I've mentioned at times my sowing and growing plans for this year so I thought I'd do a proper post mostly about the veg; you might want to get a brew and a biscuit when you sit down to this one! If I have a record of plans I normally get things straight in my head when they are down on 'paper '- I can also ask for any advice I might need as I go along! Obviously it's good to be flexible because if something doesn't work or I change my mind etc. that's ok.
I've learned a great deal since last April, from how much spacing you really need between things when you plant out, how to deal with growing in bags, watering routines, patience - lots of things. It will be great to look back on this and compare to the harvest we hopefully reap!
Now first of all this is the plan I have drawn up for the main veg patch, the five tyres, drainpipes(?), growing bags (not grow bags), the patch previously used for sweet corn, the shallow Belfast sink, containers and inside the Poly House (PH).
The first sowings I'll hopefully do in the next week or so. These will be started off in the conservatory as it is too cold in the PH just now. I hope to be sowing chillies, sweet ones, and we are not keen on really hot ones so will bear this in mind; I couldn't get the right seeds at the weekend but once ready they'll be moved into the PH to be grown in containers under one of the benches as I think there is room for their height without taking up floor space.
Spring onions are something I really want to improve on this year. Last year I managed a few but they were very weak looking. These will be started off in the conservatory, might work or may have to wait until February depending on how warm the sun gets. They will then be put outside in the shallow Belfast sink - should be able to get loads in there!
In February these are the jobs:
- cucumbers called Marketmore sowed, same procedure as before. Didn't do too bad last year but hope to do better this time with a different variety (can't remember what the last ones were called); they will go into the PH raised bed alongside the aubergines.
- the first round of tomato seeds will be sown, cherry ones, which will be Gardener's Delight which I acquired from not sure where plus a variety particularly for bottling called Capriccio F1 Hybrid ordered from Thompson & Morgan. I don't know much about the difference between Hybrids and others but it may be that they have been produced to be a little more resistant to disease, to guarantee size?
- 1st early spuds need to start chitting ready to be planted at the end of this month; I have on order Charlottes and Arran Pilot.
- piquant peppers, thanks to Dawn for the seeds, as well as some sweet peppers the seeds for which came with my GYO mag. These I plan to grow under one of the benches the same as the chillies unless they prove too big, must measure the height of the bench...
⦁ I could start some carrots but not sure if I will bother as failed badly with these last year; might give them a miss and try next year.
⦁ peas are new to me this year and on recommendation from Dawn, thanks again, I ordered Victorian Colossal Climbing Pea seeds from Victoriana Nursery Gardens. I will start these off as all before in 1 drainpipe I have in the conservatory but I think I have at least one more I can use. This is the advice on how to start off as they can be slid into position when ready to plant out. Not sure if I need to sow every couple of months or just go with the initial sow.
- I have on order Maris Piper seeds spuds and these need to be chitting this month.
- I am sowing two varieties of aubergines - Black Beauty and Long Purple; my plan gives room for 2 plants but I might just try and squeeze in 3 so I can get at least 1 of each type. I'm really am keen to grow these this year because I was too late last year; again they will be started in the conservatory before being moved to the PH and when ready they will be put into the raised bed. Can't wait to make my own ratatouille!
For March we have the following:
- I want to grow some climbing beans this year but haven't bought seeds yet. I am a bit funny about beans. I only like the thin French beans not the long runner beans. Ultimately they will be planted out in the back two tyres on tripods of course;I hope they will get some good sun there but will be sheltered, too, by the wall.
- lettuce will be sown in the fixed drainpipe in the PH and I plan to sow every couple of weeks. I have a mixed lot of seeds which include All The Year Round, Mizuna, Rocket, Cress (Land/American) this I may grow in a container of sorts just because it shows that on the front of the packet!, Lettuce Salad Bowl and Radichio. Some seeds were bought last year, some came with my GYO and some I acquired; hope to get a good variety this year.
- Maris Piper early maincrop spuds will go in at the beginning of the month.
- by now the cucumber should be ready to be put into the PH raised bed along with the aubergines so we will see what good bedfellows they make!
- onion sets can be sown this month, too, so shall look at getting some bought in good time, if space on the plot allows for them. (Last year I planted the onions in June and November; the June ones harvested in mid-October.)
- sugar snap peas did not too bad being supported between the sweetcorn last year; not quite sure where they would go this year if I do grow them, may have to get some large containers for them...
- not sure if I will have to start off more peas this month, any advice or should the ones I put in last month be enough.
- gherkins are something Jon loves so really want to have a bash at these this year.
Right, I think that it is for the sowing and growing plans, f course there are jobs to be done in and around the Poly House this month so I aim to:
- turn over the compost bin, the bottom section is looking really healthy
- tidy out the rest of the growing bags, containers etc
- make a spot in the fruit area for the blackcurrant and raspberry bushes that I currently have in pots
- put compost that I have in some containers in the Poly House in one receptacle
- give the Poly House one last clean up before we start the year in earnest!
It goes without saying that any advice, tips or "no!!!! don't do that's" will always be appreciated!
Bye for now.