The 2011 weather and horticulture thread. incorporating "grow your own"
Potatoes in the ground....check
Moved twenty wheelbarrows of mud (read dust cause its so dry) and levelled out the path....check
Built a log store/lean to store....check
brought a pot for the christmas tree and a pot for the herbs.....check
levelled of the ground and putting paving slabs down for the tool area....check
brought wood for raised beds......check
built raised beds......err
built logs for border edge of flower bed, replanted the spring bulbs, weeded.......check
planted broad bean seeds.....check
weeded the fruit beds.....check
tidied the green house.....check
Still a few things to do this week, but the upside of not planting things because of the drought is the allotment actually looks tidy for once!
Also a few flowers on some of the chillis which are growing more now than when it was much warmer - as indeed are the potatoes both earlies and maincrop which are going a bit berserk with their growth rate. Will be picking the radishes tomorrow but the spring onions are still some way off being ready.
As for the rest of the allotment, nnothing is growing so far, no sign of potatotes or beans, but they only went in a week or so ago. Put some salad leaves seeds in today. Heres hoping it will rain this weekend.
Had few of my radishes with lunch and very good they were too, quite strong and peppery :)
I'm really surprised how fast the potatoes are growing, they seem to have really surged now that it is a bit cooler as the very warm and sunny weather perhaps dried out the containers too much. Here are pics of the International Kidneys progress (Pink Fir Apples much the same):
19th April, three weeks after planting and the first shoots have appeared
26th April and quite a bit more growth
This morning, and they are up to 12 - 15 inches high and starting to need support as they wave around in the wind
Put the nectarine outside last Autumn and the lemon back in March, they had previously lived in the conservatory.Both thriving, the nectarine lived happily through the winter snow and now has 5 fruit and the lemon is a mass of flower.
Potatoes still growing insanely fast with the haulms up to about 2 foot high now - they all secured against any wind damage but just too large to cover completely against frost so fingers crossed. Last of the radishes are ready for picking and the spring onions are not too far away from being ready. Ground soil is bone dry now, down to several inches.
Meanwhile the chillis are growing steadily in the conservatory, the Hungarian Hot Wax and Numex Twighlight have pods growing already and the Chocolate Habanero and Fatalii have little flower stalks though a long way from blooming.
Interesting about the blackbirds. I have one female who will come right up to me when I am digging, almost to the point where I can pick her up.
Planted toms in their final tubs today. They are in tubs, so can be moved to where it is sunny, or if need be, in shelter from the wind.
Cucumbers and courgettes in their spaces now. They have been in posts for a while, but have shown very little urgency to grow. Indeed, some have died with rotting stems and crinkly dry leaves. Not sure what the problem is here.
As for rain gauges. Don't buy one to tempt it to rain. I bought my first one in May 1975. IIRC, the next fifteen months were dry, and during the summer especially, hot.
its been awhile since i grew potatoes, so this year I thought i would do them in proper potato bags that i got last year and didnt use, so I got some salad potatoes let them go to seed, and popped them into the compost potato bags, so in 90 days im hoping for some good spuds.
Ive started off with some Garlic in seed trays, then when the green shoots appear, will transfer them to a pot
Ive put some poppy seeds in, Lavender ( for mum) but will have to transfer them to the Urn as ( the dam dog eats all the shoots).
Ive got some Peppers to plant up, but have had to baracade the small green house up as its gusting 32mph here
So there I was thinking I may even run out of time to get it all done, but not only did I get the bins constructed, but I watered, and heaped up the potatoes and had a quick tidy round. the greenhouse has suffered a bit in this recent wind, the window has popped out so will need re-fitting, and the wind has taken a toll on most of the fruit plants which all look a little wilted. Strawberries are small and not as sweet as normal. That could just be the plants getting to the end of thier useful life and I am going to propagate them on and move them to a better position.
By the time I finished pottering around it was Nine thirty, still light enough to gather up me stuff and wander back to the car in the last of the light. Its so nice having these long evenings and with the winds dying down it wasn't too uncomfortable in a T-shirt.
Potatoes now have flowers so the International Kidney growing for earlies should be ready by the end of the month or thereabouts. Despite the weekend rain and cooler less sunny spell they are taking a lot of watering to keep the containers from drying out. Found one potato capsid bug on them but only some minor leaf damage. The weekend rain certainly did activate the slugs and snails though and they were trying to climb in early on Monday.
First batch of spring onions are almost ready now, the numex twilight chilli plant has plenty of small green or purple pods growing, the Hungarian hot wax has three big 'uns and the extreme heat chocolate habanero and fatalli both have a few flowers though no pods developing yet. Doesn't take much midsummer sun for the lean-to to get heated up to 32 °C or so even when it's cool outside.
The soil has dried out so quickly since the weekend rain, the few light showers since Monday have been near useless. Grass is looking yellowy brown in patches but naturally a swathe of horsetails that grow by a fence every year are thriving [me?]
I am a bit concerned as to whether I have watered them enough through the driest spells of spring to produce tubers of any use. Tried to root around in the soil first to check but the problem is there is a mass of fibrous roots where I earthed up earlier and the container makes it difficult to dig down and leave undisturbed enough to recover and leave for a couple of weeks more - so all or nothing then. Fingers crossed anyway...
Won't solve the world hunger problem but I'm quite pleased with these, should give a few servings. Even though I have been watering like crazy for weeks it's surprising how little a gallon a day seems to have penetrated down into the container, the compost was really rather dry down at "tuber level".