Thursday, 7 April 2011

Seed sowing in earnest

I took up the Early Onward peas and the sweet pea seedlings and put them on the allotment where I was going to plant them.  I did not really have time to plant them.  Rather, I went down to the roots bed and put enviromesh over the carrots to keep away the carrot root flies.  There are some larger holes in the fleece where weeds had grown through the fleece so I will have to fill these with a needle and a bit of thread.

After that, I decided to sow the Scorzonera, salsify, spinach and beetroot seed.  When I am sowing seeds I like to have a fairly good seed bed and this seems to give me a good germination.  The string line is put down first - and I measure quite carefully so that the seeds are spaced correctly.  Then I go along the line with the hoe to make sure the seeds will not have weeds to contend with.  I use the three pronged cultivator next to remove any weeds and larger stones.  This also breaks up the soil so I can make a fine tilth.  Finally the rake smooths the soil and make a friable tilth on the surface.  This makes maintaining the seed bed so much easier because weed seedlings are much reduced.

I use the back of a straight rake to make the v shaped hole called a drill for the seed along the line.  I never make the it deeper than about  1 inch.   The hole is watered with a little diluted comfrey liquid before the seed is sown.  I try to sow seed as thinly as possible but with enough thickness so I can see the row when the seed germinates.  This will make hoeing and weeding much more easy because you can see where the lines are easily.

I put some more lime onto the brassicae bed and hoed it in.  There were quite a few weed seedlings on this bed and it needed hoeing anyway.

I have planted the first row of Early Onward peas.  Three trays of peas produced a very good row on the allotment.  I planted them about 2 inches apart, gave them a pinch of mychorrhizal fungi and watered them in with comfrey liquid.  I like to grow peas up chicken wire so I made a frame by sticking the old silver birch poles into the soil every 2 feet along the row on both sides.  The chicken wire was then attached to the poles with garden wire.  I wrap the chicken wire around the outside of the row which means that cropping is a little more difficult.  It is still possible though, going in from the top of the plants.

I have not planted ordinary peas this early before.  I am just wondering if they will produce as many as I usually get.  I will take another three trays of peas down to the allotment tomorrow and plant them out.

That's about all I did today.

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