More Chitted Sweetcorn and the National Vegetable Society

Val had a dental in the afternoon, so I was the designated driver, of course. After moaning about the allotment site rent my next moan is the dental hygienist charge. That’s gone up from £28 to £32 for half an hour. Despite the NHS standard examination charge of £15.50 supposedly including hygiene treatment the dentists appear to have found away around this by making that part of the treatment private only. Wonderful.

Anyway, we dropped down to buy a couple of cheap paving slabs for the path in the big greenhouse and then popped into Instore where they had those plastic potting trays for £5.00 That’s not a bad price but even better when we got to the checkout it turned out they were half priced at £2.50. So at least one bargain today.

Chitting Sweetcorn

Had an email from across the pond expressing surprise at this.

"Over here, no one in their right mind chits corn. It’s all direct seeded mid May, preferably right before a rainstorm. Corn needs warmth, just like toms and peppers, but it’s a much faster grower."

The fact is that in Britain we don’t have a climate so much as weather and despite global warming we can’t rely on a long enough summer to get a decent crop. To get it going we need to plant earlier than nature wants us too. By starting off this way, I get 100% germination and the seed is hardly cheap so that’s a benefit.

When I plant out into the ground, they’ll be under cloche as well. The longer the better there as the cloche will keep them warmer. It’s a good idea to cloche or fleece the ground for a week or so before planting as well as this warms the soil a degree or two.

National Vegetable Society Meeting

It was our NVS Crewe & Nantwich meeting tonight and the speaker was our very own Jake from the forums. Poor Jake forgot his notes and his projector has died but nothing stopped our man. Great talk on permaculture, which was well received by the members. It sparked quite a round of discussion as well regarding organic growing and use of recycled materials. Jake also brought along a selection of heritage seed varieties, which he kindly gave away to the members. I got some beefsteak tomatoes and some peas. I’m looking forward to seeing how they grow and what they taste like.

Another member brought along some Jerusalem Artichoke so I’ll be trying those again. My last attempt failed because I left them too long before planting.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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