Friday is fertilling day surely?

 

Well, I’ve finally fertilled – the potatoes that is – and you can see the results of my initial groping about in the allotment bed above.  Alongside 2 of the largest courgettes I’ve ever seen, which clearly are basic actual marrows, and my fav veggie so far, more beetroot.

I’ve harvested 2 potato plants so far; and I’m aiming to harvest the rest over the next dew weeks.  I’ve a question however for my more experienced readers.   I thought the seed potato – the one that was chitted and then planted – would end up withered and exhausted.  But as each of the potato plants I’ve harvested so far have had a brown potato along with the little gathering of pale, blond, new looking potatoes I’d like to ask – is this the original seed potato???

The beetroot have been great; so much so that while harvesting this little load I’ve also planted out some more seedlings, hoping for a further harvest before autumn really sets in.  The weather has been really hot, and really dry, so much so that the tomatoes have suffered – quite a few crisped off leaves despite a regular session with the watering can.

The other beds are looking good: beans and sweetcorn competing to fill up not only the bed, but the air-space above it.  The sweet-peas that I planted just because …. are adding a nice touch of colour at the end of bean alley, and the netting has proved very successful at keeping pigeons off the brassicas.  I’ve also planted out some swede seedlings, and another set of PSB / cauliflowers / Kale.  But the onions seem to be hiding ….  I think next year I need a dedicated allium bed.

Now – it’s finally raining – so I’m off to watch some tennis!  Here’s the cooked result of the marrow / courgatte tasting.

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I bought a new hose: it’s still raining ….

I have started planting …

Liming complete, along with a hopefully healthy dose of fertiliser to deal with the low potassium / phosphorous diagnosis from the RHS, and finally the bulk bag of top soil spread and raked over each bed.  I’m ready to plant.  And I’ve decided that one bed will be dedicated to asparagus; so the onions will have to make their own way alongside the peas & beans.  Slight re-draft of the planting planogram (plantogram?), but a plan has to adapt!

Charlie therefore has been manured for a second time; and the 2 packs of teeny-tiny asparagus crowns have been planted at the recommended spacing.

This has left me with a chunk of space at the end of Charlie: means I can deploy another lovely piece of horticultural terminology and claim I am catch-cropping (at least I think that’s it).  So salad leaves is the answer to the question of what I should plant in the top (or bottom) quarter of this bed.

This re-think means:

  • Mick is now roots & tubers;
  • Keef is peas, beans, corn & squashes;
  • Brian is brassicas;
  • Charlie is a 3 year commitment to asparagus.;
  • and I have 4 onion seedlings to pop in somewhere.

I also managed to get my first batch of potatoes in; having chitted them (left in the light for the eyes to sprout for a couple of weeks) first.  I’ve selected Nicola variety (I remembered the name from RHS Level 2 as being resistant to something nasty).  This leaves about 2/3 of space in Mick for the beetroot (I have around 6 healthy-looking seedlings pretty ready to go, and the rest will have carrots.

Next planting session should start to populate Keef.  And I need to think about protection from insects / bird-life.  Fortunately the construction or the bed frames should enable me to attach netting pretty easily as I can tack it to the stakes at each end.  Well, that’s the theory at least!

‘Morning all…

Well, I thought I’d start by explaining a little about this blog.  I’ve started a veg patch.  Frankly I blame Monty Don: which might be a bit too UK specific, so I’d better explain that before I actually get going.

Having stopped work a year ago, I started to garden and garden properly too.  With kit, and training and all that.  So off to the RHS and their Level 2 Course in Horticulture.  Last year was all botany, propagation, pests and diseases, and I now understand the connection between Potato Cyst Eelworm and Ridley’s cat.
This year the Practical: which has meant double digging, creation of a Wildlife Friendly garden, properly understanding how to take cuttings, how to sow seeds in perfect ‘Victoria sponge’ seed compost, and creating wigwams for beans.  Runner beans, broad beans, French beans, all manner of beans.  It’s a blast; and because I’m really going to miss Monday mornings digging in Hadlow my need for some ground to dig up has grown.

Add watching too many episodes of Gardener’s World on the BBC with Monty Don as Head Gardener and his fab loam and perfect pottager, and this means I have become fascinated by growing veg.  One pub conversation too many, and my poor friend is now interrupting her new ‘working from home’ efforts at downshifting and peace and quiet helping my efforts at digging.

So, after quite a lot of digging, I now have four beds, dug out of pristine pasture, each 8 foot by 4.  I’m currently enclosing with timber, and once finished, I’ll top off with topsoil.

Next post: aches, pains and lessons about digging, drilling, and planning the patch.