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Friday, 29 April 2011

Celery & Corn

My Celery plants are doing well, I have 5 that are a lot further on than the others, and have placed plant pots with the bottom cut off over  to lengthen them before planting out in a couple of weeks, these are for my 1 early show when I need 2 heads for a collection. I will then select another 10 of the others for Harrogate when I need one head for the collection of 6. 



the Onion bucket experiment seems to be growing well I also spent quite a lot of time watering the outside beds as there is no sign of rain in the near future.
I have 2 types of Corn that are not far off being ready for planting out, I intended to plant both varieties together until I read an article in one of my Simply Veg magazines entitled fantastic sweetcorn.
This has changed my mind as you should not mix varieties as they can cross pollinate and will not run true to type,so I now intend to plant one variety in my large tunnel and the other outside as far away as possible to try to avoid cross pollination.
I have also got 50 Unwins Exhibition seedlings, which were sown at the beginning of feb as a backup in case of any disasters. I will be selecting the best 20 and getting them planted out in the next couple of days.
The Quality onions in the tunnel seem to be moving on ok I should have some nice ones to pick from fingers crossed.


Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Bits and bobs

Spent the whole day transforming the garden at home which is very small and used purely for leisure.I now am awash with Brownie Points which means a full day on the plot tomorrow before we head south for the Wedding can't believe we got an invite!
Largest Onion is still doing well.

HAPPY HENS

Monday, 25 April 2011

Cedrico Leeks and update

My first sowing of Cedrico are now ready for planting in to their final positions I will be planting them in 30 litre pots. I  don't like grow bags, and have mixed my own growing medium with peat tev 4 and Nutrimate.I will start feeding when the first truss has set,  
The First sowing of Parsnips are doing well these will be for the early shows.
The Harrogate Smithy beater Parsnips are now all through and will be ready for thinning  next week

The Slawit royals are doing brilliant soon have some Slawit royal new potatoes
I have built a contraption today to support the leek flags this will hopefully work a treat and keep the Them  in good condition. 

Sunday, 24 April 2011

More protection & final 50 bagged

I got the rest of my spuds bagged yesterday I now have 7 rows one of each variety plus a couple of of larger bags with some Maxine. the rows contain Nadine, Amour,Celine, Winston, Blue belle, Sherine, and Cassablanca.
I also made a cage from Flexi balls and garden canes The flexi balls cost £5.99 for 10 from the Range. I used 9 and some garden canes ,which I then covered with scaffold mesh. The completed cage is now butterfly proof and cost virtually nothing to build I now have one flexi ball left any suggestions.



Friday, 22 April 2011

Onion setts

The over winter onion Setts that went in last November are really starting to fill out which proves there is a benefit to growing them for the Onions from setts classes.I should be able to lift them a month earlier which will mean an extra month to ripen hopefully giving them more colour.

First 50 spuds bagged

After the Hairy Bikers went I got down to the business of bagging my spuds. I intend to grow 100 bags shared between 8 varieties. First I dug a shallow trench the width of a shovel and sprinkled some fish blood and bone in to the bottom

Then to the mix:- I am using 17litre Polly pots and the growing medium is yes you guessed it, Wickes Compost which is Peat with no glass or lumps of wood or other rubbish, it is getting harder to find good compost at a good price.I put all the compost through the garden shredder then to every 12 gallons (4 builders buckets) I add 6 oz of Tev 4 and 4oz of Seaweed Meal this is then mixed up well in my cement mixer with a few slug pellets
I am using seaweed meal instead of Calcified seaweed as it is already fine powder and does not need to be ground, one job less to do.
I then filled the pots about half full with the mix and place one Chitted Potato in the centre ensuring it is deep enough to be completely covered. Some Varieties that naturally produce smaller Tubers need to have some of the shoots removed before planting to help them to produce larger tubers. I leave no more than 3 shoots on varieties such as Blue Belle.To remove the unwanted shoots you need to dig them out of the seed Potato,if you just rub them off the base will still be there and it will produce another shoot after planting.By the end of the day I had 4 rows planted Winston Celine Sherine and Blue Belle I will try to do the rest on Saturday.




