For the most part Saturday was a sunny, if chilly and blustery day which we spent doing not much of anything really. Mud did manage to finish watermarking and re-uploading the last of his photographs back onto his blog and he has used this whole business as an opportunity to do a blog spring clean, consigning obsolete posts to the trash and reorganising the rest. I did some more of Middle Mudlets jumper and the girls spent virtually the entire morning tidying their rooms.
Then middle of the afternoon, with the weather beckoning to me and in the knowledge that March is racing along at an alarming speed, I decided that I really ought to get the ‘Duke of York’ seed potatoes planted, as they are a ‘First Early’ and are meant to be harvested between June and July. So I donned several extra layers, including a thick jumper, to shield against the bitter wind, carefully gathered my nicely chitted Duke of Yorks into one large egg box and set off to the end of the garden, more specifically to the two large half barrels which had played host to the beans last season.
For those of you unfamiliar with my half barrel planters, they are huge!!! Easily big and deep enough for 5 seed potatoes in each, especially potatoes that are destined to be eaten as new potatoes. I have planted each barrel up as if they were a potato bag, by which I mean three tubers have been planted deeper than the other two. Once the potatoes have been harvested, I plan to pop some mangetout plants into the barrels for the rest of the summer.
With the potatoes planted, I had a quick look in my grow houses and realised that one of the broccoli plants I had been given way back in October last year, actually has florets on it and it appears to be a sprouting broccoli! Mind you it is a tiny plant, so anything from it will be a bonus.You will also notice from the photo that the weeds are happily taking advantage of the shelter offered by the grow house cover. It was far too windy to have the grow house ‘door’ open for weeding today and so that job will have to wait for a day or so.
I also noticed that two of my rhubarb plants had flower heads forming on them which isn’t good if you want to get a nice crop of stalks and have a healthy plant at the end of the season but a quick but gentle twist and pull and the heads came away from the plant. There are some small flower heads just starting to form on one of the plants and so I will need to repeat the process in a few days.
After a visit to the large greenhouse to gather up a couple more propagators, inserts and some small pots, I headed back indoors and whilst Mud and the Mudlets made a chicken curry from scratch, I sat in the hallway and spent an enjoyable hour or so sowing lots and lots and lots more seeds.
I find the whole process of seed sowing theraputic and as I have been nursing a trapped nerve or some such thing in my left shoulder for the last couple of days, the gentle actions of filling the pots and inserts with compost, carefully popping the seed(s) in place, covering and watering, hit the right balance between no movement at all and gentle motion aimed at easing the trapped nerve. Even the earlier planting of seed potatoes helped, although I am right handed but the gentle twisting movement as I went about my task seems to have had some benefit.
So for those of you who, like me, are obsessed with the numbers and types of seed sown, yesterday I planted 4 each of:
- ‘Big Max’ Pumpkins (kindly donated by my friend Christine);
- ‘Cheyenne Bush‘ Pumpkin (Real Seed Catalogue);
- ‘Galeuse D’Eysines‘ Winter Squash (Real Seed Catalogue);
- ‘Hunter‘ Butternut Squash (Garden Center);
- ‘Early Fortune‘ Cucumber (Real Seed Catalogue);
- ‘Wautoma‘ Cucumber (saved seed); and
- ‘Amish Paste‘ Tomato (Real Seed Catalogue).
Then in addition to these I also sowed:
- 15 x ‘Special Swiss‘ Sweetcorn (Real Seed Catalogue);
- 4 seed tray modules of ‘Sprint‘ Rocket (saved seed);
- 8 seed tray modules of ‘Treviso Precoce Mesola‘ Radicchio (garden center);
- 12 seed tray modules of ‘Moretons Very Secret Mix‘ Lettuce (Real Seed Catalogue); and
- 8 seed tray modules of ‘Really Red Deer Tongue‘ Lettuce (Real Seed Catalogue).
I tend to sow my sweetcorn staggered, every 7 days or so until all the seed has been used and the lettuces every 2 weeks. This way I would hope to achieved a decent sweetcorn crop, ripening over a four week period, although the last two seasons have been unmitigated disasters, and a continuous supply of mixed lettuce over the summer. All in all, a very satisfying way to pass an hour or two.