Gardening Magazine

Planting out

By Notcuttsuk @notcuttsuk

Planting outWith warmer nights at last after one of the coldest springs on record, my allotment is coming to life and we are already eating radish and salad leaves. The first of the broad beans and peas are eagerly awaited along with early potatoes which are starting to grow away after a late frost that turned leaves a bit yellow. Thankfully, there was no lasting damage and I should see signs of flowers very soon!

I have been busy with follow on sowings of peas, broad beans, spring onions, carrots and beetroot and now that the temperatures have risen, many of the follow on sowings have caught up with the first ones so I will have a glut later in the summer. That will keep us busy filling the freezer, thinking of ways to use the excess and giving some away to friends!

Parsnips have germinated well and will need to be thinned soon. I like to sow mine in early May and they make good roots by the autumn ready for use through the winter months. I have also sown a row of Swede which is germinating well, so another late autumn and winter vegetable – I am determined to produce more for winter use this season!

The potatoes have been earthed up for the final time and the earlies should be ready by the middle of July. The few second early seed potatoes that I had left over were put into a large pot as an experiment, filled with homemade compost. They are doing well but I have to remember to water them as they dry out quite fast! My container sowings of peas and broad beans are also doing well but the later sowings in the ground have caught up with them! The radish that I grew in a container did not do well, making lots of leaf but not much root. I think I should have thinned the seedlings to give the plants more room.

The courgettes were planted out last week. I dug holes to a spades depth and forked over the soil in the base of the holes, which were then filled with rotted garden compost. The soil was replaced on top to make a mound and the courgettes were planted and watered in well. I am careful to put organic slug pellets around these and renew them after rain and as they disappear.

My runner beans ‘Polestar’ have germinated well and made strong plants that have been hardened off on the patio. I have planted them out today on a trench filled with rotted garden compost and a dressing of pelleted chicken manure. The compost layer was watered very thoroughly to keep as much moisture in as possible and the soil taken out from the trench replaced over the top. The beans are planted in a row, two to a cane and will soon find the compost layer and begin to grow away! I have used organic pellets to keep slugs and snails at bay, but will keep an anxious eye on the plants until they are well established. Like many vegetables, Runner beans need plenty of water and until we get a few showers of rain, watering is my main concern, along with hoeing and hand weeding the rows!

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