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Building Greenhouse Bench, Planting Potatoes and Broad Beans

Greenhouse Fittings

I only managed a couple of hours over the weekend. Some old friends were over from the Isle of Man so we met up with them in Manchester while their son went to a concert. In the afternoon before we left to meet them I finished the staging I’ve been building. Not the most exiting job, drill and nail, drill and nail as I put the slats on. But I’ve ended up with a six foot, two tier bench for £17 and a few hours work.


Sunday was a washout as after the two and a half hours it took to escape Manchester and return home, a bit of chat and BST arriving it was 3am before I got into bed. I’d love to claim it was a night of clubbing and debauchery but I’m afraid I wasn’t even drinking. I just don’t function without my sleep and when our friends departed on the train at 5pm I really didn’t feel like anything strenuous.


Planting Potatoes in a Cold Frame.


We’re nearly at potato planting time, traditionally Easter, so I thought I would get my deep bed coldframe into operation. This is a new product that isn’t yet available as far as I know but I tested it out. Quite simply, as all the best ideas are, it’s a plastic walled deep bed onto which a twinwall polycarbonate cold frame sits.


I dug over a patch of ground and added a bit of the compost mountain and then used the Mantis to mix and break up the soil.


Next the bed was placed on it, squared and levelled and then half filled with a 50/50 mix of very well rotted horse manure and compost. I then planted three chitted Arran Pilot, a first early variety, covering with more compost.


Next the coldframe went on top. It has some pre-drilled holes which I used to drill through into the base, bolting the two together and after watering, it was job done.


I’ll ‘earth up’ with compost as they grow and hope to end up with some nice clean earlies.


Broad Beans


Normally I would like to have planted my broad beans by now but the wet winter has thrown me so far behind in preparation that I’m not ready yet so I started them off in pots.  I’ve loads of 3″ square pots and no shortage of compost and this should get them off a bit faster as despite the wonderful sunshine tonight will be really quite chilly if not a frost. In the coldframe and on the base shelf of the greenhouse staging, it will be quite warm.


I’ve got two varieties: Bunyards Exhibition, an old favourite and Witkiem Manita which has good write ups so I’ll see what they’re like.


Hope the weather is a good tomorrow as I’ve loads to do. Must admit it’s nice having these later nights. I’ve never been a morning person but I do wake up in the afternoon.


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