Thursday, 21 April 2011

Hairy Bikers

Had a visit from my old pals the hairy bikers today,  they were in the area filming and heard about my Onions and veg so they popped in to have a look, they may even call back again with a film crew who knows.



Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Thats Sallot

The Shallots that were put in about a month ago have settled in nicely all have now been thinned and are growing away.
Dan saw his first ladybird last week, I had to wait while today. I will be planting all my Spuds in the next couple of days I will be planting up 100 bags shared between 8 variety's I have already shredded 1000 litres of peat based compost in readiness more on this when I have planted them.  
I also sowed 2 plastic bottle recycling bins with Beetroot and Radishes. I filed these with shredded compost and added some tev 4,these are for the table but  also will hopefully give me an idea when to sow the show ones.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Death By Drowning a cautionary tale

I opened the door of my Shed this morning to see my Cuchino cucumber plants on their last legs,they were fine when I left them on Monday night, after doing some research it would appear that they were suffering from Oxygen starvation at the roots due to over watering.I quickly re potted them in to large pots of dry compost to try to save them.Upon my return this evening they had perked up so I hope I got away with that only time will tell as they are still in intensive care. I sowed some more just in case, apparently all vine type veg can suffer the same intolerance so be careful.Photo is of the plants semi recovered this evening.
I also visited LBS in Colne today (another benefit to living up North as it is only 20 miles away) I intend to grow all my Tomatoes in 30 litre pots this year as I am not keen on using grow bags, and think that the extra depth will give the roots more space to get established.I could have spent a fortune but remembered that I am from Yorkshire and fully practicing in the art of not spending money.I did buy some 30L tubs  some wire for supporting the Onions and some canes in readiness for the arrival of 20 build a ball connectors which i intend to use to build a cage to plant my Brassicas .They also had a wheelbarrow for the head Gardner but the price was over budget so I will look elsewhere. 

This Morning before I left I thinned out my first sowing of stump rooted Carrots, the second sowing have yet to show themselves they were sown nearly 3 weeks ago so should show soon.


Sunday, 17 April 2011

This Weeks Progress

As the Northern weather continues to be hot, things seem to be moving on at a pace. I managed to get the Carrot beds protected and started thinning my first sowings of Long Carrots and Parsnips, I use the pulling method Rather than just cutting off the unwanted seedlings that way you do not leave dead roots in the bed.
To thin them out all you have to do is gently pull the unwanted seedlings out with a sideways motion. I decided to try and leave the most Central seedling unless it is weak then I leave the strongest one instead.


My large Onions are putting on weight nicely the largest one is now a touch over 9" with the others not far behind I had to rig up a fan today to keep them cool.
I sowed 2 giant pumpkin seeds which I got from a grower in America I only intend to grow one due to space that is if I manage to germinate one.
I also sowed some Long Beetroot today 7 in one barell I only need one as a backup for Harrogate I may also enter the taproot Collection if i manage some half decent ones

I also planted my Vento Onions in to the Tunnel at 12" spacings which is the same as last year I put some of the spares in to the middle of the blocks again the same as last year, when It worked fine for me and i had some lovely specimens. I have managed 30 plants in total after the problems we all experienced germinating.
The Slawit Royals are doing well as are the Onions for Quality from the Vin Throup strain both seem to have really settled down and are growing well it is now just a case of getting the watering right.


Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Adequate Protection

With all the first sowings of Carrots and Parsnips now through my thoughts are turning to protecting them from the dreaded Carrot fly.The risk will be greater when I thin them out in about a week, as you pull the unwanted seedlings to leave one per station you disturb the bed and create a Carrot smell which attracts the dreaded pest.Ian Simpson mentioned at Kendall that he uses Garlic barrier and sprays the foliage to deter them I have already given mine a spray as an interim measure but I am not prepared to take the risk that this will be sufficient so I have started to construct frameworks around my beds and covering them with enviromesh hopefully the combination of the 2 will keep everything safe.
The Celery that I had problems with is now doing well I put half a dozen under the lights to bring them on for my early shows these have really moved on