Posted in : 2009 Season
I decided that the tomato plants were strong enough this week so I potted them on into 3" pots burying them up to their seed leaves in compost. This has the advantage of curing their legginess and the buried bit of stem will produce new roots as well. They're still in my light box, which is rapidly becoming crowded, as the heated beds won't be turned on until later in the week. As soon as the heated beds are turned they'll be moved into one of the light tents in the potting shed. They'll be joined by my chilli peppers which are also doing well since they were potted on as well. Not all of the tomatoes and chill peppers got potted on, some were thrown away because they were just to leggy, but I expected some losses and germinated more than I needed, so that's no great problem.
Once the heated beds are turned on it's rapidly going to become to warm for my leeks and onions to stay in the potting shed so they'll be hardened off and moved into the small greenhouse for a while, before they're hardened off again and then moved into the large greenhouse which will be their eventual home. I'm very impressed with the Red Barons, I put two seeds in each module and pretty much every seed has germinated, so now I have the choice of thinning them down to one per module or pricking out the extras and doubling the numbers that I have. The Ailsa Craig on the other hand have been far slower and more sporadic to germinate so I've decided to sow a couple of trays of Bedfordshire Champion as replacements. They've only just been sown so I don't know what their germination rate will be like, and it was an old packet of seed so I'll just have to wait and see I guess.
One of my biggest failures last year was that I just threw a load of seed in and sat back and waited for it to be ready to harvest. It was great, pretty much everything germinated and went on to be something actually worth harvesting ... all at the same time. This meant that we had huge gluts of produce followed by a barren wasteland as I hadn't had the forethought to spark of replacements. So this year I'm determined to successionaly sow as much as I can as this not only avoids gluts, it also helps to keep each bed as productive as possible.
With a tad of luck I should be able to successively grow beetroot, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, pak choi, peas, spring onions, sugar snaps, radish, various herbs and any other seeds I find. My goal is to have a harvest every month, some from as early as the end of March, right through to the end of the summer growing period although that's going to take some imaginative usage of the beds. The quick growers are easy, I can use the bare bits in the beds of the slower growers until they become full, after that it'll be a case of finding space.
Apparently they really do walk! Egyptian Walking Onions are something that I've been after since I saw them on the RealSeeds website but unfortunately they'd sold out until at least next year. Then Andy from the allotment site very kindly sent me some so that I could have a play and grow them. I'm pretty excited about it as they look very different and I like different. I've not actually planted them yet as I haven't decided which bed to slap them in but they'll be going in somewhere soon no doubt.
Posted in : 2009 Season
There wasn't really a lot to do this week except to keep my eye on the seedlings to make sure they were happy enough. It's a good thing really, because I spent most of my week at the farm house helping Barry put a floor and ceiling in the store room above the garage. Which was loads of fun because I got to play with a nail gun all day ... those things are awesome, a tiny pull of your finger and BLAM 2 1/2" nail buried in the timber
I spent part of this morning potting on the rest of the chilli peppers which is cool because now I can rotate them under the lights so they don't get leggy. Talking of leggy, my tomatoes are getting far to leggy, I can't wait until they gain their first set of true leaves so that I can pot them on. I can cure the legginess at the same time by burying them up to their seed leaves. They'll then need to spend about a week in my light tent after which the heated beds will be on at work and I'll be able to put them into one of the two light tents there.
The basil and the coriander have both germinated and are now basking in the light tent, which is becoming rapidly crowded, it'll all work out when the tomatoes and chill peppers get moved to the potting shed light tents ... mind you, then I have the other set of chilli peppers to sow, my li'l 8' x 6' greenhouse is going to be packed to the gills with chillies. The onions and leeks are both doing well in the potting shed but they'll need moving into the small greenhouse when the beds get turned on as it'll be to hot for them then.
The Mighty V came with me to the field when I went to pot on the chilli peppers armed with her own little box of seeds, all these are flowers though. By the time she'd finished she'd sown several trays of various colours of Pansies, as these are hardy plants they've just been put on the paths in the small greenhouse. With a tad of luck she'll be able to sell these later in the year. She also sowed a few trays of Rudbeckia and some red sunflowers. These are now scattered around the kitchen and under my light box shelf as they need more warmth than the pansies. Some of these will also be able to be moved into the potting shed when the beds are turned on ... I hope ... if not then we'll just have a crowded house like we do every year
It'll be interesting to see if she manages to sell all of these because if she can then we'll *really* be able to scale up next year by using the large and the small greenhouse as neither of these is needed until later in the year. Mind you, that'd be lots of plants that'd need looking after when it's bloody cold outside.
This is a diary of all the vegetables I'm growing.
With a tad of luck this will help me learn from my mistakes