Spring has sprung.......or maybe not.
Still not got a single daffodil in flower yet.
Managed to start tilling the beds a little to start early preparation of the soil and also planted out my Garlic yesterday.
I plant mine at this time of year as the soil is still cold enough to give the cloves the 30 days or so of coldness that they need in order to form a proper bulb later in the summer.
Did a planting video below.
Harvesting the final bits and pieces from the polytunnel and still getting plenty of Spring onions out.
I started of some onion sets in 24 cell modules to give them a bit of a head start.
These will be planted outside in early April but should have a few leaves and a decent root ball by then and hopefully grow away a bit quicker.
I planted a few pots of very early potatoes which will be started off indoors and then grown on in the tunnel for hopefully a really early small crop of spuds in maybe late May time.
Starting to sow a few bits and pieces at the moment.
The Banana Shallots "Zebrunne" are in 4 cell module trays and I've done 160 in total as they are such a fantastic variety and store for well over 7 months after harvesting.
My chillies have now germinated and I'm growing them under lights for now.
The experiment I was doing by sowing my own seed from last yeards F1 hybrid chilli has failed already as none of the seeds have germinated, so maybe they were sterile.
So I have some proper Joes Long and some Prarie Fire growing.
I have been kindly given another 5 different Varieties of "Sarpo" potatoes to try by the Sarvari Trust, the main breeders of this variety.
Judging by the results of the Sarpo Mira it will be interesting to see how these other varieties with different eating qualities get on this year, by all accounts some are even more prolific than Sarpo Mira but with tastier flesh and still the same Blight resistant characteristics.
The shallot bulbs are now sprouting into growth and the onion sets I planted last week are all rooted now too.
Anyway, here are a couple of vids from last week showing how easy it is to grow Banana Shallots and what sort of size you can expect
and the quick way to give your onion sets a bit of a head start by planting a bit earlier into modules.
I would urge anyone to try growing Banana Shallots from seed, they are so easy to do and store for ages, video below.
Still not a lot happening yet, Spring most certainly has not sprung yet.
I've just been trying to slowly break down the soil in the beds slowly with the hand cultivator.
This bed is 30 ft x 5 ft but it's handy to be able to reach across is without having to ever stand on the soil.
I think I need a bit of a bridge in the middle though.
I hope the weather warms up and drys out a bit as it's still really cold and wet up here.
The onion sets planted in the modules are in the polytunnel now along with the Banana Shallots and the ordinary shallots.
I sowed some more bits and pieces this week, some Savoy Cabbages "Casserta" and "Savoy King"which were a great success last year, my
normal Leeks "Musselburgh"which I always sow in a big polystyrene box to give them more room, Some Kale "Reflex" which was new
last year and a good variety, a few Red Cabbages and also some Spring Onions "White Lisbon" into small modules so that I can plant
a clump of them outsidelater and they start to grow much quicker.
Anyway I did a video of the simple procedure below, click to play, Cheers.
The first shoots of the year.
The potatoes I planted in February are just starting to grow in the smaller pots, and the first leaves are now appearing above the soil.
Hopefully these will produce a few really early spuds at the end of May.
The other seed potatoes are chitting away well and have some nice shoots on them, these will be planted into pots outdoors in early April.
I managed to see a bit of the Solar Eclipse earlier this week inbetween the cloudy bits.
Did a video of the latter part below.
Anyway, after deciding not to grow any giant onions myself this year I was regretting it.
After putting out a plea for anyone with any spare plants I was lucky enough to acquire these 3 amazing specimens from Andrew from Durham.
So I couldn't be happier, at least I'll be able to have another go at trying to grow a ten pounder.
I had to rush to prepare the beds for growing them in, I'm going for a raised barrel for 2 of them and a ridiculously big 110 litre pot for another.
Hopefully this year will be the year for a monster.
So really this week has been preparing the show stuff.
I cored and filled all the sand boxes and barrels for the Carrots and Parsnips and covered for sowing later.
The giant heavyweight carrots are growing under lights in 4" tubes.
These are just for fun and the aim is the ugliest heaviest carrot ever.
So that's about it.
Did a quick tour video earlier in the week but things have progressed since then, click to play.