Thursday, 4 April 2013

Sowing the brassicas

More  seeds were sown yesterday.  Brassicas sown were cabbage "Red Drumhead", "Stonehead" and "Holland Winter White";  calabrese "Green Magic"; cauliflower "All The Year Round" and "Romanesco Precoce";  Broccoli "Red Arrow" and  "Early Purple Blend"; Borecole "Red Russian";  Brussel sprout "Trafalgar".

The cabbage "Brunswick" and cauliflower "All The Year Round"  seedlings are getting quite large now and will be ready to plant out just as the weather gets warmer.

I planted the peas "Douce Provence" and "Alderman"  in trays in the greenhouse.  The germination is much better when I do this and it keeps them far away from pigeons and mice that find them irresistible.  When these are planted out I will sow some more to get a succession.   

As the snow has flattened my barriers over the the alliums I am going to reconstruct it today.  While I am doing that I will plant the red onion sets "Red Barron".  All the early potatoes will be taken to the old allotment but I don't know whether I will have time to plant them all.  They will be planted  6 inches deep using the trowel to make the holes.  I will water with comfrey and then put the seed potato in the hole and then add a little mychorrhizal fungi.  Sometimes I take out a trench to plant the potatoes but this takes more time and does not really make any difference to how well they crop.

I will also begin to put up the sweet pea canes.  This year the canes will be put up in a pyramid shape because last year the cuboid shape was not very stable.  Also, you get a much better show when the canes are sloping because the flowers grow up out of the plant horizontally.

So... I planted the Swift and Aron Pilot potatoes but then ran out of stamina.  I had covered this bed with horse manure and it had to be dug in before I could plant the potatoes.  It was a little thicker than I expected and had not rotted down as much as I wanted.  I still dug it in though.  There was a biting north east wind blowing up the hill and it was not very pleasant at all.  There were patches of snow that had not thawed in the gardens and further up the hill.  The potatoes were planted fairly deeply so I think that they will survive.  I will  plant the others tomorrow.

I did attempt to use the Mantis Tiller and I think that it would have coped if it hadn't been so wet.  All that happened was that the tines got choked up and I had to keep stopping to clear them.  I wanted to find out what it was capable of and took it down to the new sweet pea bed.  It made a really good tilth where the ground was clear or covered with small weeds.  It did not like the big grazing rye plants though.  I will have to dig these in with a spade.  I also used it to make a fine tilth where the red onions were going to go.   I decided not to plant the red onions today because the wind becoming more penetrating and felt like it was getting at my bones.  I had taken the enviromesh barrier off the alliums to till the soil and did not want to put it back on again until I had finished planting the onions.  The wind was going to whip it away so I have stored it in the shed until tomorrow.

So all in all a bitterly cold wind did not make today very enjoyable at all.  

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