Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Seed Potatoes!

It seems a bit on the early side, but Suttons have sent
out my seed potatoes. This year I'm growing
'Charlotte', 'Vivaldi' and 'Swift'.

I've popped them 'eyes' up in a box, and put that on the windowsill of the spare bedroom to begin chitting.

Putting them somewhere fairly bright ensures nice firm sprouts, which are less likely to get damaged during planting than long spindly ones, which would develop if the seed tatties were left in the dark.

I haven't decided what to do with them once the chitting process is done. I might plant them in bags...or I might put them in a raised bed at the lottie...decisions, decisions.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

It's amazing what you can achieve in an hour and a half!

This morning started out bright and beautiful, so I did lots of washing, watched some TV and mucked about on my new laptop. All the time thinking 'What a lovely day for sowing some seeds'.

By the time I'd finished wasting the day away, the grey clouds had rolled in on a very gusty wind, however I didn't let that stop me from going out into the garden for an hour and a half this afternoon.

The first job (that I have been putting off for months), was to begin training the fig tree into an espalier shape. It's a bit on the wonky side at the moment, but I didn't want to over strain the branches at this early stage. I tied in the sideways pointing branches to canes attached to a stout stake, and also pruned off any forward and backward facing ones.

This tree is in a narrow raised bed at the side of the garden, and I don't want it to start over hanging the grass underneath, or become engulfed by the ivy behind. Training into an espalier seemed the best option, and may make it more productive too.

The second job was to repot two chilli plants that I have been overwintering on my kitchen windowsill. They were given to me by my lovely friend Jeanied back in August, at a big Grapevine meet-up called Grapestock. I'm ashamed to say that these poor plants have been left in their original pots all that time. Look at the poor things! My secuaters are to give you an idea of scale...

...and then just a few minutes later, here they are again, in much more sensibly sized pots. The variety of chilli is 'Purple Gusto', and Jeanied was soooo proud of herself for growing them. Let's hope I can keep them alive a bit longer.

Then finally for today, I sowed my onions and leeks.

The first tray is Onion 'Ailsa Craig', which will hopefully give me some good sized bulbs to show later in the year. I've sown approximately 3-4 seeds into each module, and I'll thin them out, once they've grown on a bit.

The second tray is Leek 'Musselburg', a classic variety. Here I've sown a pinch (5-6 seeds) into each module. I'll let these germinate and then pot on the whole module, rather than thinning out. You can
grow leeks quite close together until they need planting out at their
final spacing in the summer, so hopefully this will work for me.

It does seem a bit odd to be sowing my next crop of leeks, when I haven't even started harvesting last years from the allotment yet...Hmmmm I wonder what they're up to...