March 2015

28th March

green manure covered I spent just a couple of hours at the allotment this morning, it was a little chilly and rather windy. I started by collecting about 9 bags of horse manure and added it to my large compost/manure bin. I then sowed lettuce directing in the greenhouse, and cauliflower into the Brassica seed bed with the other seeds that have already been sown. I then pulled all the green manure that was growing on my S.F.G. beds and laying it on top of the bed to rot down. I then covered these beds with membrane to help with the rotting process. ( this is illustrated by the image on left). Finally I picked some Rhubarb and lettuce before returning home for lunch.

25th March

Seed bed covered with fleece Another morning at the allotment, after a great few days away in our caravan where we visited  Cambridgeshire for a restful few days. I started by picking a large amount of Broccoli, some nice red rhubarb sticks and a few lettuce. My next task was to break down the sods that I had left from my last visit.( see image from 16th March). The main job for today was to sow a selection of seeds in the seed bed that was setup almost two weeks ago. Seeds that where sown included:

  1. Brussels Sprouts two varieties (Montgomery F1) (Hastings F1)
  2. Calabraise ( Marathon )
  3. Summer Cabbage (Duncan)
  4. Pak Choi ( Joi Choi F1)
  5. Leeks (Musselburgh)
  6. Marigolds

The Brassaca seeds were spaced on toilet roll paper and set in place with a little flour and water paste, which I did at home. I then placed on damp soil. These were then covered with compost. The rest of the seeds were sown conventionally, directly into the seed bed. They were all then covered with environ-mesh to keep the frost off and stop any pests ( image right).

16th March

Green Manure turned over on bed 3

Another good morning at the allotment I was hoping to remove compost from my compost bins, and remove non-composted materials to the large bin on my newer plot, but unfortunately there was very little ready composted material so I will have to leave the bins for another season, and hopefully they will then be ready to use.

I turned over some green manure on bed three. I ran out of time so I will break the soil down later on my next visit. See image on the left.

10th March

Seed bed set up for sowing brassicas at the end of the month

A great morning at the allotment, it was fairly warm with plenty of sunshine. I spent most of my time planting my onion sets in "Bed 12" approximately 160 of Red and 160 of white onions.

I then turned over part of my "Bed 2" which I then made into a seed bed ready to sow my Brassicas, leeks and French marigolds later this month and in April. ( as illustrated by the image on the right).

Finally I picked some lettuce and Broccoli and went home for lunch.

4th March

Path completed behind shed

I had a bright and early start at the allotment this morning. My first job was to sort out the door mechanism on the green house, unfortunately I still cannot figure it out ?? so I had  to do something else. I then decided to plant my shallots  (24 bulbs). and after planting them, I spent the rest of the morning carpeting and laying membrane to make two paths one behind the shed and to the side of the greenhouse and the other one between the beds in front of the shed. See image on left.

2nd March

Potatoes growing in bags with in the greenhouse for an early start

A bright but very cold and windy morning so I made my visit to the allotment a shorter one this morning. I added compost to some pots ready to pot-up my tomato seedlings that are at the main leaf stage at home on the windowsill. I will pot them up at home this afternoon.

I then planted up some early potatoes in bags, to start growing in the greenhouse, to get an early crop of new potatoes. Last year I put five potatoes in a bag as recommended my Marshals and got 6lb of potatoes per bag. Several growers I have seen put one or two potatoes in a container and seem to get good results, so this year I will try two potatoes per bag and see how I get on. The image on the right shows the potatoes in their bags.

Finally I took a video of my allotment covering the month of February, which has now been up loaded to You Tube and also can be found in the video section.

March

What needs doing this month

Fruit:

  • Complete planning of new fruit areas
  • Complete planting as soon as soil conditions permit
  • Firm trees and bushes lifted by frost
  • Complete pruning of trees and bushes
  • Feed established trees
  • Spray apples, cherries, peaches, nectarines, pears, plums and damsons.
  • Train new shoots of blackberries and loganberries on to wires.
  • Protect flowers on wall-trained peaches and nectarines and pollinate artificially if insects are scarce
  • Plant raspberries and strawberries

Vegetables:

  • Sow seeds for main crop Brussels Sprouts
  • Sow seeds of late summer cabbages
  • Sow leeks
  • Sow summer spinach
  • Sow parsnips if ground is not too wet
  • Sow main crop leeks, peas and carrots.
  • Sow salad onions and radishes
  • Plant early potatoes in the middle of the month
  • Feed winter lettuce with a general fertiliser to boost growth.
  • Place main crop potatoes in trays to 'chit'.
  • Plant out young lettuce under cloches.
  • If soil has dried enough to work, prepare seedbeds by raking to a fine tilth.
  • Sow Parsnips, Onions and Broad beans.
  • Plant Horseradish and Jerusalem Artichokes
  • Sow lettuce under cloches.
  • Boost the growth of spring cabbage by top dressing with a high nitrogen fertiliser such as nitro chalk.
  • Plant more early potatoes to give a succession of crop.
  • Start Mint (preferably in a container such as a bucket to restrict root spread)
  • Plant main crop Peas.
  • Sow a catch crop of Lettuce, radish or spinach in-between the rows of peas.
  • Sow turnips in rich ground.
  • If Rhubarb has been forced, remove covers to prevent the plants becoming too weak.
  • Sow Onion sets.
  • Plant out new crowns of asparagus.
  • Plant out strawberry plants.
  • Plant more early potatoes to give a succession of crop.
  • Plant early potatoes.
  • Prepare celery trenches and work in plenty of well-rotted manure.
  • Broad beans and Peas started off in pots can now be hardened off ready for transplanting.
  • Plant out onion sets.
  • Sow spinach.
  • Plant out Jerusalem Artichokes.
  • Lime any sites to be used for brassicas if this was not done in the autumn.

Greenhouse:

  • Make successional sowing of salad vegetables
  • Sow herbs, summer cabbage, cauliflowers and winter celery
  • Sow melons, cucumbers, sweet peppers and aubergines
  • Sow tomatoes for unheated greenhouse and outside
  • Sow basil

Herbs:

  • Prepare seed bed as soon as soil is warm
  • Sow small amounts of chives, chervil, dill, marjoram, parsley and sorrel.
  • Layer shoots of pot marjoram and divide fennel roots
  • Split old clumps of sorrel

General:

  • Keep an eye out for slugs on early sowing in cloches.
  • Pre-warm the soil by covering with cloches or black polythene.
  • Have you cleaned your shed yet?
  • Is your equipment working ready for the spring?
  • is it time to give your grass paths a cut