At last some decent weather (not snowing) allowed me to get my spuds in. Maris Piper main crop in three rows. So, for speed, I roughly divided my seed potatoes into 3 and started planting one row at a time as I was running out of space for the soil. In went the first row of 9, back-filling the trench as I went. Roughly divided the remaining potatoes into two and repeat . . . but this time only 8. Final trench had 7. Something went wrong somewhere. Would have been better with 3 rows of eight?
I started some broad bean seeds undercover and frankly wasn’t expecting much, and wasn’t that bothered either as I find the only thing they are good for is attracting all the blackfly from surrounding plots. Anyway, up they come, so they have had to go in. Should be hardy enough (I’m told).
I also planted some runner bean seeds (undercover) a couple of weeks ago. Maybe 3. Top tip from plot24 (today) is that seeds should probably be planted (undercover) from next week or the week after. So, basically, I am nurturing compost. The 2 trays on the right are cabbage, so I’m doing something right.
After all that hard work, the preparation is complete; seedlings are shooting; plots are ready; days are longer; and the weather is warmer . . . all systems are GO
March may well be the transition month from Winter to Spring, but to be sure, there are bound to be some frosts to come. I lost all my Runner Beans last year because I was too eager, and two days too early planting them out – and that was the end of May, so April will undoubtedly have a few tricks up its sleeve.
Lots of jobs for April, but my top job would be to plant all seed potatoes before the end of the month. Be sure to cover (earth up) any shoots that appear, else Jack Frost will have them. Onion sets too, should be planted this month.
The start of the growing season means lots of work for plot holders preparing beds and I have to say (perhaps it’s just me) that I feel there is something deeply satisfying about seeing freshly prepared beds . . . . before all those pesky weeds make an appearance. Some photos taken today . . .
Well. As my seed potatoes are still chitting (but oh so slowly) I was in a quandary. The instructions said, “earlies to be planted mid-to-late March”. And today is in fact as close to “mid-to-late March” as you can get. And it was a nice day, so in they went. Three rows of seven seed potatoes. You don’t get many in a bag, do you? My onion sets had also been delivered so they went in too (had a good crop last year – still eating them).
Update on Tamworth Allotment Shop: They are currently open Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings from 9-12am. Annual fees are £5 but it’s well worth it as they have lots and lots of very competitively priced stock. Well worth a look. You can find them off the Lichfield Rd, Tamworth.