Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Sowing seeds and transplanting seedlings.

There were several different things that I wanted to sow, plant  and  transplant so this  morning was spent in the cold  greenhouse.  I started a little late because I had lost my seeds.  I forgot that I  had put them  into an old tin.   I should  get one of these commercial tins that  are labelled SEEDS.

The  first things that were planted were the potatoes.  I have some Swift that are supposed to grow quickly.  I planted them in fairly small pots  mainly because I am using the  larger pots  to  support  the trays under  the staging.  (Using the large trays gives me another shelf to  keep pots on.)   The potatoes  were planted  into Gro Char multipurpose compost  which contains  both charcoal and mychorrhizal  fungi among other things.  As they get bigger, I will transplant  them  into the big pots.  I am growing them as an example of a South American crop rather than  to get a big yield so I think  that my large pots will be  big  enough.  I will keep these in  the  cold greenhouse because I  do not want them  to grow  any faster than  they would do normally.

Next to be  sown were some  more Aintree Phaseolus vulgaris.  I thought that the show  garden border  would be  1 square metre but it turns out to be 3 metres square,  which  means  that I will  need more plants.  Also, to be  able to select the best plants,  I will  need a number of plants to  choose  from.   This all goes to encouraging  me  to plant a lot  more than I really need.  I will put these in the heated greenhouse to bring  them  on  so that they are at least flowering in June.  I would  like  them to have some fruit  on them too if  possible but this  is unlikely.

There was still some of the Gro Char general purpose compost left and the  bag was torn so  I decided  to  use it up by sowing the rest of the sweet peas.

Finally I pricked  out the cabbages into  a sectioned  tray.  I have no small  pots left at all and  will  have to transplant into sectioned trays until  I eventually plant out some  of the  vegetables in the allotments.

I am meeting the RHS people tomorrow to chat about the show  garden; to  see what  is involved and consider whether I still  want to take this on and to consider a design.  I am the first  to  admit  that I am  not a very good designer so the whole  process will  be quite a challenge.

I also have to plant a  tree, to demonstrate that  I can, for  my level  3 Practical  Gardening Certificate.  As I have three trees waiting to be planted,  I will be  waiting with bated breath for any feed back on  my feeble attempt.  It will be  good to  know whether the technique that I have been  using  over the  past 50 years is  up to  scratch.

I also have  to identify some seeds - something that I  was quite interested in doing.   However, it involves  identifying  things like conkers and acorns.  I have to  know the Latin name for them - but even  so.  (It is Aesculus hippocastanum and Quercus robur respectively.)

Completing  the  greenhouse work and  after having another  cup of tea, I started to do  a little more pruning.   I use the RHS 3dxu formula  for pruning,  which  is as effective  as any.  It certainly makes me remember what  to do.  Remove dead, diseased  and damaged then crossing branches  and  finally untypical  foliage. However, just  as I started so  did the  rain.

Rather  than get soaked,  I  decided  to  come  in and  learn  my seed ident.

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