Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Putting up the Sweet Pea Canes

I took the new canes down to the old allotment and put up another two rows.  I have enough to do another shorter row and I may do that tomorrow.  If I do put up another row it will be a little close to the broad bean  row. Really you need to be able to get up and down the rows of sweet peas with as little difficulty as possible. Trying to avoid stepping on the broad beans while taking off tendrils and side shoots is not something that I am very good at.  I will measure carefully to make sure there is enough room.

Putting up the sweet pea and runner bean canes involves placing a tree stake at each end of the row.  I bury them at least 18 inches deep to keep them steady.   They will be the anchors that stabilize the row of canes.  I measured six inches out from the tree stakes and put in the garden line.  Doing this both sides will give one foot between the rows. I placed the canes nine inches apart using a measuring stick cut to nine inches.  If you start the nine inches measurement from the same side for each of the rows the canes will match up and can be tied at the top together saving time.  One cane is attached to the top of the tree stake horizontally and passed through the canes so that each cane crosses below the horizontal cane.  This gives a more stable structure.  The canes are tied onto the horizontal cane with garden wire.  More horizontal canes may be necessary to reach the other tree stake and these can be tied in with garden wire.

This will give you a pyramidal structure to the sweet pea row supports.

Sweet pea canes two years ago.
There is an issue with this kind of structure.  The plants get crowded at the top of the canes and this can lead to mildew and fungal infections due to lack of air flow around the plants.  I will be layering the plants before they reach the very top of the canes to prevent this and allow them to have a new cane to climb up.

I have not planted any of the sweet pea seedlings out yet.  They are still very small and have not started to send out side shoots even though I have pinched them out.  They will have to be planted out soon otherwise they will not produce any flowers at all.

I dug another couple of rows on the brassica bed to ensure that I had enough dug area to plant both the cauliflowers and two rows of cabbages.

For the competition, I have to have cauliflowers growing in succession.  There are three common ways of producing succession:  growing different maturing varieties;  sowing at different times and planting in different aspects.  I cannot really grow the cauliflowers in different aspects so I will have to rely on using different varieties and sowing at monthly intervals.  I sowed some All the Year Round cauliflowers in early March and another variety in early April.  Hopefully they will come at different times.

I sowed two rows of parsnips in the new roots bed.  Sometime this week I will sow the carrots and put up the barrier against carrot root fly.

As there were a lot of chickweed plants growing in the green manure,  I dug all this bed to stop the chickweed from flowering and scattering seeds.  The soil here is very friable and it is like digging through a bag of John Innes compost.  I left the soil quite rough because I am going to take the Mantis Tiller over it to make the fine tilth for seed planting.

Finally, I put some horse manure on the rhubarb and started to dig in some of the home made compost on the curbit bed next to the rhubarb.  The rye and tares green manure has died and needed to be dug in even though  I will not be planting here until the end of May.

Adding carbon reduces nitrogen; adding nitrogen reduces carbon; adding air reduces both; adding horse manure increases both...

All in all a good tiring day.

No comments:

Post a Comment