Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Digging over the sweet pea bed

I dug over most of the new sweet pea bed today mixing in the horse manure.  The only parts that I did not dig were where where the manure pile is and where the celeriac and leeks are.  I wasn't going to dig any manure into this plot but I had the manure so I used it.

I will get some more manure for the new pea and bean bed.

I watered the leeks with a little comfrey liquid manure to encourage them to bulk up a little.  I planted them late to avoid the leek miner fly and they really need to bulk up now so that I can use them.  The celeriac is big so does not need any extra fertiliser.

I dug up four Brussel sprouts plants to take home.  Most of the Brussel sprouts are over one metre tall and have grown really well.  Due to the warm weather in autumn a lot of the lower sprouts have opened out but the plants still have a lot of usable sprouts which I will take off to cook. The rest of the plant will be put into the big green compost bin.  There was some evidence of club root although I might be misinterpreting cabbage root fly Delia radicum damage.  Regardless, the most effective way of dealing with pests and diseases is to remove the potentially infected material and put it in the recycling bin to be composted well.  

I watered the winter cauliflowers with liquid comfrey fertiliser.  It might be a little early to encourage these to put on growth because they are susceptible to very cold weather.  This year they seem to have kept their leaves and not been cut back as they usually are.  Maybe I will be lucky.   

I have put one dustbin over the Rheum rhaponticum to force some of the leaves.  The Victorians used to put manure around the forcing bins to warm the soil through heat generated by decomposition.  I will not be able to use all the manure on the sweet pea bed so I used some around the rhubarb bins.  It means that the rhubarb will  be fertilised this year.  I may even put some pigeon manure around them - in very small doses.  I have two more dust bins and an old black Darlek compost bin that I can use to force the rhubarb.  I will put these over the rhubarb tomorrow.  

Any manure that is left over will be put around the blackcurrants.  I will feed the Ribes nigrum with liquid comfrey fertiliser  before I put the manure around them.  Two of the plants I cut back hard because of big bud mite Cecidophyopsis ribis have died so I will have to replace them with cuttings.  I will plant them with some inoculated charcoal and mychorrhizal fungi.  

After the high winds we had in early January, the roofing felt has come off one of the sheds.  I will need to replace this as soon as possible so that water does not get into the shed.  

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