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Planting Early Potatoes

March-3rd Week

2. Plant Early Potatoes.- Begin planting early potatoes wherever possible. In the south and parts of the midlands doubtless some can be got in now. They should be well sprouted and have the number of sprouts reduced to two, unless you prefer a larger number of small potatoes. Unhealthy tubers should be destroyed. Do not plant any that are suffering from dry rot, as they merely decay in the soil. By planting now, new potatoes can be obtained really early.



With the soil being so warm and dry l decided to plant out some early potatoes under cover. Rain was forecast today but never arrived, however, tomorrow looks awful and l couldn’t waste this opportunity.

I started by adding a good load of leaf mould and a sprinkling of organic fertilizer into the soil.

I then covered the whole bed with black plastic and, through slots cut in the plastic, l planted Belle de Fontenay and Nicola varieties.

The whole bed was then covered with perforated clear plastic pegged and strung down. I have used this method many times in the past and it is fool proof! By May we will be digging up the first new spuds. I know Mr Middleton didn’t have access to these methods but he would probably have brought a few on under glass cloches. Same idea just different materials.

Does anyone have any other ideas for bringing on some early potatoes?

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2010 in March, The garden, Uncategorized

 

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So much to do.

March-2nd Week

1. Fork dry soil. Press on with forking soil when it is dry enough. This forking may not be possible until April.

2. Get ahead with Parsnips. Many sowings should be made out of doors as the soil is brought into a fine condition. Parsnips need a long season to become fully developed and, if not already sown, this should be done without delay. Sow in drills 15 or 18 in. apart, and put a pinch of seeds at intervals of 9 in. rather than sprinkle some all along the drill. As parsnips are slow in germination, it is good to make a thin sowing of radish or lettuce in the drill. These mark its position and permit hoeing to be done before the parsnips appear. They will also mature and can be used.

The weather has been beautiful here for the past few days and the soil has dried out and is perfect for working on. I feel the clock is ticking as the forecasters are saying we have rain coming in on Thursday so its action stations! I planted my shallots and onions after forking in some old leaf mould.

I have prepared a bed ready to sow parsnips. Mr Middleton advises to sow a quick crop of radish with the seeds but l have never done this, not with the parsnip seeds. I always think there would be too much root disturbance when it came to pulling the radish out so l just sow seeds in batches and thin them out when large enough. Okay, l’ll try it with one row and see how l get on!

I couldn’t resist having a quick look at the rhubarb l covered up the other week and was amazed at how quickly it had come on. I covered it back up as it looked so snug in its bed of straw and we are having some frosts here first thing in the morning so best not to be too hasty yet.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2010 in March, The garden

 

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March..ing On!

March- 1st Week. Mr Middleton says: Soil is the basis of life. Take care of it.

1. Clear land. Land still occupied by crops should be gradually cleared as they are used. To accelerate the clearing, leeks and celery can be lifted and heeled in together, either in a frame or sheltered corner.


I used the last of my leeks this weekend to make a Chicken and Leek casserole which is not good planning on my part as we  are now ‘leekless’ for some time to come. This year l am planting four different varieties to cover the whole season. The old leek bed is now cleared and l will add some leaf mould to it ready for planting up my squash later in the year.

3. Prepare trenches for Peas and Beans. It is a good idea to take out the trenches for tall peas and runner beans, to throw the soil at the side and leave for some weeks to weather. The trench should be 18-in. deep if manure is available to put in the bottom, 10-12 in. if none is available.

I have dug out my trench and filled it with old chicken bedding that has been rotting down in a corner. This should be great for the beans which are very hungry feeders and it will also retain moisture as they like to have their roots in a moist soil. I will also be growing some of my sweet peas in this trench contrary to all the advice that was given as really there was no room given over to flowers. It was good old veggies and nothing else!  I just hope l can keep my hens away from scratching it all out in search for grubs.

In the greenhouse l have sowed some peas, Kelvedon Marvel, in pots ready to plant out once they have become established. We are having some beautiful sunny weather at the moment but with it is a very strong E to NE wind which is bitterly cold. Winter hasn’t released its grip on us yet. What are you doing in your gardens right now?

Bean bed

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2010 in March, The garden

 

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