Keeping the Brakes On
I always make the mistake at this time of year of sowing too much too early. That’s then followed by a crazy juggling act to keep seedlings in limited space in the light and warm till March. They end up getting leggy or succumb to damping off so this year I am trying to be more restrained. I’ve bought a pop up greenhouse for the allotment but it has yet to be assembled and the plan is to use it to grow tomatoes in the ground. This will be from soil at the base on one side and supported with canes pushed firmly into the allotment earth. On the other side there will be shelving for cuttings and new seedlings. It’s 2 m x 2.5 m so big enough for my needs and combined with my new potting shed here at home I should be able to fill the allotment to bursting.
The Cupani sweet peas have been sown in the root trainers and are in the heated propagator to germinate. I followed Julie’s instructions in her latest blog Peonies and Posies and I also bought the Jute netting that she recommends for support. This will do too for the peas and mange tout and should avoid me swearing at the plastic stuff that gets tangled up in cardigan buttons and in anything else it can snare on.
The allotment raspberries after ten years gave a poor crop last season so Autumn Bliss and summer fruiting Mailing Minerva, which produces large crops from early June, are waiting to be planted. These were bought at the garden centre and rather than bare root they were bundled together in a deep pot of soil so I haven’t had to worry about getting them planted. The Autumn bliss is showing new growth.
The Mailing isn’t showing any green shoots so these will probably skip fruiting this summer but I’m happy to wait and I may be surprised.
Clearing the old raspberry beds will allow room for the walk-in greenhouse and give me a lot more growing space on either side. With this in mind and in an attempt to beat the badger I have also purchased these Micromesh Wind Barriers. They are designed to protect carrots and other crops against flying insects and ‘other pests’ -the badger fits that description in my view.
The cut flowers this week are the usual suspects: arum, euphorbia, vinca, sweet box and hellebores. The latter have performed really badly this year with many of the flowers being nibbled by something.