Wednesday, March 28, 2018

This Years Plot Plan

The weather continues to be a real pain down here in Essex. Today for instance, 5 degrees, a lot of rain, sun and hail all in one day. Over the Easter weekend thinks are not looking much better.

No spuds in yet, nothing uncovered and nothing directly sown still. We have the spuds and some asparagus crowns to go in, but not a lot of point if they will just rot. We are getting behind. Our pot sown broads need to go out over Easter ideally as they are getting pot bound.

So as an 'inside' job I've done this years plot plan. I've switched the rotation slightly from last years as the brassicas weren't following the beans correctly, something that is quite easy when you aren't growing full beds of something. The plan usually ends up about 85% correct by the end of year. 

It may seem a bit of over kill but I find it helps when planting things at different times.

Happy gardening folks!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Cracking On!!

I've just returned from a week or so in Singapore for work, a country with a climate of 28-32 degrees C all year round and green house like humidity, that grows nothing more than the odd lettuce!

I love to pop into supermarkets whenever I'm in another country and see what their food supply looks like, Singapore, despite the above advantages imports apples from the UK, tomatoes from Holland and cucumbers from Japan. True Singapore is a small country, but surely they can do better then this. Their milk comes from Australia or New Zealand, food mileage out there doesn't seem to be an issue.

Given the temperature out there you can imagine my joy and shock at returning to this..... I bought Heather a cold frame for her birthday, so somewhere under that snow and hopefully happy are our broads.

Is winter ever going to end? We have a holiday coming up right in the middle of planting season so I'm keen to get some things started and spread the load a bit. So in my jetlagged state I ventured out for a bag of compost, (I used the last I had to rescue a Mercedes in the last round of snow), and set to.

Currently on the kitchen sill are 12 cabbages, 5 sprouts, 5 PSB and 5 kale pots, once up these will go in the cold frame to stop them getting too leggy.  

Joining these are some recycled food containers with Salad Bowl and All Year Round lettuces. This time last year lettuces were already directly sown under cloches.

I've seen that some gardeners start their shallot sets of in pots/cells, something I've never tried. As the start of the season is a delayed I thought I'd give it a try this year. I'm only planting a few, possibly for pickling so I've planted 10 Yellow Moon shallots in a plug tray to transplant later, we'll see how it goes.

Elsewhere the seed potatoes are doing their thing under the bed and growing some nice solid chits, not leggy white ones, but visiting the plot to do anything in this weather is a no.

Fingers crossed the weather improves soon and we can all get this season on the move properly.

Happy gardening folks!!