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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 21 Entries.
Saturday, April 7 View Page
The new plot which has now had all the cow manure turned over into the soil. I'll get the rotovator on it later this week to churn in a load of vermiculite before putting up the polytunnel. Soil testing and amendments after that. The idea is to have two plants at each end to start off, before thinning to one. I'll also have a gravity fed 1000l feed tank and a 1000l water tank side by side set high up on pallets at the far end.
 
Saturday, April 14 View Page
These were filed and soaked overnight before being sown in Root Riot plugs at 27C a few days ago; several Paton 1949, 2269 Paton, 1527 Melka and 1745 Jutras although this one looked a bit worse for wear and I won't be surprised if it doesn't germinate.
 
Saturday, April 14 View Page
And here after 3 days is a Paton 1949, another one has germinated also as well as the 1527 Melka. Hopefully the rest will pop up in the next day or two. They will go into a 5l pot with Canna Seed compost with added Azos & Mycorr Giant Veg Mycorrhizae . Water is room temp & deionised, no tap water as it's high pH and chlorinated.
 
Saturday, April 14 View Page
This thing on our driveway is a 24x42ft polytunnel which we'll put up this week. Weather forecast is looking good, dry and not too windy so it should be up by next weekend. I'm hoping the increased temps and greater control over watering & ventilation etc will greatly improve things!
 
Tuesday, April 17 View Page
Today I rotavated the plot and the rest of the allotment too. It's been too wet until now, and even today the going was a bit slippery at times. The cow manure didn't help things either. I also added 500l of vermiculite to the main growing area.
 
Tuesday, April 17 View Page
The 1527 Melka was first to germinate and seems to be doing fine. The others are 2-3 days behind.
 
Thursday, April 19 View Page
A view inside the nursery. The propagator thermostat is set for 20C and there's a fan permanently on to get the air flowing. This will cool things down if it gets too hot under the growlights. Silver foil reflects light back into the chamber that would otherwise be wasted. The lights make a lot of difference to the light levels, without them there's 100x less lumens given their position on the west facing windowsill - we don't have south facing windows in our house :( Meanwhile at the allotment the foundations have been sunk into the ground for the new polytunnel, and tomorrow the outer frame will be assembled.
 
Friday, April 20 View Page
The polytunnel is starting to take shape! It should be completed next week if the weather holds.
 
Sunday, April 22 View Page
We've had hot sunny weather for a week, and thunderstorms overnight. The pumpkins are doing fine in their lighthouse with a fan giving some air, temps are min 20C and max 25C and we're watering with compost tea & seaweed.
 
Tuesday, April 24 View Page
Yesterday we repotted 7 plants into 5l pots using Canna Terra Pro compost augmented with 25% vermiculite and some Azos, Mykos, Giant Veg Mycorrhizal fungi, worm castings & compost tea. This year I will try and do a lot more with beneficial bacteria compared to last year. Water is pH 7.5, EC 1.0 and daytime temps are 20-25C. At night it goes down to 15C.
 
Saturday, April 28 View Page
It's been cool, cloudy and wet all week with no change forecast. The light meter shows me there's about 10x more light under the growlights than outside under the grey skies.
 
Saturday, April 28 View Page
Cosy inside at 20C under the lights. I may have to repot from 5l into 10l pots sometime this week as the polytunnel won't be done for a while yet, not until the weather clears up anyway.
 
Wednesday, May 2 View Page
The polytunnel still isn't finished and the plants are itching to get outside, but for the moment they will have to stay indoors under the lights. They seem healthy and happy enough and are growing well. I've upgraded some to 10l pots.
 
Thursday, May 3 View Page
Here is the soil analysis as of now. Everything but N is high, which is easily rectified through adding ammonium, but I am a bit surprised as there has been 6" layer of cow manure on the plot for the past 6 months which I thought would have added some N. The other levels are high too despite nothing having been grown on this plot for a couple of years. As there is nothing I can do to remove the excess we will just have to deal with it. Same with the pH, sulphur chips may work in time but they are very slow.
 
Saturday, May 5 View Page
As a special treat all 8 plants are allowed outside today for the first time. It's warm and sunny with just a hint of a breeze. They should be in the ground already but this is as close as they're gonna get for now. Fingers crossed this week.
 
Monday, May 7 View Page
Pick of the bunch so far is this Paton 1949 with the big leaves, just over 2 weeks since germination. The weather is hot and sunny so the plants are outside taking full advantage. They are all still in 10l pots and are now showing signs of wanting to lay down; they must go in the ground this week or they'll start getting a bit tricky to handle.
 
Friday, May 11 View Page
I'm thinking this is the start of a ribbon vine - normally just one leaf, one tendril and one vine should grow per node; but here we have two leaves from one node growing in opposite directions, and two small vines starting either side from the node too ie double vine. I had this problem last year and it meant the late removal of the plant, but it looks like I have caught it much earlier this year. Into the compost bin it goes. It's occurred on another plant too, but I've learned my lesson from last year and have several backups available.
 
Sunday, May 13 View Page
I wish I could have got this plant into the ground last week, as you can see it's almost potbound. All the same, it's good to see a good healthy root system. The polytunnel isn't finished yet but I just have to get these plants out of their pots before it's too late. Decent weather is forecast for this week, the builders will just have to be careful where they stand!
 
Sunday, May 13 View Page
The 1527 Melka has the prime spot on the right with a Paton 1949 on the left. The other two 1949s we had went ribbon so I am hoping this one won't do the same. The plastic sheets provide shelter from south and westerly winds. No bad weather or frost is forecast this week so the top can remain open. The polytunnel cover will be up this week with a bit of luck.
 
Sunday, May 13 View Page
Another view with the cloche in place. We're all set.
 
Thursday, May 17 View Page
A leaf with some mild interveinal chlorosis, in fact all the leaves are lighter in colour than the dark green that I'd like. It's probably down to our alkaline soil, cold nights or transplant shock because there's plenty of iron & Mg etc in the soil, unless the ratios are wrong for uptake. In terms of treatment I'll give a foliar spray, I can't do much else.
 

 

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