It’s been a busy week, so a quick catch-up as to where things stand. Clocks go forward tonight so an extra evening hour to play out!
Potatoes showing in polytunnel
The potatoes are finally breaking the surface, way behind what I expected when I planted them 8 weeks ago, but at least they’re making a start. I hope!
In the potting shed
The propagators are nearly full! I’ve set up supplementary lighting on one of the Vitopods which is running from 7am to 7 pm
- Calabrese Zen – the first sowing is up and ready to pot on. A second sowing to follow in a mid-April.
- Brussels Sprouts Sanda and Red Bull sown
- Cauliflower Snowball and the first tranche of Cauliflower All Year Round are ready to pot on. Very quick germination.
- Cabbage Red Acre potted on in deep modules to save space. They’ll be planted out in a few weeks.
- Cabbage Hispi second sowing made.
Every year I say I’ll limit the number of varieties to just a few and every year I grow far more than planned. If I live to be 100 I still won’t have scratched the surface, too many tempting varieties in the catalogues.
Generally you get better results in a greenhouse than a polytunnel where the light levels tend to be higher but I’m going to make more use of the polytunnel for tomatoes this year
- Sungold – one in the greenhouse and two or three for the polytunnel. They’re a very strong grower. I might get more from the polytunnel as I can get a longer string.
- San Marzano – I didn’t do very well with these last year but I’ll give them another go as the fruits are so good.
- Black Cherry – couple of plants in the greenhouse should be enough
- Black Krim – another variety for the greenhouse
- Ailsa Craig – my favourite standard. Some in both greenhouse and tunnel, I think.
- Honeycomb – a new variety said to be even better than Sungold. I’ll compare them for growing and my grandson will give his verdict on taste. That will be the decider.
- Grushovka – a new to me older Russian variety. A sort of upright bush so destined for the polytunnel. My daughter picked them up the from Real Seeds. Her garden being lower and more sheltered may well be able to grow a couple outdoors, with a little luck.
I’ve sown all these singly in Bustaseed modules. I really like the Bustaseed system which has been further improved this year. The previous black plastic trays that hold the growing cells were a little flimsy and could distort if they got too hot. They now have a much better quality yellow tray – not subject to heat problems and much more robust so they should last a lot longer.
- SweetPepper: Californian Wonder and SweetPepper: Mavras. Mavras is a lovely pepper and very prolific that I picked up from Medwyns of Anglesey. Some for the tunnel and some for the greenhouses.
- Chilli: Longhorn a new variety from Suttons and Chilli: Cayenne which is our standard as it’s not ridiculously hot. All I want is a couple of plants of each.
Gherkin Partner I’ve sown those in pots. Lovely flavoured small fruits, beloved by the grandson as a snack.
These are sown singly in Bustaseed modules in the Eden greenhouse on the heating pads.
Leeks: Windermere from Medwyns of Anglesey and Leeks: Below Zero from Suttons
Lettuce: Little Gem sown in Bustaseed modules
Parsley: Moss Curled in 6” pots in the Vitopod.
Broad beans: Karmazyn in pots with bottom heat to 15ºC on heating pads. I thought about sowing them directly but I’m not sure about the seed quality. This way I’ll know the germination rate and just plant out the ones worth it.
Peas: Kelvedon Wonder in half trays on the heat pads in the Eden.