20 September 2020
This week we’ve pricked out our tomato seedlings and ‘thousands’ of bok choy. I said I hadn’t sown spring leafy greens yet, but actually we had in the filming of our upcoming series on Growing Food In Containers. We have 3 households on board and two of them have young children. One of the families love bok choy and the children weren’t as reserved as I am with seeds. With the rate of germination we get, there are almost 40 bok choy plants now growing! A bit more than their Mum and Dad can get through!
Above are our tomatoes germinated – 100%. ‘Roma’, ‘Gardeners Delight’ and ‘Beefsteak’. We recycle pots by washing them in water to which you’ve added a splash of white vinegar for sterilising. For tomatoes, we plant into a pot this size, as the plant needs to be big when it’s planted out. Use a dibber to make a hole and transplant the seedling. Remember to use a knife to cut down between the rows and tease the little seedlings out of the soil. It’s best to have them a bit dry. Once pricked out, we soak the new pots in a water bath to which you’ve added liquid seaweed until the pot or punnet feels heavy or you can see it damp. Transfer to a meat or vege tray and leave in a warm light spot to grow on.
We’ve also sown carrots and parsnips. Remember to buy a new packet of carrot seed every time you sow them. It’s important to make sure the soil is light and fluffy for root crops, so use a fork to gently aerate the soil without disturbing soil life. Add compost, rock dust and this year I added some lime too to condition the soil. Fork through, followed by a rake to smooth it over. Make shallow furrows, don’t sow too thickly, cover over lightly, and stamp down lightly with the back of the rake. A good watering and on go the nets. I thought they were fully bird proof but one persistent blackbird has been in digging for worms, so I expect there’ll be a bare patch where it’s been. Tossed up whether to put a damp towel over the carrots for more even germination, but decided against it this time. We’ll see if I made the right call.
Also 2 out of our 3 early potato varieties are planted. The Jersey Bennes didn’t have big enough chits. So I’ve kept them on the windowsill to keep chitting. Planted are Maris Anchor and Cliffs Kidney. Made troughs as deep as possible, laid out the chitted potatoes about 20cms apart, scattered some neem granules around them to keep any psyllids at bay, then covered over with about 5cms of soil. Finished them off with an application of rock dust and blood and bone.
Only last week I had given all the alliums a dose of fish and seaweed solution to boost them along.
Then I noticed rust on the outer leaves of our garlic! The onions and leeks are clean at this stage. Rob recommends an application of sulphur, so I’m trying out Grosafe’s BioGro certified organic input Sulphur. Fingers crossed!
Lastly, I’ve made some codling moth traps in the last couple of days. You should hang these in your fruit trees before bud burst, but as you can see the Luisa plum is just in blossom. It’s made from a wonderful mix of molasses, cider vinegar, dishwashing liquid and cloudy ammonia. See here for exact amounts and how to make and hang the containers.
And finally, just thought these broccoli microgreens were so pretty!
Enjoy the beginning of your Spring!
From Jan, Rob and the Team at OEG!