Thursday, 24 March 2016

Planting out the sweet pea seedlings.

I have planted the sweet pea seedlings next to their cane supports but I have a lot of seedlings left over. 
I might put some more canes along the rows and add some more plants and these can be replacements if any of the main seedlings die. 

Some of them I will plant in the flower garden but the others will be planted around the allotment as nitrogen fixers - and to give a little colour. 

It is a good thing that I sowed some of my own collected seeds because I would have very few if I had relied on the bought seed. 

I think that I have a good selection of colours but the only way to be sure is to wait until they flower in June. 

Three of the crab apple pips have germinated.  They will not probably have the same characteristics as the parent but I am not to worried about that.  I want the blossom because that will help to fertilise the espaliered apples.  They will be transplanted into three inch pots of their own and grown on in the greenhouse until they are big enough to plant outside. 

All the compost bins have been turned and watered with comfrey liquid.  They were getting dry and this slows down the decomposition process.  As much of the material has been sieved and generally shaken about, it was very friable and full of air.  I am getting regular bags of rabbit bedding now and this is being incorporated into the composts.  Some of the subsoil I put under the hedge at the back of the shed is being added to the compost as well.  This is making the storage area at the back of the shed much bigger and allowing me to make a more top soil like compost from the subsoil. 

I have put all the canes up for the tall peas and French beans.  It is a little early to be bothering with this but I wanted to clear around the back of the shed where they were being stored and I needed to know how many canes I had to add to the sweet pea rows. 

I dug out alleyways between the French bean rows and threw the soil up onto the beds.  This raised the level of the beds and gave me a good planting area.  The alleyways were filled with shredded woody material. 

For the first time for many years, I have planted quite a few onion sets.  I got two bags of freebee sets and this was far too many if I was growing from seed too.  I have still planted all the sets because I can always weed out the rows of sets that I do not want and replace them with varieties grown from seed. 

I have covered the onions sets with enviromesh to keep the miner fly away from them.  As weeding along the rows is very difficult when there is a net covering the sets, I covered the ground with a mulch of woody shreddings.  This did a really good job of keeping the onions free of weeds last year.

I made some more charcoal today.  I don't think that it has been as successful as it was last time but I haven't tipped out the inner charcoal container yet.  I am composting the charcoal I made last time.  It has been marinating in comfrey juice for about four weeks now.  I want it to be incorporated into the compost so that it is diluted.  The compost will be spread over the brassica bed. 

I am going to cover the shallots with enviromesh or scaffold netting because they are affected by the miner fly as well as onions and leeks. 

The ordinary garlic is growing tops about ten centimetres long now. 

I will be grafting this week and the beginning of next week.  I have all the equipment I need now to do a fairly good job.  I will bench graft in the greenhouse.  All the rootstock is potted up and just waiting for me to finish other jobs around the allotment.  I need to sharpen the grafting knife. 


  1. Can flowering sweet peas be safely grown in close proximity to edible pod peas? Or will they cross pollinate and make the edible peas toxic? Thanks.

    1. Hi Barbee, hope you are having as good a spring as we are. The short answer to your question is no. They are different species. Lathyrus odoratus and Pisum sativum. I grew them next to each other last year and I have lived to tell the tale...
      I could go on about how species in plants are a little more fluid than in animals and talk about cross species hybridisation but they are not relevant here.

  2. Thanks and, YES!, having a perfectly lovely Spring. Best ever!
    P.S. Your bravery at consuming those potentially deadly peas is staggering....future generations will be in awe of your daring do.