Saturday, 29 April 2006

Potatoes Showing

Earlies, planted out at the beginning of the month.

Broad Beans

These were sown last November and overwintered.


These are the first crop to go in here, at the end of March. A month later they're growing away nicely.

Sunday, 23 April 2006

Pricking out and potting on

PRICKING OUT AND POTTING ON is the next job for seedlings raised under glass, to give them more room to grow.

Monday, 17 April 2006

Sowing seeds

SOWING SEEDS is what I've been doing in late March and April. Most of the cut flowers I grow are half hardy annuals and are started off in one of my two heated propagators on a sunny window sill. I sow them in the flimsy small modules in strips of ten, 5 of these will fit into a sturdy standard size seed tray, then the tray goes into the propagator. For very fine seed I use 1/2 size seed trays. As soon as all the seeds in a tray have germinated I move it out of the propagator onto another sunny window sill for 2 or 3 days and then put them out in the greenhouse. Ideally this would be heated to a constant 20 degrees but like a lot of people I can't afford to do this so they have to take their chances! The greenhouse has an automatic roof vent and I use a paraffin heater at night if frost is threatened. Seeds that don't need a high germination temperature are started off in the greenhouse, coldframe or straight in the ground once the soil has warmed up enough.

Sunday, 9 April 2006

Soil Preperation

SOIL PREPARATION and maintaining fertility is the most important job in the garden and at the moment I'm digging over the third of the plot that wasn't done in the autumn. This part of the plot doesn't need mucking this year; I left it in the autumn with a deep covering of leaves and when I rake these off the soil is full of worms and turning it over is easy work. This is when you appreciate incorporating plenty of manure or compost into the soil; at sowing time the texture will have become the fabled "crumbly tilth", ideal for sowing into. As it gets nearer to sowing and planting time for each crop the soil will also get a dressing of fish, blood and bone. And where the brassicas and carnations are to go, some calcified seaweed.

The muck heap: