Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Spring In To Action

Now that spring is officially here, I felt I was getting a bit left behind with everything I had to do. Fortunately, we had some glorious weather at the weekend which enabled me to get some jobs done. We spent part of Saturday at the allotment, sorting out the compost bins, planting up the new strawberry bed with the Sonata strawberries I bought at the back end of last year, and making a start on digging and preparing the beds. As you can see, some things are now waiting to go out. The red onions and shallots have put on plenty of growth in the greenhouse, and the broad beans don't want to be hanging around much longer either.

On Sunday, I decided it was time to get some sowing done. First off, I got the tomatoes planted. I mentioned the varieties in my last post, but didn't bother with the Harbinger and Red Cherry. I'm hoping to grow a couple of plants of each of the other nine varieties. I made my first sowing of peas - Hurst Green Shaft and mangetout - Reuzensuiker, and I will sow these again in a month or so to stagger the harvest. The brassicas also got sown, cabbage - Advantage, Swiss chard - Bright Lights, kale - Cavolo de Nero, kale - Dwarf Green Curled, broccoli - Autumn Spear, broccoli - (Sprouting) Summer Purple and kohl rabi - Purple Delicacy. I also sowed some lettuce - Salad Bowl. I think I'm just about caught up now with the sowing, though I still need to sow the radishes and spring onions.

The first potatoes which were planted in containers are now showing some leaf above the compost. I'm staggering the planting so that they're not all ready to harvest together, two or three weeks between each batch should just about do nicely and then I'll be kept in potatoes well in to autumn and perhaps in to winter. It's all in the planning.

29 comments:

  1. Well done with having such a productive time. I managed to get going too, don't feel quite so behind now, although there's still a lot to do!

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  2. Well done for having the disipline to plan successional harvests. It's something that many people don't consider, and then they complain when they have a glut.

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  3. You've been busy. You certainly don't seem to be behind schedule. I'm very impressed with your shallots. I just planted mine in the ground about 2 weeks ago. Green shoots have just started poking through but they're nothing like yours. I might try them in modules like that next year and then plant them out. I've got some carrots in a pot that have just started to germinate and I sowed some sprouting broccoli yesterday. This really is a great time of year.

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  4. You are so organised Jo. Haven't done much so far at all but I'm really enjoying this warm sunny weather!

    I agree with you about tomatoes - home-grown just taste so much better and I love the process of going out and picking them from the vine.

    Jeanne
    x

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  5. This lovely weather certainly shows up all the jobs that need to be done.

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  6. Looks like you're all caught up now on the sowing front. Have you grown kohl rabi before? Would love to know if it's a complicated crop or one you just can sow and leave.

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  7. You've certainly sprung into action :) I've just about caught up with our sowing too but I'm being very wary of Mr Frost... like a True Brit, I don't trust this weather ;)

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  8. I imagine that you felt a sense of achievement Jo by the end of the weekend :) Wasn't it lovely? Sadly my gardening plans were thwarted by being away. Like you I started some of my shallots in cells under cover and was pleased to get them planted before I left :)

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  9. It's definitely hit that part of the year where we all have loads of trays being sown and nurtured. It will be nice when it warms up a bit outside and we can begin direct sowing.

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  10. It's good to see your shallots and onion growth in the pots as I haven't much experience in this area and if I grow in future I think I would need to start off in pots and then plant out. One year I planted shallots straight into the ground and they did nothing at all. I'm staggering the planting of my potatoes this year as well. The ones I put in on St Paddys aren't showing growth above the soil yet.

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  11. I'm planting brassicas here at the moment too - the benefits of a mild winter climate. Unlike you I have foolishly sown all my cabbages and cauliflowers at once (again)- hopefully they will grown at different rates though otherwise it will be weeks of cauliflower risotto til the whole family rebels and we switch to pakoras.

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  12. I have also got my early potatoes that are up and showing leaves in one of my raised beds. I love this time of year.

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  13. looking foward to hearing all about your tomatoes, all your seedlings are looking very healthy.
    my broad beans are just about ready now also to be planted out and this is hopfully a job for the weekend.

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  14. It doesn't matter how much we do, there's always more to be done, Su. At least I've managed to catch up a little.

    I do try for successional harvests, Mark. I had quite a good year last year and managed to get quite a long run of some things.

    I planted my shallots this way last year too, Wellywoman, and they did great. It is a great time of year, the gardening season has really kicked off now.

