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Friday, 28 January 2011

Root Bed Construction

As everyone seems to be re vamping their tap root beds I have decided to follow suit. I am going down a slightly different road I have dug out one of my raised beds in the new tunnel, then constructed a framework to suspend the barrels 2 feet off the ground the space underneath has been filled with a mix of compost Vermiculite soil and sand which has been sieved and shredded. The barrels were placed on the framework and filled with the same mix with added nutrients Seaweed Meal Calcified Seaweed Powdered Vitax Q4 and a small amount of Dolomite Lime. I decided on this method instead of sand cored out because this is how I grew my Carrots and Parsnips last year and it worked very well, the total depth of compost is now 4 foot 6 inches I intend to place some 6" diameter pipes on top of one of the barrels to gain another few inches. I found that using compost only last year enabled me to get the roots out easier without loosing the ends and also I have loads of cheap compost to fill the barrels (this is purely experimental so please do not try this at home) as they say.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

This Weeks Progress Report

Things are moving on nicely I have now started chitting my Spuds they are in the tunnel with frost protection
The Vento are now in Pots and are all in the tunnel with the Spuds
The Leeks have now had the collars changed for 22mm  pipe insulation 9" long and are coming on nicely

Large Onions ticking away nicely

Quality Onions both sowings are also coming on nicely I may have sown them a bit early on reflection as they have another 6 weeks to go till they can be planted in to their final positions,


Wednesday, 19 January 2011

You can do it if you B&Q it

Visited B&Q last week as I had some time to kill before an appointment, I ventured out the back for a look around and came across a large cage full of split bags of their peat based compost ,14 bags in total.After seeking out an assistant I was informed that they were been sold off at £1 a bag so I promptly bought the lot and as they went through the checkout the till also knocked off the bulk discount making the grand total £8.32 for 14 x 75litre bags of compost bargain or what !!!! they will now be put through the shredder ready for mixing the Potato mix.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Spuds Shredder Shallots Seeds

The first lot of My Spuds arrived today from JBA. rather are more than I thought I ordered with more to come. they are fine looking specimens the next job will be to put them in trays to chit them.The varieties are Blue Belle,Sherine,Armour,Celine,Winston and also some International Kidney (Jersey Royals for the table) to follow are Nadine and Cassablanca these were ordered later than the others.

I have read with interest about the use of a shredder on the growing medium for the Spuds and the Carrot mix, so I decided to give it a go I managed to get a good used one off Ebay for £6.50 and a friend collected it for me as she works nearby to where it was Thanks Rachel.
It works a treat I shredded 300 litres of compost in an hour and when the shredded compost was sieved there was virtually no waste.I am using Wickes compost again this year as it is just Irish Peat with added nutrients it is already quite fine and does not have any twigs in it best of all it is only £13 for 4 x 75 Litre bags

 Some of my Shallots are starting to sprout and are now in an unheated tunnel as I do not want to plant them out yet.The large one bottom left is a Spanish onion from the Co Op which was bang on 250g and a lovely shape so It escaped the Curry, And I am going to see if I can get some seeds from it.

I have also now ordered the rest of my seeds from Medwyns and am anticipating their arrival.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Potting on

Only another week left before I start work again after the Christmas break, as I will be away in Edinburgh for the week so I spent yesterday potting on the Onions and Leeks. The Large Onions are really motoring and are now in 5" square pots

 half of the Quality Onions are in 4" pots and the others from the second sowing which are slightly behind them are in 3.5" pots.The Leeks are now collared with pipe insulation and are also in 4" square pots
The germination of the Vento has been a bit erratic with less than half coming through I sowed another 30 last week just in case as I need around 30 plants to choose from.
I am now looking to start positioning the barrels in the tunnel ready for the long Carrots and Parsnips