Monday 20 March 2017

Start of Sowing

Start of the sowing season:

At the weekend I planted 73 Broad bean seeds in pots (4 or 5 to a pot) in the greenhouse. I usually try to save some from the previous year's harvest, but for some reason (possibly such wet conditions) the pods went rotten rather than nicely dry as the Runner Beans did. So this year I had to buy new beans. Previous variety was Masterpiece Green Longpod which are prolific and tasty, but couldn't get those so bought Imperial Green Longpod. We'll see how they are.

The first few years here I planted the beans straight in the ground and they did fine. Broad beans are faily hardy so it doesn't matter if there is a late frost. But then we had a couple of years with beans rotting or being eaten. So back to planting in pots so at least they will get a good start before going out.

Yesterday I planted 40 Beetroot seeds (Boltardy) in modules in the greenhouse. Beetroots are OK to plant straight in the soil, but then you have to thin them out. Starting them off in modules means they can be spaced out nicely from the start.

I have a couple of tubs of Sante potatoes (saved from last year) in the big conservatory. I planted 4 tubers in each of 2 large pots about 5 weeks ago and the shoots are just poking up now. They should provide a couple of meals before the ones in the garden are ready. I've tried a couple of times planting in pots before Christmas, but they never seem to come up until March anyway and in the greenhouse they tend to completely disappear from the pots (eaten by mice?).
The last few years have not been good for potatoes so I've restricted the planting to 2 varieties which usually do OK here - Sante (white) and Desiree (red).  I have them chitting in the conservatory. There's about 20 Santes saved from last year in a cardboard box which are nearly ready for planting. But I have to get the beds prepared first. Lots more compost in them and some nutrients. I normally throw a few chicken manure pellets around and this year I have some Seaweed Extract from the Organic Seed Company where I bought this year's spuds and seeds.  Maybe some interesting perfumes!

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