The weather hasn’t been on my side! Storm Doris destroyed my greenhouse. I bought a new greenhouse to replace it and a slight breeze ripped that one down too! What a waste of money. I need to think about whether I actually need a greenhouse and if I do, its then a case of building a timber frame and covering it with either polyethene sheeting or corrugated plastic. The main reason I need one is I currently have nowhere suitable to start my seeds off. Which brings me to my next issue:
LEGGY SEEDLINGS! My broccoli, leeks, cabbages, lettuce seedlings are very leggy. Leggy seedlings won’t surive very well so its a case of buying ready made plants. Luckily I have a few vouchers for various garden centres. The rest of my seedlings are going to be sown in the soil directly so I’m going to have to get a few cloches to warm the soil. Which brings me to another issue:
CLAY SOIL! My allotment has not been worked for many years, all I have is thick clay soil which is horrible to work with, as well as being no good to start seedlings off. I want to keep the costs down, so I’m not going to install raised beds. Instead, I’m going to dig in some compost and hope this will make some difference.
My final issue with the allotment is the only tap on the site doesn’t work anymore, so while I wait for some council official to authorise a plumber to come and fix it, I have no water. So I went and bought a ridiculously overpriced water butt from wickes.co.uk. Anywhere is cheaper. Literally anywhere. Oh! and to fill the silly thing up I borrowed some 100l containers from a client and half filled them with water, chucked them in the van and took them to the allotment. Worked a treat.
On a positive note:
The spuds are in! ‘Red duke of York’ and ‘Kestrel’. They are my first earlies and second earlies. As soon as they arrived, I ‘chitted’ them. This basically means it allows strong and healthy chits (stems) to grow on the tuber (potato). To chit the potatoes, I basically laid them all out onto a seed tray next to the window.
The first earlies varieties need to be planted out between February – April and the second earlies varieties need to be planted out between March – May. So I thought it would be a good idea too do them both around the same time in March.
To plant out the ‘first earlies’ I dug a trench around 10cm deep and spaced the spuds around 30cm. With the ‘second earlies’ I dug a trench the same as above but around 2ft away.
Hopefully, with plenty of water, I should start to see something green popping its head out of the ground pretty soon. And at this rate, the only thing I’ll be harvesting is potatoes. The ‘first earlies’ should be ready by June and the ‘second earlies’ should be ready by July.