It’s going to be a busy weekend – again!

Friday, 13 April 2007

I know I’ve said never be too hasty with getting this started at this time of year but…

With the ground warm and everything growing like the clappers I will risk a few things.

Firstly. I have lovely strong seedlings of Hispi cabbage and summer cauliflower to plant out on beds I prepared last weekend. The Hispi will be planted in a block of 12 plants 12″ apart. I’ll plant just 8 cauliflowers in two rows 18″ apart with the plants 2 feet apart.

The rocket I sowed last weekend is already up and I have started harvesting French Breakfast radishes. Yum yum. The main sowing task this weekend however will be French beans. I sowed some Maxiglot peas under a cloche before I went on holiday. The seed was old and the germination has been crap, so I will sow in place of those peas some of my home saved Empress of Prussia dwarf beans which are fab. I’ve plenty of seed so if you want some send me an sae and I’ll let you have enough to both eat and save seed yourself for next year. this really is a magnificent bean, long stringless and delicious. It freezes well too. But being off-list you cannot buy it.

I will also be sowing climbing French Beans, (Borlotto and Top o’ the Pole) sowing two seeds at 9″ intervals in two 15 feet long double row 18″ apart. They are going into ground Jesse prepared while I was away and will be covered in a cloche until they are well up and I can then put in the ean sticks to support them in about a month or so. This will yield me enough bean seed for drying and freezing to keep me going until July next year. I will also be sowing a short row of Runner Beans called Stenner which are again off-list. A delicious very long and late cropping variety. (no spare seed of this one this year I’m afraid). But I’ll plant just just two 3 foot rows across the bed as that will give me more than enough beans for the summer and a few to freeze too.

The early sown parsnip and carrots are all up and doing well so i will take their cloche off now. However, because I have problems with carrot root fly I’ll erect a 2-foot high curtain of fleece around the rows of carrots to protect them.

The winter Density lettuce are nearly ready to crop. I will remove half the bottle cloches I have over them to extend their cropping period. It’s a good idea if using individual cloches on plants like lettuce and courgettes to leave some on longer than others to vary the rate of maturing.

And then there is the old greenhouse to re-erect on the allotment. New base made of old breeze-blocks. A lot of heaving and I can move some tomato plants in their next weekend perhaps.

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