Friday, April 3, 2009
Back to some serious work after the frivolity of the tumbling pots!The sun was shining here at 9.00am yesterday morning so I took myself and my seeds out to the plot to discover it was still misty out there. After about an hour the sun came out and it turned into a tee shirt and shorts kind of day, neither of which I had on so digging became hard work!
The raised bed for the root crops was finished and had already been dug over so was a 'stale' bed. I dug it over again removing as many stones as I could, raked it to the recommended fine tilth and marked out the lines for the seeds to go in.
I cut the tops of the PSB as Mike told me it would produce more quicker, he also gave me some of his PSB summer perennial. It is a huge plant which produces tiny purple heads which you can keep cutting. Mike also gave me his recipe for a stir fry using them.In a wok,fry garlic, red onion and the tips of the PSB and any of the tender leaves to accompany any dish as a veg or just to use on its own.So the start of the summer produce hopefully! I intend to take a weighing scales and notebook out to the plot and leave it there to keep a record of what we do produce this year.
The finished root bed. I put in a half row each of Rainbow Swiss Chard and Spinach, A row of Beetroot and Parsnips.A line of Dwarf French Beans which Mike said are usually planted in a double row. Last night I checked various books and all said plant in double rows but gave no particular reason ie: pollination? A row of carrot seeds went in next, the beans are a good companion plant and will hopefully disguise the carrot smell as parsnip and carrot fly can attack either or Both!
I marked out the row for the carrots and picked out small stones as I planted the first few seeds, then got to thinking carrots grow down not up so stones underneath were the bigger problem. I came up with a solution, now whether I thought of this all by myself or half remembered it from reading somewhere I cannot be certain!I found a short piece of bamboo cane about 12ins long, stuck it into the ground and wiggled it around making a carrot shaped hole.I had watered the bed first so as not to disturb the seeds after sowing so the ground held the shape I made. I filled the hole with fine compost , a mix of sand and compost would have been better but I did not have any. I put two or three carrot seeds on top of this compost and covered with more compost.A pity I did not think of it in time for the parsnips who will have to find their own way, only time will tell if the 'wiggle stick' method of planting carrot seed works.
I put out the five runner bean plants languishing in the greenhouse, I made the holes and filled with water which soaked down through the earth. I use this method for planting out as the roots go down for water instead of coming to the surface if they are insufficiently watered later.
The aforesaid beans clinging on for dear life, I left the canes for the time being until they find the larger bean supports and hoping we don't have frost for a while, no worries of that today as it is raining again.