Posted by: sweetpea | March 26, 2007

Potatoes are in.

Although I wouldn’t say I’m the most organised person in the world, I do like to plan ahead, especially when there is so much to do.  So taking into account the lunar cycle and trying to avoid looking at the weather forecast, I decided that I would spend Saturday down at the lottie because it was a root day (I wanted to get my tatties in), and then spend Sunday at home sowing seeds, etc.  I made this decision a little reluctantly because the weather forecast for Saturday was dry but cloudy, whereas Sunday was sunny.  On this occasion the weather people managed to get it right, so I spent a cold and rather miserable day down on the plot and then ended up doing some more pruning at home just to enjoy some of the sunshine.


I spotted this blue and pink worm whilst weeding, photo doesn’t really do it justice, it really was an amazingly colourful chap.

So on Saturday I weeded the two beds I’d allocated to this years potato crop, one needed slightly more attention than the other, and of course because I often don’t have the foresite to realise that dumping a load of horse manure right in the middle of a bed might cause problems later on, I spent some time shifting it to a more suitable location next to the compost heaps.  I hadn’t realised until recently that the manure we get delivered on site, although partly rotted down, isn’t really suitable for incorporating straight into the soil (not that it seems to have done my garlic any harm), so I am now going to gather a pile of it gradually and let it rot down properly ready for use next year. 


In the meantime I decided to see how my compost was doing.  I was a little apprehensive removing the slats from the front of the box as I know a rat has been living in there.  I’m not scared of them, but I still didn’t really fancy having it jump out at me.  Not surprisingly the first thing I saw was a rather big burrow, I think I have a giant rat!  But luckily he wasn’t at home, and although there are some twiggy bits that haven’t broken down enough, there was a lot of really good compost in there, so I used it to put in the bottom of my potato trenches.  Now I know my book says to space seed potatoes 12inches apart for earlies and 16iches for maincrop, but somehow I always seem to ‘forget’ that info when I’m spacing them.  I tend to go more for ‘how many of my seed potatoes can I use before they start getting too close together’. I’ve just had a look at my tape measure and luckily I think by eye I seem to have managed to space them at least 12inches appart (that being the distance below which I determined they’d be too close together). Just in case I haven’t previously mentioned, I’m growing Marfona (Second early) and Lady Balfour (Early Maincrop) this year, and I also have to find room for the 1 each of Charlotte, Wilja, Duke of York, and Maris Bard that I’m getting from Maria to try…….. and I almost forgot, I also have a tuber called ‘Oca’ to try, which I ordered from the ‘Real seed company’, apparently they are like lemony potatoes, need to get them in the ground on the next root day as they’ve started sprouting already.  No sign of the Jerusalem artichokes I planted yet though, must still be too cold for them as I couldn’t possibly have killed them!

After planting the potatoes, I decided to move 3 of the raspberry canes to where the 3 failed canes were, this frees up a little more space for the strawberries, although I’m now thinking of planting some Gladioli bulbs there as I can’t think of anywhere else to put them at the moment and they need planting! Finally, I made a start on clearing the flower bed to make way for my soft/cane/bush fruit bed.  I know I should have done this earlier, but I haven’t had the time, and I’m sure they will be ok.  It’s going to take me a few days I think as there’s a lot of couch grass in there, and I want to save the herbaceous perennials, but I’m thinking of taking next week off work, so that should give me sufficient time to sort it I think.


At home on the Sunday after doing some more pruning but not really making much headway with the tangled mass of climbers, I popped over to Kim’s to give her the garedn plans.  She seemed please with them, and it sounds like they might at least try and use some of it, so fingers crossed as I’d love to see it become a reality even if just part of it.  It was nice to see the garden in spring with all the bulbs coming up, it had looked so miserable in winter when I was measuring it, but now it looks vwey spring like.  They have a fantastic wildlife pond full of tadpoles, watersnails etc, I now feel inspired to clean out the ‘dead’ one at the house, yet another project to add to the list!  Back home again, I spent an hour sowing flower seeds being as it was a flower day, Sunflowers, Delphiniums, Dahlias, Stocks, Gaillardia, and Agapanthus, I do hope they all germinate as I love seeing flowers on the lottie, and this year I’m hoping to be able to pick some of them for my room.


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