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Planting Sweetcorn & Moving Brassicas Along

It’s been a funny old weekend. The sun has been shining and I planned on spending a fair bit of time on the plot. Unfortunately I offered to put some excerpts from their DVDs onto the National Vegetable Society web site. I’d not done this before but I’ve seen video on many sites. How hard can it be? Well it’s not too hard once you get the right software and work out how to do it. That’s the bit that’s taken the time.

I’ll post on here when they are online, which at the present rate of progress will be sometime this decade. The other thing I did today that took more time than I expected was to send out one of my emails to the forum members. Something went a bit wrong with the mail server so I suspect quite a few didn’t actually go out. I don’t know which didn’t go but I expect it won’t change anyone’s life either way!

Cauliflower & Cabbage, Sprouts & Calabrese

Spent a few happy hours in the potting shed moving the brassicas from the small pots into 3" pots. I tend to sow seeds in a small pot and then move them when they’ve got to a couple of inches high. I pick the strongest seedlings and discard the surplus. It’s one of the hardest things about growing, discarding perfectly good seedlings.

I suppose it’s natures way, many seeds but only a few plants. If you don’t take the hard approach you only end up with 100 tomato plants and nowhere to grow them.

Planting Sweetcorn

Down at the plot, the main job was to plant the sweetcorn. Out of the 75 chitted seeds planted 49 were ready to plant with their roots trying to leave the pots. The rest are still quite small and I think 3 or 4 have failed. Not to bad a rate, considering I got 100% germination. I think the small ones will go into the ground in a week or so.

I planted in a block, 18" between plants each way and then covered with cloches. Sweetcorn likes a lot of nitrogen to fuel it’s growth so they got a generous feed with pelleted poultry manure. Last year I didn’t cloche and they looked quite poorly so I dissolved some urea and watered with it. That gave them a real nitrogen boost and saved the day. I prefer more organic methods but at least I saved the crop that way.

I did have one unexpected surprise, as I dug the cloches out from the deep dark regions of the shed there was a huge spider in one of them. I’m pretty phobic about spiders so I only jumped about six feet into the air.

 I intended to take the camera down and snap a shot of them but I forgot. I’m sure the robin knows that because he was almost getting under my feet. I’ll get a better picture of my little friend yet.

The other job on the plot was to water. It’s quite incredible, April and as dry as a bone. There were quite a few people on the plot all using their hosepipes. It’s been the warmest April ever recorded in the UK and still some people deny global warming exists. I suppose they know something that the mainstream scientific community doesn’t.

Bamboo Cane Shortage?

We popped down to Taylors for some pottng compost on Saturday. Normally we buy their own brand, which is very similar to Humax – perhaps the same. Anyway they were out of stock so we bought Erin. I can’t say we are impressed by the lumps of wood and stones in it. Oh well, you pays yer money. Most of it goes on Val’s flowers but she does let me have a bit for the veggies.

One of the chaps there told me they were having problems getting bamboo canes from their suppliers. So look after the ones you have, they might be difficult to get where you are as well.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
3 comments on “Planting Sweetcorn & Moving Brassicas Along
  1. anthony springett says:

    One of the best composts can be obtained from Wickes the builders merchant. It is totally free of bits of wood etc

  2. Pete Cater says:

    I’m thinking of having a go at growing some sweet corn this year> can anyone tell me, does it have a deep root system ? as I only have a small garden I grow a lot of stuff in tubs about 9 to 12 inches deep so will these do or not ?

    • John says:

      I really wouldn’t try to grow sweetcorn in tubs – needs a fair old root system and is best grown in a block to promote pollination resulting in cobs. Sorry

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