Jan 25, 2012

seeD-Day 2012-01-27 t-minus 2 days

I have gained a couple of new followers since my last update so here’s a big welcome to my blog; I hope you enjoy reading it.

Work was looking for volunteers last week to maintain a new herb garden they had planned for the old disused flowerbed outside the front of the restaurant. I said I would be able to help them out J
I’ve started off 3 pots each of Oregano, Thyme, Flat Leaf Parsley, and Curled Leaf Parsley. I’ve got some Basil seeds but won’t start them just yet as they won’t tolerate the cold weather. I never bothered with herbs last year and wasn’t going too this year, but having now opened the packets I’ll no doubt start some more off for here at home. Just need to find a narrow container for them to fit in the kitchen windowsill.

The ground frost finally arrived last week and my veg patch was rock solid. I’m determined to stick to my plan of copying last year’s timing of sowing and the end of this week will see that anniversary arrive. I will start just 3 max of each seed I sow whereas last year I started with 12 pots of Broadbeans and followed them up a week later with another 6! Not this time, I’ve learnt my lesson quickly. One of the first seeds I shall sow will be the Chilli and Bell Pepper ones as they need an extremely long growing season. I will also start a couple of tomatoes off and when I say a couple, it will literally be just 2 seeds of each variety. I will then sow a couple more in 4 weeks time.

My seed potatoes arrived last week and have been chitting indoors now but I fear it’s far too warm for them so I’ve placed them down in the greenhouse to further chit in cooler conditions. Upon unpacking them my inexperience showed through in that I couldn’t figure out which end was which and subsequently had half upside down. It was easy to spot after a few days though as the ones that had no sprouts on them were clearly the upside down ones, once upright their little nubbins started poking through.

Our mild winter continues apace and signs of spring are showing everywhere. For me, it’s my Rhubarb that’s started poking through. I honestly think we’ve had our winter spell now and shall see temps stay in the high single figures until spring starts proper. There will still be the odd frosty night but the warmth during the day will allow most of my seedlings to slowly grow in the greenhouse instead of every windowsill indoors. The downside to this mildness though is an army of pests will have survived the winter and will group up with this year’s new recruits. My defence needs to briefed!

My Brussels Sprouts failed miserably last year and I was determined to get them right this year. My failings were two-fold. Firstly I didn’t heel them in hard enough (easily rectified), secondly, I gave them no protection other than copper collars. To that end I plan to build a Brassica cage from sawn timber and 7mm thick netting. The dimensions shall be 2.4m long by 1.4m tall by 1m deep. This allows 2 rows of plants at 75cm apart (Thanks Pies). I can then lift the cage up when I need to get in to weed. I shall document the build from scratch and post it up here as and when the construction begins.

Finally I decided to clean my pots over the weekend. They all look nice and shiny now and are screaming to get used J Momentum is definitely building.

Thanks for reading.