I managed to get my first early potatoes planted into the ground on my half Now that the weather is warming up a little, they should be fine. I don’t plot.have the strength at the moment to dig a foot wide trench in which to place my potatoes, so I chose to plant them using my trowel. The tubers were spaced 1′ apart and about 1.5′ between rows, 6″ deep in the soil.
The tubers were then gently placed into the hole with the shoots facing upwards so as not to damage the chits that I had been nurturing over the last few months. These strong chits should start them off in good stead for vigorous growth and hopefully give me a substantial yield.
Hopefully, the chits will be short and stubby and not like the ones shown below.
These bad examples did not belong to me!
My onions and shallot sets have been sitting happily in the greenhouse in modules and loo rolls for the last few weeks to give them a bit of a head start as the weather wasn’t warm enough to plant them outside. They have grown some nice strong roots and leaves so they should be happy enough in the ground now.
My peas that I planted in loo rolls are also looking ready to be transferred into the ground. I sowed 3 different sowings at 2 week intervals to allow for a longer cropping period. I have Hurst Green Shaft, which is supposed to bear at least 10-11 peas per pod, Junos and even a Purple podded variety that I have never grown before.
My lettuces, Lollo Rosso and Webb’s, along with my Pak Choi and Chinese Cabbage are also growing enthusiastically. These will be planted outside but I will still leave them under the protection of a plastic cloche as the nights still tend to be quite cold. A good scattering of slug pellets will also help them to survive.
I have sown a few rows of beetroots, carrots and radishes this weekend but not a vast amount. These are best sown in succession rather than having a glut to deal with all at the same time. They were placed under environmesh protection to help prevent the carrot root fly. A word of advice though; don’t try and sow carrot seeds on a windy day!
When I opened the carrot and beetroot seeds I was surprised to see that the carrot seeds were a bright blue colour and the beetroot seeds were a bright green! Also, my sweetcorn seeds had a red outer colour. Now I’m not sure but I think that these dyes were added either to make them easier for you to see when they are sown or as some sort of outer seed protection. Either way they were so much easier for me to see when I was sowing them and hopefully that has helped to reduce the need for thinning at a later date.
I chitted my sweetcorn seeds on my kitchen windowsill last week and most of them germinated well. The varieties that I have are Sweet Bounty, Lark and Extra Early Sweet. The pre-germinated seeds were sown in large plastic cups that I reused from last year. They were thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to help reduce the soil viruses. The seeds will stay in the greenhouse now until all risk of frost has passed.
I struggle to buy ready grown transplants from garden centres and nurseries as I thoroughly enjoy the process of growing plants from my own seeds. I am addicted to buying new varieties and tend to be unable to pass a new packet of seed without buying it and bringing it home. The problem that lies therein, apart from the validity of the seeds deteriating over the years, is that I often sow and grow way more plants than I actually need or can use. However, I beleive in sharing and paying it forward and often pass on many of my transplants on to others.
Maybe I should open up a little stall selling these plants to save a little money for my new seed collection. Mmmmm now there’s a thought!