Friday, 19 April 2013

Tried to get a lot more seeds sown.

I may have a tad too many brassicas this year.  I spent all morning transplanting seedlings into pots and trays and I still have some left over.  I am having to ration myself because I have no room in the greenhouse and probably will not be able to fit more than one row of about 19 plants of each.  I hate throwing any away though and I will probably end up giving most of them away.  The only problem with giving plants away is that you never see the pot or label again.  I like to use my pots and labels year after year.  I have quite a collection now.

I pricked out quite a few calabrese and second sowing of All the Year Round cauliflowers.  Running out of labels this time, I had to do some washing.  I write all my labels in pencil because it is much easier to wash off when I have finished with them.  I wash them in washing up liquid and then get any marks off with white spirit.

I have plenty of clean three inch pots but I can see that I will need some more soon.

Started sowing the runner beans.  Only got round to planting about half the Aintree and this year I will need a lot more because I am going to put a double row in the new allotment.

Started to mow the lawn but the newly serviced lawn mower would not start so I took it back to the service man.  He asked me a few questions and then looked at the mower.  Mowers don't work unless you turn the fuel on I have discovered today.  It is a little leaver that I have never noticed before.  Now I know.

Went up to the old allotment to get some sweet peas for my daughter's garden.  While I was there I watered all the seeds and seedlings that I have planted.  I am using the water from the butts, which is quickly running out.  They still haven't turned the water on.

The sweet peas are getting hammered by the slugs and snails so I have resorted to putting down some ferric phosphate.  The night time temperatures need to be a little warmer to enable the plants to grow away.  It is going to be OoC  again tonight and this is too cold to plant out anything cold sensitive.

I have put lime on the brassica bed but not on the hot bed.  Manure and lime do not mix very well.  The lime will help the brassicas in several ways.  Primarily a high pH suppresses club root disease.  I have not used this brassica bed for the cabbage family before. That means that it has not had brassicas on it for six years at least.  I know that Eric had some turnips on the bed just before I took it over but as I remember it they were quite healthy.  Therefore, I don't think that there are any club root spores on this bed.  However, you cannot be too careful so I am liming.  Last year I added some compost from Fred's mega compost heap.  The compost was lovely, however I could not guarantee that there was no club club root spores in it.

Most of the brassicas have been developed from sea shore plants which are adapted to high pH so providing them with a root environment that they are particularly adapted to will enable them to produce healthy plants.

Lime introduces calcium into the soil which is a nutrient.  It does not leach out of the soil easily so it does not need to be added too regularly.  I am putting lime on the soil every year but only on the brassica bed which means that each bed gets lime every six years due to the rotation.

Lime does help to make a good friable soil by flocculating clay particles to make larger particles.  It also helps to bind together particles that include organic matter.

I add a lot of organic matter to the soil and this tends to lower the pH.  Lime helps to maintain the pH between 6.5 and 7  which is a good average growing pH.

I scattered the lime over the green manure and will dig them in together.

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