Sunday, 5 May 2013

Sowing the Fennel

It seems that I ordered more bulb fennel than I wanted.  Either that or they added a packet without me ordering it.   Although the greenhouse sown bulb fennel has germinated and is awaiting planting either on the old or the new allotment, I thought that I would sow some straight into the ground.

I will still plant out the fennel seedlings and if I have too many, I will hoe out the poorest ones and plant lettuce instead.

The ground where the fennel was sown was in very good heart and needed nothing doing to it. In order to make really straight lines, I used the thin garden line.  It is a lot more accurate than the thick line.   I consolidated the ground by shuffle walking over it.  Then I used the three pronged cultivator to break up the ground,  the hoe and finally the rake to make a really fine tilth.

The drill was taken out using the hoe and watered with dilute comfrey liquid.  The fennel seed was sown on top of the damp soil.

The small rake was used to pull the soil over the seeds. The ground was consolidated again with the back of the rake and raked over again.  The surface was watered with dilute comfrey liquid.

I watered all the plants that have been put out in the allotment except for the potatoes.  The potatoes have not come through at the moment but I am expecting to see them now we are having some warmer weather.

I started making the compost heap again using layers of lawn mowings, shredded brushwood and horse manure.  I will continue this next time I go to the old allotment.

I have been putting some of the rotted compost onto the ground but did not have time today because I wanted to go to the new allotment and move the shed.

With a bit of huffing and puffing I eventually moved the shed to the position I wanted it to be on the new allotment.  Its foundation must be about 2 foot of stones which will prevent water building up around it.  I will put the guttering along the short side to catch any rain and lead it into a water butt.  The only butts that I can use at the moment are old black dustbins. They are a little small for the job but will do for now.  If you use a gutter on the shed it prevents water from the roof falling onto the ground next to the shed and causing it to rot away.

There has been a good germination of cucumbers, courgettes and sweet corn.  Bit late but that is because of the cold spring.  Pumpkins and squashes are not showing yet.

I am hardening off all the brassica seedlings ready to put into both allotments.  They are growing noticeably each day. Some onions and leeks are with them as well.

I have still go the Mammoth onions in the greenhouse and they are growing very well.  I have put old plastic bottles, with their bottoms cut off, over the onions to keep the leaves upright.

They could be put out now but I will wait until the middle of the week.

Tomatoes are hardening off ready to put out in the allotment.  I am going to put them into ring culture pots and use well sieved (using the 1/4 inch sieve) garden soil and home made compost.  (50:50)  There are no more frosts forecast at the moment so the oca, tomatoes, cucumbers and courgettes can be put out next week.

The runner beans have started to germinate and grow quickly.  Lots of people have put their runner beans out already but I think that they are safer put out later especially this year.  I have germination of dwalf French beans and climbing French beans so they will be put out when they get big enough.  Early Onward and Alderman peas are germinating in the module trays so they will not take long to get big enough to plant out.

So it is all go until the allotments are full and there is only weeding to do.

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