Monday, March 5, 2012
These photos were taken with my phone...why? I forgot the camera yet again!
The early potatoes chitting in the cold greenhouse, they have a fleece covering to protect from frost which we have had since I took these photos.We have sunny days but very cold evenings and nights.
I mentioned chitting in the previous post but on rereading it I realised I should explain 'chitting'. I know when we started on the plot we had heard of chitting but had to look online to find out exactly what to do.
Chitting is a way of starting the potatoes to send up little stalks to give your potatoes a head start in the ground.
If you look closely at the seed potato there will be a grouping of eyes around one end which is called the 'rose' end.Stand the seed potato with this end up, in an egg box which is ideal for the job or any other suitable container.
In a few weeks you will see it sprouting,when sowing around mid March keep the sprouts at this end up as they are the potato stalks not the roots!
St Patrick's day 17th March is traditionally the day we sow our early potatoes in Ireland
The strawberry bed also got a makeover, I had removed the old growth late last year but they still needed a tidy up.I removed any old brown leaves and was surprised to see some flowers coming out, not sure if they are new this year so I left them to be on the safe side.
The bed got a top dressing of sulphate of potash, which is recommended for all fruiting and flowering plants in Springtime.
I had the poly tunnel in the shed and also a mesh one which should have covered the top end of the bed but the mesh one was shredded to bits by over wintering visitors I think!
I bought a new mesh today and went out to cover the whole bed as more frost is forecast
Matron spreads wood ash on her beds which is great if you have it.There is a return to wood burning stoves recently or turf which we burn a lot of here, you have none of the chemicals which coal products have so spreading on your garden is a great way to utilise the ash!
The fruit bed was weeded, dandelions are making a determined effort to colonise the ground!
The Autumn fruiting raspberries were cut back to ground level, this was all done last week and today there is a bunch of new green growth coming through.
I cut back any deadwood on the blueberries which are in deep pots of ericacous compost as they like acid soil.I will scrape out the top layer of soil carefully and renew it.
I also gave the bed a dressing of the potash and spent half an hour with a sledge hammer straightening back the boards around the edge.
I have been very lax this year with the seed sowing, none of them have been even started yet!