Usually the sweet peas are planted during March but this year we are about one month behind. So today in the middle of April I started to plant out sweet peas. They have been hardening off for about two weeks in the cold frame and on a sheltered patio. Their growth this year has been particularly slow but hopefully with the warmer weather they will begin to grow much faster.
I took Blue Danube; Red Ace and Epicure to plant so only nine varieties to go.
A planting hole taken out with a hand trowel behind each of the canes. I plant the seedlings behind the canes so that they will not get damaged when weeding with a hoe. The cane protects them to some extent. After a little mychorrhizal fungi was added to the hole, the plants were knocked out of their pots and firmed into the soil. The sweet peas were watered with dilute comfrey liquid.
They were too small to tie to the canes but this will have to be done when they begin to grow a little larger.
I planted four rows of carrots: Flyaway; two rows of Autumn King and another one I can't remember the name of. These were covered by enviromesh supported by old cloche wires. As this bed is a little wider than the others, I had to use two nets. I don't really like doing this because they overlap and cut out some of the light. However, it was either this or no carrots at all. Carrot root fly would devastate the crop without a barrier in place.
I also planted a row of salsify, perpetual spinach and rainbow chard.
Remarkably the hot bed I made has warmed up now. The All The Year Round cauliflowers and cabbage will be planted on and around the hotbed. The seedlings are being hardened off first before being planted out.
Tomorrow, I will be putting up some runner bean canes on the new allotment. I will also attempt to finish the sieve double digging right up to the hedge where a path will be constructed leading to the little shed.
The concrete reinforcement wire I found on the allotment will be constructed as a support for the climbing peas. The peas have germinated in the greenhouse and will have to be planted out in a couple of weeks. This year, I am going to pinch out the growing tips in order to make them bush up a little more. Hopefully this will give me a lot more stems and a heavier crop of peas.
All the brassicas have germinated in the greenhouse. They will be pricked out when they are big enough to handle. I will have to think about sowing the beans, sweet corn, and cucurbita seeds.
I think that the peppers and tomatoes have survived the cold weather.
The oca is growing well and will need to be planted out soon. I will cover these with a cloche. I only have five plants because I lost a lot of tubers during the cold weather last year.
More hard work tomorrow - food growing is not easy.