I decided to sow my leeks today,I always just grow the old favourite Musselburgh,they always seem to give me great results and I can pull leeks from September right through until late March,so thats 7 months.
Not bad for 49p a packet.I sow them about 5mm deep in multipurpose compost with a bit of added John Innes as this is more moisture retentive than basic compost
I've sown them in a polystyrene veg box 18'x12'x6' this gives more depth than a seed tray for the roots and they grow a lot better.Once they germinate I'll thin them out to about 1 every square inch and later to 1 every 2 inches,that will leave me with around 50-60 plants to plant out in early June.
The weather forecast was for solid rain for the next week so i've decided to get my shallots and garlic in,the soil is still a bit wet but if I don't get 'em in now I never will.
These are the Garlic and shallots I planted,they're ones I have left over from last years crop.
I plant my Shallots so that about half of the bulb is above ground 9 inches apart and the Garlic about one inch deep around 6 inches apart and a foot between rows.
April 2nd Well amazingly it was Sunny today so I decided to plant my Red Onion Sets.
The Purple Sprouting Brocolli is still producing well.
Even my Strawberries in pots in the Polytunnel are now starting to grow.
Just a quick update on the Giant Onion growing front,I replanted them a week ago but as you can see they've picked up since then.I'll hopefully plant them in the Polytunnel in 3 weeks.
April 3rd Well, at last my Gooseberry and Blackcurrant bushes are starting to sprout some new growth,they seem to have come into life later this year due to the colder weather.
April 4th As you can see my Gooseberry bush has outgrown it's old cage and is growing through the mesh,so I knocked a bigger one up today.It looks more like an aviary though.
Also my spuds in the polytunnel have broken through so I'll have to watch out for any frost.
April 6th Well, the Leek seeds I sowed about a week ago are all coming through now.
April 8th At last I managed to plant my onion sets today.I've planted Hytec a heat treated variety,I now only plant heat treated ones as they have been through a process which kills off the embryonic flower inside the set and they very rarely,if ever go to seed in a hot,dry Summer.
I planted them so just the top is above the soil 6 inches apart and 12 inches between rows.
I've also earthed my potatoes up in the polytunnel to protect the new growth from frost.
April 12th Decided to sow my Courgettes (Defender),Butternut Squash (Avalon),Cucumber (Burpless tasty green) and Climbing French Beans (Cobra).
I always sow big seeds like this on their edge as this seems to aid germination.I just cover them with compost I don't like to sow too deeply as they can rot before germinating.
The beans are sown 2 to a pot about 1cm deep and the weeker seedling removed.Well that's them done, now It's just a matter of putting the lid on the propagator and waiting for them to sprout.
April16th Amazingly in less than 4 days the courgettes,squash and cucumbers are sprouting,that must be a world record !
Decided to sow my Peas (Hurst Greenshaft) and plant the spuds (Nicola) this evening.
I sow the peas in a shallow trench about 1-2 inches deep with the peas spaced around 1-2 inches apart.I've tried to make a mouse-proof cover for them this year as I have a big problem with field mice digging all my peas up.Hopefully this will keep the mice out and the plants will just grow through the mesh.
I plant my spuds in a trench about 6 inches deep with the spuds about a foot apart.
Then fill the trench back in and make a slight mound over the top.
1st flowers on my Strawbs in the tunnel !
April 21st Managed to sow my lettuce this evening (Saladin,Little gem,Lollo rosso and Can can) I'll be sowing these every month so I'll have a crop until Autumn.
Sowed my Carrots (Early Nantes) and Spring onions (White Lisbon) aswell.
My Shallots and Garlic are now starting to sprout and grow.
My leek seedlings are growing well and are in need of a thinning out and the strawberrys are coming along nicely.
Just planted the giant onions out tonight.See the onion page for details.
April 30th Well just to round this month off,the courgettes,squash and cucs,and french beans are all growing well.
The spuds in the polytunnel are doing really well thanks to the shelter.
So to round it off with a picture of the outside plot.Not much happening,shallots,onions and garlic growing,lettuce,carrots,peas and spring onions sown but not through yet.
Thats April done and dusted,let's hope May is a bit warmer.
I got these boxes from the grocer,they were used to store Brocolli in.
A big advantage of the polystyrene is that when the soil warms up during the day it acts as good insulation and keeps it warmer at night.
|The first job was to sprinkle about 4 oz /square yd of Blood,Fish and Bone over the area and then work it into the top 4 inches of soil,then lightly firm the soil with the back of a rake.|
So this year It's not cost me a penny as I'm using the ones left over from last years crop.
That's a bonus.
|Sorry about the photo of the garlic on the right,It is there honestly.|
So thats that job done.2 rows of Garlic and 2 rows of Shallots in.
Next job is to plant my onion sets when they finally arrive.
The peppers I sowed over a month ago are finally starting to grow,well just a little bit.They must be the slowest growing plants of all time !
I plant them about 4-6 inches apart so that just the top of the onion set is sticking out of the soil.
Rows about 1 ft apart
|I'm managing to get about 2 pickings a week off just 2 small plants.|
I grow them in pots inside as I have loads of Blackbirds and they seem to pinch every single one.
This is the 3rd year in these pots so I'll need to replace them next year