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Friday, 22 July 2011

Ticking along nicely

I have now got 21" colars on half my celery with 18" on the rest, this task was performed yesterday they then all got a good watering with high nitrogen feed before having slug pellets scattered around the bases.I try not to use slug pellets, but with celery it is a must as it is slugs that get under the wrapping that eat the inner core of the plant this causes heart rot which I suffered from last year when I did not use any pellets, you can also water in to the core with calcium nitrate this hardens off the tender inner shoots and also helps to prevent heart rot.I did however learn at one of the NVS. meetings that if you use calcium nitrate before you have blanched the plant it is nearly impossible to blanch it afterwards, so with this in mind I have not started using it yet. I will be starting with my largest plants next week.

I also removed the collars from my remaining 10 leeks that have not gone to seed and was pleasantly surprised at their progress with most now measuring 55mm in diameter and with an 18" blanch, the 2 outer skins were removed as they were split which is quite normal and happens as they grow the insulation was then replaced and then they were wrapped with foil  insulation this is to keep them cool and also ensure no light can get to the barrel thus keeping it nice and White.

Most of  the remaining quality onions in the tunnel have stopped growing and the tops are falling over so I have started to harvest them they range in size from 15" to 18" with the heaviest weighing in at just over 3lb I have a few the same size and shape and am confident of a set of 5 for Harrogate they may be slightly under the target weight of 1500g  but at least I have a set in the bag I am not sure why they have given up growing but it could be down to the temperatures earlier on when I struggled to keep the tunnel under 90 deg, the 2 onions in the other tunnel with mesh sides are still growing away nicely but I do intend to lift them in the next couple of weeks as they are now about 5lb each.

I have potted on 40 Chard bright lights plants as well which will go in part of the onion bed when I lift the rest of them
these are for a class at Harrogate which is for Swiss Chard 1 jar of 6 leaves any color or colors
I have also got several sowings of lettuce for the class Lettuce any one variety 1 dish of 2 roots washed in standard jam jar of water the variety I have selected for this class is Red Salanova a nice shape and color it is a dutch strain grown by commercial growers.

At last I have managed to get a giant Marrow to set, it is from a 150lb strain and is also destined for Harrogate if it grows OK

All onions now harvested in small tunnel and are safely tucked away in the spare room they have 3 weeks to ripen before my first show which is Huddersfield where I had mixed fortunes last year.I hope to do better this year as I have a lot more idea this time. I have already started planting the onion bed with some pepper and aubergine plants with show lettuce for Harrogate in front 
The big onions are still growing and both measure 26" so hopefully I have now grown a ten pounder which is what I set out to do 


  1. are you feeding that marrow on wine what a waste ha ha chris

  2. Chris the wine is for me to combat the stress of this lark.