Sunday, 1 January 2012

Sowing seeds at the beginning of the season.

   The season has begun and seed must be sown.  I am growing big onions and leeks this year and they need a very long growing season.  They will be sown tomorrow and so to will some of the tomato seeds.

I am not sure yet whether I will sow the seed in the sectioned seed trays or just in a pan.  I can put the pan next to the hot water tank inside the house to germinate the seeds.  Onion seeds can germinate at 0oC so I will put them in a tray and keep them in a warm room.   The tomatoes will be put into a pan and left next to the hot water tank because they will need extra heat.   I will be using the New Horizons peat free compost and putting the trays or pans into clear plastic bags.  The seeds will germinate in any plastic bag if they are removed when the seeds have germinated.  White plastic bags let a lot of light through and these can be left on for a little while.

When the onions and leeks have germinated, I will put them out in the cold greenhouse  and when they get to a reasonable size pot them up into 3 inch pots.  I will try to put them out around March time and cover them with enviromesh to keep the onion miner fly Phytomyza gymnostoma off them.  It will be particularly prevalent in late March and early April so I will have to cover from the time I plant out until early July.

I am going to try to get some very big onions and leeks this year.

I may plant the oca in pots as well because this is another vegetable that needs a very long growing season.  I only got little tubers last season and I would really like to get some reasonable sized ones this season.

Sieved some more soil on the potato bed and mixed in the horse and pigeon manure.  Really, it was too wet to dig and the ground was getting a little too compacted and muddy.  This is when compaction could cause problems.  I am not too concerned because all the soil will eventually get dug over to two spits deep and any compaction will disappear.  I am keeping off the area of soil that I have finished digging over.  There is no reason to walk over; if I do I sink leaving footprints that just fill with water.

The ground will have to be firmed before seed is sown. Seeds don't seem to germinate very well in too friable soil.

I have two dustbins full of comfrey liquid which might sound good, however I would like to use the bins to cover the rhubarb Rheum rhaponticum so that I can get a good early crop this year.  I might have to get another big bin to put the comfrey liquid into.  I don't really want to waste it because it has taken me a long time to amass this amount of comfrey.

Might do photographs tomorrow.  I want photographs for each month for the whole year.  The allotment is looking very untidy at the moment but that is not unusual for this time of the year.  Plants are not really growing very much at the moment and this leads to a very dull allotment.

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