Tag: spring

Seeds I’m sowing in February

It’s nearly the end of February and I’ve got an itch that I simply need to scratch. Seed sowing.

I see a lot of people sowing their seeds as early as January. While some plants take a long time to grow, such as chillies and peppers and need to be sown early, I personally think January is too early for most veg plants.

Sowing seeds early can lead to spindly or leggy growth, poor germination rates and generally, in my opinion, a weaker plant. That said, you can use growing lights and heat mats to combat this. But once the plants get to a certain size, you need to move them on and if you haven’t got the space indoors, means moving them into the garden or greenhouse. The weather might be a little too cold for them and shock the plants.

I prefer to start sowing my seeds from mid-February.

Seeds I’m sowing now

I started some broad beans in little pots a couple of weeks ago and these have just started poking through the soil. I’m growing my broad beans in two beds and will get around 8 plants per bed. So far, I’ve sown 12 plants in total and will sow another 12 in a couple of week’s time. This will give me some extra plants in case some fail to germinate, or they don’t survive.

I’ve also sown some spring onions into seed trays. These will go out into the salad bed when they are large enough and I’ll harvest these in clumps.

In the next couple of weeks, I’ll start sowing most of my seeds in the greenhouse. The less hardy plants such as sweetcorn and runner beans will be sown Mid-April. My tomatoes will be started indoors around Mid-March and once big enough, will be moved into the greenhouse.

And done…..

So at the beginning of May, I made a list of jobs that needed doing. I’m glad to say that I’ve got them all done and the plot is ready for summer.

The frame for my grapevine was strengthened using some metal poles that were kindly donated to me by another plot holder. My squash has been planted out with my sweetcorn to follow within the next couple of weeks, and finally the greenhouse was completely gutted and tidied.

In regards to my strawberry bed, I’ve decided to use water bottles with holes drilled into the bottom. I’ll simply fill the water bottles, place them on the soil and the water will trickle out through the day. Well thats the plan.

The only thing I’m struggling with at the moment is room for my sprouts, I simply haven’t got a spare bed for them. I think I’ll have to wait until my garlic has been lifted (only a couple of weeks away by the looks of them) and plant the sprouts in that bed.

I’ll leave you with a couple of photos I took yesterday.

Until next time…

Jobs for May

I thought I had everything under control this year. The plot was tidy, I had my seeds ready and I completed all my winter projects. However, we are now in May and I’m wondering where the hell the year is going. April flew by for me, I was busy with various projects at work, and so I didn’t have a chance to spend much time down the plot.

I come to sow some seeds during the week but couldn’t find them anywhere on the plot. I’ve either thrown them out when cleaning the sheds or left them out and someone has pinched them. So instead of worrying and having to order seeds in, I’ve decided to buy most of my veg plants this year.

I suppose not having to look after tiny seedlings, allows me to get a few more jobs done before the task of daily watering and weeding starts in summer.

Urgent

  • Sort out my grapevine – The frame I grow my grapevine up was badly damaged last autumn due to the strong winds. Although it’s no longer falling down, I still need to strengthen it before it’s too late.
  • Prepare the sweetcorn and squash bed – I’ve kinda forgotten about this bed. It needs weeding and a good tidy as it became a dumping ground over winter.
  • Tidy the greenhouse ready for my tomatoes

Needs doing – within the next couple of weeks

  • Sort out the strawberry bed – I grow my strawberries in a raised bed/vegtrug. I struggled to keep them watered last summer, so I want to sort out a proper irrigation system for them (even if I just use water bottles with holes in them to allow water to be slowly released throughout the day to help keep the soil damp)
  • Wash and clean the greenhouse
  • Sharpen and oil my tools

No doubt there’s something I’ve forgot…

Things are in motion

I finished work early today to try and get down the plot for an hour. It felt nice to get down after work to be honest. My aim for today was to plant out my first early potatoes which I bought back in January from a local garden center, and like every single year, I cannot remember the variety. D’oh!!!!!

Planting potatoes

Most of the seed potatoes were either shrivelled up or really small. To be honest, I think I left them too long on the window sill and I should have really planted them a couple of weeks ago. Oh well.

I’ve still got my main crop of potatoes to plant out, which again, I can’t remember the variety (I do it all the time). These will go in within the next couple of weeks after I’ve finished preparing the bed.

 

While I was at it, I also planted out half my onion plants. I’ll give it a week before planting out the rest, the birds have a habit of pecking off the tops of the plants, so I don’t want to lose the entire crop. These were a bargain, 80 onion sets for £1 from a local DIY store back in January. I wish I picked up a couple of more bags to be honest. Oh well….

Onions

Signs of growth

I popped down to the allotment this morning to feed the chickens and noticed signs of growth everywhere. It feels like spring is early this year, I hope we don’t get a really cold spell (Beast from the East last year).

I snapped a couple of photos while down there. Enjoy!

Spring is in the air

Greenhouse thermometer

As I type this, it’s currently 16C in late February. It certainly feels like Spring is in the air. I popped down the allotment today to collect any eggs and top up the drinking water for the chickens. I checked the greenhouse and the thermometer was showing almost 30C inside!

I also noticed the onions have put on a lot of growth over the last couple of days. I’ll give it a couple of more weeks before I move them outside into the coldframe. To be honest, I wish I bought more. I went to B&Q a couple of weeks ago and picked up 80 sets. The price tag was showing £3 for the pack, but it wasn’t until I got back home, that I realised they went through the till for £1. Bargain!

I’m going to leave you with one photo that I took as I was leaving. The colour on the crocuses was amazing. Spring is just around the corner folks.

crocus flowers