Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Seed sowing and transplanting.

I have completed transplanting the 'Golden Bear' and 'Armstrong' onions into sectioned trays. I think that I have more than enough to fill the space I have on the allotment for them.  I also pricked out the brassicas; the 'Brunswick' and 'Stonehead' cabbages; the calabrese and  the 'Flamenco' cauliflowers.

Next I transplanted a couple of trays of 'Blue Solaise' leeks.  I may not have room to plant these out where I had planned so I will need to get a move on and dig over allotment 3A so that I will be able to put the leeks out.

The outdoor tomatoes 'Outdoor Girl' have germinated very well and I have over thirty of them.  I am going to grow them as cordons outside.  If I eventually move the greenhouse down to the allotment, I will grow bought 'Shirley' or 'Alicante'  tomato plants under cover.  The 'Outdoor Girl' will have string supports like my greenhouse tomatoes but the strings will be attached to long, thick canes supported every two foot by two short canes.

I sowed the 'Alderman', 'Telegraph' and 'Champion of England' tall climbing peas into sectioned trays.  I was not sure where these were going to go on the allotment but I have decided to plant the pea seedlings next to the sweet peas.  The cane supports for these peas are already up and all I need to do is cover them with netting.  The netting will do two jobs; give the peas something to climb up and protect the pea seedlings from the pigeons.

Chamomile, marjoram, basil and thyme are the herbs I am growing from seed this year.  If there is room, I will put these in the leaf's bed.  Which reminds me, I need to remember to get some spinach, coriander and  sorrel seed.

The celery, celeriac, and florence fennel have been sown and will be put into the leaf's bed when they have grown to about four or five centimetres tall.

More lettuce and cauliflowers were sown for the succession together with winter cauliflower, brussel sprouts, late broccoli, green cauliflower, but no kale this year.  I might still get some kale seed but I don't have any at the moment.

The winter 'Aalsmeer' cauliflowers on the allotment are beginning to flower now.  The ones that I have harvested have only been small but I have some bigger plants that may produce heads a little larger.  They don't really like the hot weather we have been having and are flagging and drooping their leaves.  Although I watered all the seeds and sweet peas today, I did not get round to watering the 'Aalsmeer'.  Took one home today and harvesting to cooking could only have taken about 30 minutes.  Luvly jubbly.

At the allotment, I sowed the salsify and Hamburg parsley in the roots bed.  After that, I watered all the root's seed that I had put in.  The Sanguisorba minor that I had potted up from the old allotment was looking decidedly poorly even though I had watered them so I planted them where I had a space at the end of the carrot rows.  I was going to put them next to the greenhouse path but now I will put the rosemary seedlings alongside the path.  Salad burnet can be another leaf used in mixed salad; it can be used as a cooked vegetable or made into a tea but only the young leaves can be used.  The older leaves are very bitter.  

Finally, I dug in some of the green manure on the brassica bed and sowed the turnips, kohlrabi and swedes watering them in thoroughly in this hot weather.

I think that the sweet peas are beginning to get eaten by flea beetle again.  I am beginning to suspect that flea beetle are living in the green manure and survive winter and the digging to infest the sweet peas.  Something that I need to keep in mind next year.  Maybe I need to avoid using green manure where the sweet peas are going to go next year.  I am not too sure what I can do about it this year; except make sure I move the soil around the seedlings to expose any eggs that can be eaten by the robins and blackbirds.

I began to dig the area where the runner beans will go.  There is a little bind weed growing into allotment 2 from the path and I wanted to get rid of this.  Green manure and compost from the old allotment is going to be dug in along the runner bean line later in the week.  I will also use the old allotment compost under the climbing french bean row.

I really need to complete the hedge and greenhouse paths as soon as possible.so may do this tomorrow. Also, plot number 3A needs digging over to remove mare's tail and bindweed.  When I have done this, I will have far too much land to manage sensibly so I will be giving up all of the old allotment.  However, I might just keep a quarter.

So more jobs to do tomorrow.

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