Monday, 26 March 2012

Seed sowing and potato planting.

The carrots, parsnips, salsify and scorzonera  seeds have been sown with bamboo charcoal and mychorrhizal fungi added to the drills.  This is much earlier than I usually sow seeds.  I am just hoping the good weather does not change.

Initially the ground was prepared by hoeing; using the long armed, three pronged cultivator and raking.  The ground was shuffle consolidated and raked again to make a fine tilth.    Shuffle consolidation is where you walk along the lines in a shuffle gate.  It is demonstrated admirably in: "The Victorian Kitchen Garden" for May on U Tube

Being taught gardening by my grandfather and father, this is the way we always prepared a seed bed.  How do you do this on a little raised bed?  Seeds seem to germinate much better in firm ground with a good tilth.

Two rows of Kestrel potatoes have been planted with a little inoculated bamboo charcoal and mychorrhizal fungi in each of the planting holes.

I planted the potatoes using a trowel, digging the holes about 20cm deep.   After planting, the soil was pulled up on top of them to make ridges.  I never used to earth up the potatoes like this until I saw the potato plants poking their heads above the soil.  Doing it straight after planting does seem to save time, although I do like to earth up at least two more times during the season to cover the potato tubers that poke their heads out of the ridges.

I still have some more potatoes to plant but I have made a really good start.

I took six trays of pea plants up to the allotment to plant out.  I did not get a chance to plant them because I was replacing the roofing felt on the store shed.  It took quite a time because I wanted to remove all the other damaged roofing felt.  It turned out there were four layers of felt, all with their own set of nails.  The roof itself was not in a very good condition because water was being trapped under the felt, rotting the wood.

When the felt was eventually removed the wood was painted with preservative and new felt put on.  It took all day but it was done with a little bit of care and hopefully not need redoing for a long while.

Some very strawy cow manure has been delivered to the allotment site and I have had a little to make some hot beds with.  I may use some more to construct a really good compost heap.  A good friend has left some fine turfs on the allotment and I will use these in the compost heap as well.

I am working again tomorrow so I will not be able to do much but I will have to go and water the pea plants or I will loose them all.

"Golden Acre" Cabbages and "All the year round" cauliflowers have been put out to harden off.  I will be taking these to the allotment to plant out soon.

The Alium ascalonicum have grown a little too big for their pots.  I don't want to plant them out at the moment because I have no protection ready for them.  I am potting them on into larger pots so they can grow on with the greenhouse as protection.

There are plenty of seeds and seedlings developing well in the greenhouse.  This remarkably unseasonal weather is bringing everything on so much quicker than usual.

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