're not the worst.


The trouble is,now I need as much windowsill space as possible all my Cacti are just shoved together for about 6 weeks.


Over on the Show Parsnip front the seeds have chitted on the wet paper after 10 days so I sowed 3 per hole in the barrel.


I sowed some early Carrots Amsterdam Forcing using this seed tape for the 1st time.

The seed is spaced out at about 3/4" intervals on the paper and you just unroll it and bury it about 1/2" deep and apparently no thinning is required.We'll see.

I also did some Redneck weeding in the Flower Garden which involves setting fire to all the old perennial leaves from last year as opposed to cutting them.

Works for me.


Planted out my Garlic this week using my own bulbs saved from last year.

These are now a 4th year strain of my own bulbs and seem to grow really well on my plot.

March 21st.

Not much happening.


Everything still sprouting away and the Onions should go out next week.

All the cabbage,kale and brocolli germinated well.


The show shallots are doing well now after a late start and all appear to be splitting into either 3 or 4 bulbs which means no thinning out needed.


Finally finished my carrot,parsnip and long beet growing part and have now added a windbreak which can be pulled round the entire thing if gales are forecast.

I also had a bit of spare mix left over so I've filled 6 5ft 6" dia pipes to grow some in too.


Also after saying that I was never going to try to grow a 10 pound onion again,fellow blogging show veg grower Paul told me he had some spare plants.

So off down to CleckHuddersFax I went to pick 'em up.

As you can see they're a fair old size for this time of the year,so maybe this year.

I've planted them in huge 65 litre pots filled with 4:1 compost and topsoil.

And just guessed at the fertilizer by adding 6 oz Vitax and a sprinkle of slow release pellets,a couple of ounces of Calcified Seaweed and the same of Nutrimate.

I did a short video of me planting the Garlic Below,click to play.


I did a bit of a video below regarding the show carrots so click play if you want to see it.


That's everything that's gone on this week folks,thanks a lot for taking a look.

I'll do my best to keep the weekly updates coming,thanks.


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