Thursday, 28 April 2011

What a difference a week makes

The weather has turned a little cloudy this last few days but I've kept up the watering and given everything a good liquid feed with Vitax 111 (a general fertiliser 19:19:19).

I'm not ready for a few weeks yet to be selecting different fertilisers for different plants but don't want lush green flushes with too much nitrogen so the Vitax seems a good choice right now.  The onions and garlic have picked up nicely.

The early strawberries have started to fruit!
The brussels are galloping along but I may have planted them too closely as I read this week they may not 'fruit' if that's the case.  I may thin them out a little.

The lettuce I grew in the greenhouse and planted out a couple of weeks ago are not far from being ready to use.
I've had to add taller stakes to the peas and then twined some string for extra support

The 'exhibition' carrots have germinated despite all my fretting they wouldn't.
Each cell germinated so we got 100%.

I'm growing them in a case filled with sand and then cored out using 3" pipe.
It's all explained better than I can on which is where I saw this method.

We'll follow this with great anticipation and excitement - 4' carrots????    Where on earth am I going to find a 10' bunny?

The carrot case with Enviromesh to protect against carrot fly.

Chinese cabbage Wa Wa Sai doing well and about to heart up over the next couple of weeks

The potatoes are nearly to the top with layers of compost. I'm not holding out a lot of hope for a bumper crop but if we get enough to have made it all worthwhile then I'll be happy.
Medwyn's celery (needs blanching)
What we're aiming for - Morning Star F1

The weather has been so good I decided to plant out the first celery - a supply of plants from Medwyn - Morning Star F1.  I potted them up into the magic compost mix used for the carrots and kept them warm in the propagator for a couple of weeks.

They need a weekly soaking of calcium nitrate to avoid heart rot.  Blanching of this variety is essential otherwise the results will be bitter.  We want wonderfully sweet celery.  They're hungry feeders so I'll keep up a nitrogen rich feed and water well, as these are fundamentally bog plants.

The self blanching plants I grew from seed 'Loretta' are still enjoying the warmth of the propagator so I can maintain a steady temperature.  I'll not rush planting these out.

I've used strawberry mats cut in half to offer the first bit of shade for blanching.
The beans have taken hold and are climbing but we'll still need to watch out for frosts as I could lose the lot.

Broad beans showing plenty of flower and no sign of black fly (yet!)

I couldn't resist scraping back a little of the soil around the most advanced of the beetroot and they're bulbing up really nicely.  We should have out first pickings in 10 days - complete madness for this time of year.

That's all for now.  Thanks for visiting.  All (polite) comments welcome