Thursday, 23 May 2013

Planting out seedlings.

Usually at this time of the year I enjoy planting out hardened off seedlings.  The ground is usually warm and the weather is clement.

However, this year the ground remains cold and the weather is very changeable.  Trying to keep plants growing is very difficult.  Nothing is moving.

This is how the sweet peas should  look like at the end of May
This is how they look this year.
I can understand how some people new to gardening get despondent.   However, we need to carry on regardless.

With this in mind I have planted out another line of Alderman climbing peas and two rows of Early Onward garden peas.  I protected them well with chicken wire so that the pigeons do not pull them out.  I watered the peas in with dilute comfrey liquid and some of them had mychorrhizal fungi put into their planting holes.

All the potatoes, those at the old and new allotment, have been earthed up.  I had to clear off the weeds first and this was quite time consuming.  I started hoeing them off but ended up weeding by hand and putting the small weed seedlings into a tub to put onto the compost heap.  If I hadn't done this they would have regenerated and caused me more of a problem later in the year.  I haven't put any fertiliser on the potatoes mainly because it was cold and wet.  Also the potatoes have had both green manure and animal manure put on the beds at the beginning of the year.  They should not need anything else until mid summer.

I hand weeded all the roots and the leaves.  The nematodes seem to be doing their job because the lettuces have recovered from being severely eaten.  A new line of bulb fennel was planted.  I think that I have too much bulb fennel but I will take out a line if I need the space to plant celery and celeriac.

The celery and celeriac are still too small to be put out in the allotment.  I haven't even left them outside to harden off yet.

The majority of the strawberries have not flowered yet.  They will not fruit until the end of June.

I planted a line of kale and a line of calabrese in the brassica bed at the old allotment.  The rest of the kale, winter cabbage, broccoli, summer cabbage, red cabbage and cauliflower will be planted in the new allotment.  I will probably have some brussel sprouts and winter cauliflowers to plant in the new allotment too  but I want to fill the brassica bed at the old allotment first.

I protected the runner beans with fleece and mesh by attaching them to the canes to make a open topped cuboid about two feet in height.  I don't know if this will help but I am glad that I did it.  The wind is particularly cold today and this is what really causes the runners to get burnt leaves.

I did not have enough fleece and mesh to do the climbing French bean Cobra so these will have to fend for themselves.

The sweet peas are struggling to grow still.  I gave them their weekly dose of comfrey liquid and with any luck the weather will change and they will romp away.

Onions and leeks are growing well.  They do not seem to be affected so much by the very cold wind.  I gave these their weekly dose of dilute comfrey liquid.

Hopefully, the weather will warm soon.  We should not quibble really because UK is at the same latitude as northern Canada and Siberia and I doubt if they are very warm either.

Off to get some more New Horizon multi purpose compost to prick out some more celery, celeriac and lettuce.

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