About Me

Friday, 30 April 2010

postheadericon Sunflowers

Have always grown sunflowers in the allotment, but normally just chuck a big bad of seed about the place and we just have a mass block of great flowers for the birds. Decided this year to have a go at growing some large single heads and these are pretty much ready to be hardened off now. Most of these I have to say are already taken as my brother will be trying to grow some in his garden this year so he has first pick.

postheadericon Parsnips

Parsnips are growing nicely now and require thinning again. I have been putting this job off as I suffer from red spider mite so bad that I could lose them pretty quick. I will be sending off for some biological spider mite control, predators that eat spider mite in the hope I can keep my parsnips growing. Last year I had webs full of the things so there is no doubt they hibernated in the tunnel and will return. As far as I am aware no spray works on spider mite, its one of those pests that just won't go away.

postheadericon Leek supports

My onions and leeks have been hardening off now for just over a week in my tunnel and although Id prefer to plant them in the beds in a weeks time, as predicted they have moved on so fast that they need planting now.

I have constructed the supports for my leeks and have also put the shading sheet over my tunnel to ensure I keep the temperature down during the day. Eveything pretty much stopped growing after my tunnel over heated last year, so I have got this sheet on top to take the edge off the sun.

The supports are just 3 string lines down each side which I have strongly tied to the wooden stakes each end. At intervals I have cut and put pipe lagging on the rope which can be moved to help support and keep the flags from damage. Extra metal pole stakes with a hook on top are used inbetween to help keep it all sturdy.

...and yes those weeds in the back are suppose to be there as I have sprayed them in the hope they won't come back.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

postheadericon cauliflower

I gave up last year on my cauliflower as I just couldn't get any seed to germinate at the correct times. This year every seed I put in has come up, I have two sowings at the moment and I will continue to sow a batch every 10 days to ensure I have plenty to choose from over many weeks for the shows. My first sowing shown in picture I moved on into some larger cells, I like to get them moved early as they take much faster to the new medium.

postheadericon Celery

Again I am growing "Evening Star" this year and so far so good. I have two different sowings here which are growing fast and strong. Germination was also very good and after selecting my final 40 or so I must have thrown out at least 80 decent plants, something I don't normally have the luxury of doing.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

postheadericon Frost warnings for this week

I think a lot of people get caught out at this time of year and make the mistake of seeing the sun and planting everything out.

I think we are in for some pretty cold nights and a few frosts this week, so get some fleece and cover everything up. Thankfully I only need to cover things inside my one cold frame (one at home, unheated) and 3 tunnels as I have not planted anything tender out. The heater will be going up a notch to keep my onions and leeks ticking over.
Thursday, 8 April 2010

postheadericon Quick update

Parsnips are doing great as always, every station germinated and I randomly threw them in so some stations require thinning already as they have 7-10 seedlinds in. I would think every seed I put in germinated.

Not sure if I will be growing long carrots this year as I just haven't had the time and it's not looking like I ever will, my stumps will be more important and I haven't got anything ready at all.

Onions and leeks have all been potted up and will stay in my greenhouse for another 2-3 weeks and will then be moved into my tunnel covered in fleece for a further 2 weeks at which point I will then plant them in the beds. This does all depend tho on how fast they grow, If i feel they are getting pot bound then I will have to plant sooner. I do fine the fresh air makes them grow twice as fast in the tunnel but the night temps are not great and we did have a hard frost a few weeks back.

Next week is predicted to be very cold, so it looks like everything will be staying inside the greenhouse for now and there is no chance of planting my onions or leeks, let alone harden them off.

Some of the larger ones are growing very fast now:

I have 40 Leeks to choose from, I need 15-20 so will be no problem.

Tomatoes.. Hmm I did read on the NVS forum about someone having a similar proble., My cedrico normally 100% perfect germination every year from 10 seeds I plant 10 plants. This year 6 germinated fine and 4 went pig tailed as someone called it, almost like the seed got stuck in the case and couldn't get out, they are looking ok now but I did break 1 off trying to get it out of the compost.

Celery is doing fine and my first sowing is growing so fast that I'm thinking of giving them away as I think they are to advanced for what I need. My 250g onions got attacked by aphids and got a set back but are still growing so who cares.

(250g onions in 3 green trays..sorry not a great picture only one I had)

Finally this will be my last year growing vegetables for showing, I really should have stuck to my guns last year and given up because although I love to do it I can't afford the time any more. Things change and I always seem to busy these days and never have time to do anything. I will say tho i'm not giving up growing, I will still grow everything for the table and may grow ONE!! veg to a high standard for a bit of fun but nothing for showing, it will be very casual- plant it and if it dies who cares.

I'm actually looking forward to next year as everything will be so different and more relaxed.