Apr 24, 2011

Hotter than Spain. I could get used to this.

Another week, another 7 days of summer. What is going on with our weather? I’m not complaining mind. If the UK had this every year, holidays abroad would dive sharply. It’s been a glorious month with 0mm of rain for my veg patch and that is a fact as I have a bone dry waterbutt since installing it weeks ago. With temperatures above 20c for the last 9 days my veg has gone at full speed and keeping up with it all is proving a challenge but thankfully I’m in the middle of 11 days off work.

Watering is such a vital task for veg to thrive yet it’s the number one problem new growers (and some seasoned pro’s) get wrong. Over watering can be more harmful than not watering at all and after two nights of watering last week I had to force myself to stop on the third night and a good job too. Tonight thinking I may need to water after 4 nights of not doing so, I tested the soil with a £3 tester I brought from Wilkinsons a while back and low and behold, 7cm below the surface the indicator moved to moist. Deeper still and it was bordering on wet. So with that info I shall refrain from watering this week especially as showers are predicted on a couple of days.

Yesterday morning saw me placing my first 3 tomato plants in to their final home in the greenhouse. One growbag is too shallow for a Tomato plant so I’ve doubled up with the bottom bag cut out at the top and the bottom of the top bag sliced in parts for the roots to travel down through. At the top of the top bag, I’ve used large deep pots with their bottoms cut out and placed the plants in to them deep so new roots can grow from the buried stem which was backfilled with compost to the top of the pot. This gives the roots ample depth to grow in to and will hopefully repay me with plentiful of fruits. Also I have now gifted 8 Tomato plants to friends and family members with more to go. What a great feeling that is J

Tomatoes in two growbags

 I have two other growbags to duplicate the same method as the tomatoes but this time for the Peppers but they are still small and haven’t even been potted on yet so for now they wait patiently at the back of the greenhouse.

Pepper Seedlings

 My Runner Beans have fully germinated and gaining growth quite rapidly. With May only 7 days away they will be going in to the ground at their perfect planting time. I may have to pot them on first if they get too big as I don’t want their roots to get pot bound. Rather than disturb them twice, I might just plant them in the ground next weekend after hardening them off in the week. Will see how they go in the cooler climate of the following days.

Runner Bean Seedlings

Runner Bean Seedling

 This morning saw me planting out my Parsnips as one module saw its first sign of Germination with a tiny leaf breaking the compost surface. I was keen to get them in as I didn’t want their tap roots to hit the bottom on the rolls as this would deform their growth so with 14 days in the greenhouse, they have now gone in the ground still in their toilet roll modules. I was unsure if they needed hardening off or not but thought not as there wouldn’t be time to do so with the risk to the tap roots. I’ll be keeping my eye on them though just in case.

Parsnips in Toilet Rolls

Finally here’s my Lettuce bed filling out and the Brussels Sprouts growing stronger from longer hours of daylight. The white pellets are slug and snail deterrents although there hasn’t been much activity on that front which I’m guessing is due to the lack of rain but I might be wrong so I’ll try and stay vigilant.

Brussels Sprouts

Lettuce Bed