Friday, 6 May 2011

The warm weather continues........

The warmest April on record and no sign of the wet May that followed last year's hot April.  No sign of frosts down here either although a couple of nights have been around 6C.  What's great for growing though has been the fantastic light levels from unbroken blue skies.

The radish experiment
I'm not sure if the radish experiment growing them in 12" pots will work.  I had to thin them out again and the business end look a bit leggy.  I think they're too dense and light isn't getting through to the bottom part at soil level.  I'll see what happens over the coming week.

The leeks sown in root trainers are growing, but slowly.  I'm looking for signs of roots at the bottom but there are none yet. We'll have to monitor this and see but I don't know how much growth to expect.

The cabbage Excel planted in the autumn did well and have been picked and eaten.  Lovely solid hearts and a good old fashioned taste.  A must to grow again for sure.

Medwyn's prize onions which I am growing on in larg pots are definitely thickening out but the tops are floppy.  I'm waiting for them to put on leaf growth and so may feed a little more.


Chinese cabbage Wa Wa Sai doing well and hopefully will heart up soon.

Greenhouse tomatoes doing well and I've started a high potassium feed (Vitax 102)

I'm trying a few gherkins and will grow these outdoors in a nice warm bed backing the garage wall for extra heat.  I am holding off for a few more weeks before planting these out but have chanced one in the outside grow-bag alongside a tomato.

The excitement was immense when I saw the first pea pods a few days ago and now the whole run is full of lovely pods.  I think we'll have peas well before the end of June which is when they'd normally be ready for picking.

It seems worth having taken a chance on the weather and planted out early
The mixed brassicas growing nicely
Autumn planted onions bulbing up

Greenhouse sown beetroot should be ready in 10 days
Runner beans doing well and growing faster than the french beans
Most of the potato sacks are full of compost now and I'm feeding Vitax Q4 - fingers crossed on getting decent crops

Two 'surviving' January King cabbages from autumn plantings - maybe we'll get to eat them in a couple of weeks

I've planted two lots of tomatoes and cucumber in the greenhouse using ring culture.  The advice it to water through the middle 'pot' for a couple of weeks, and then feed there and water through the outer ring.  As they are in flower I'm feeding Vitax 102 for extra potassium and help- flower/fruit growth.  The marigolds I grew fom seed earlier in the propagator as they apparently keep off greenfly - so far it's working so we'll see how it goes as we progress through the growing season.

Strawberries continuing to flower and fruit really well.  It will be time to net them from the birds soon though.

Strawberries in the bed

The main problem with shop bought strawberry barrels is growth from the side plants as they don't get enough water, dry up and die back.  The pipes we've put in our home made planters get water deep down and we make sure the side plants get enough.  Alot of time needed but hopefully it will be worth it.  I've started a higher potasium feed as they are in flower and this will help flower/fruit growth.

The attempts to propagate parsnip Pixie F1 in kitchen towel in the propagator failed miserably- not a single one sprouted.  I sowed a row of seed under a row of radish (see earlier post) directly into the soil and they're doing fantastic - typical!.  Germination was only about 60 - 70% but hey, I'm happy.

Just like the peas, I spotted pods on the broad beans a few days back.
A few broad bean plants survived the wicked winter we had and these have sprouted pods but no more than 2 weeks before the others so I really doubt if it's worth autumn planting them.  The loss rate is 80% so I'll wait to plant in spring in future.  The whole bed is doing well though and I can;t wait to do my 'posh beans on toast' recipe (River Cottage).

The garlic seems OK - we'll see.

This is the second outdoor tomato planter I've done.  The traditional date would always be May 20th to plant outside but I've taken a chance and so far so good - excellent growth, plenty of flower and good strong plants.  Again, marigolds will help- keep off the greenfly.

Man U got through to the Champions League final and I'm in the ticket ballot! 

1 comment:

  1. Looking great - you must have mum's green fingers. My heritage potatoes are coming on a treat and the intense pruning has produced an abundance of gooseberries. Keep up the good work.