    I try to be organised, Jeanne, but it doesn't always work out that way. Most things tend to catch up anyway so it doesn't matter too much if you're a little behind.

    That's true, Don't unplug your hub, but I don't really mind getting out there and getting on with all the jobs when the weather's fine.

    I'm just about caught up, Suburban Veg Gardener, but there's still a few things I need to sow. I have tried kohl rabi before without much success, but I've heard others who grow it say that it's easy so I thought I'd give it another go.

    I don't blame you being cautious, Mo. I've got the plastic mini greenhouse inside my normal greenhouse to give my seedlings a little extra protection for when the weather turns cold, which it's very likely to do.

    It's great to get a few jobs done and out the way, Anna. I'm hoping that this weather can hang on a little longer so that I can get fully up to date.

    It would be warm enough now for direct sowing, Tanya, if only we knew we weren't going to get another frost. I don't think that's very likely though so I'm hanging fire on that for a little longer.

    I start my onions and shallots off in pots as the ground is just so wet when they should be planted out, Kelli. I think they would rot if I did, so this way works well for me. I reckon your potatoes will be showing sprouts above the compost any day now.

    I haven't sown any cauliflower, Liz. Although I love it, the family don't so I will buy the small amount that I will eat from the greengrocers. I hope they do well for you.

    This time of year is so exciting, Beep. Everything starting to grow and lots to look forward to.

    I'm looking forward to tasting all my different tomato varieties, Stacy, especially the ones I haven't grown before. I hope the weather stays fine for the weekend then we'll both be able to get our broad beans out.

    I really tried to be productive at the weekend, Lynda. I felt I was starting to get behind with everything so it was a concious effort to get some things done.

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  15. A busy, but worthwhile, weekend by the sound and look of this post. Flighty xx

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  16. Great to be growing things again, isn't it! I'm impressed that you have so much stuff started already!
    I have onions, radishes, and lettuces that are beginning to grow. And early peas are beginning to climb the trellis-fence! A few days ago I bought my first tomato plant this year, a variety called Sweet 100. It really does make a hundred or more small tomatoes that I add whole to my salads.
    Happy gardening!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie
    Mississippi, USA

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  17. You've been very busy and got well ahead on the sowing. What a glorious couple of weeks ahead, will it last to the Bank Holiday weekend I wonder?

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  18. There's a little message for you on my blog today Jo...have a look and get back to me :)

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  19. It's always the same isn't it? a sudden panic that everything's behind. But it always works out ok in the end! xx

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  20. congratulations on a very productive Sunday. The weather has lulled me into a false sense of security so I'm watering newly planted stuff like mad (although I have just felt a few spots of rain) and then will have to protect them if the temperature drops too much.

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  21. Sowing every few weeks shows such awesome restraint. I want to stagger my crops, I should stagger my crops. But when I am sowing, I just can't do it. I spread seeds over the whole row! I can't stop :) Stevie@ruffedfeathersandspilledmik.com

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  22. It will be all systems go from now on!

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  23. It was busy, Flighty, but great to get so many jobs done.

    I've grown a tomato called Sweet Million before, Lea. It sounds similar to your Sweet 100. Yes, it's great to have things growing again.

    It doesn't look like the weather's going to last to the bank holiday, Damo. We can't complain though, we've had some lovely sunny days.

    Thanks, Tanya. I've sent you an email.

    I always feel that I'm running behind, Serendipity, usually because I am. You're right though, everything usually gets caught up in the end.

    Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, L. I think we're all in the same position, fleece at the ready for any frosty nights.

    Thanks for commenting, Stevie. I think that's called enthusiasm, most gardeners have it.

    You're right, Sue. We're right in the middle of the busiest time for gardeners now.

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  24. I have got some seeds in already but nowhere near as many as you...at one time I would panic if I got a bit behind but over the years I have learnt that everything catches up so I don't worry too much about it now and just get on at a nice steady pace. I have spent time clearing the allotment ready and will be getting more seeds in over this week too. I figured successional seed sowing would make planting out later a little easier going.

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  25. I've still got lots more seed sowing to do, Tanya, but as you say, everything catches up eventually. You're way ahead of me in getting the allotment ready, I've still got lots more digging to do.

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  26. Looks like a really healthy production line! Will be interested to hear about your kohl rabi progress.

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  27. The kohl rabi have germinated, Linda, I just need to keep them going now. I haven't been successful with them before so I'm hoping that I do better this time round.

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  28. AnonymousJuly 06, 2012

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