Full steam ahead

It’s been almost 3 weeks since the Great Sunflower race began and the seeds are off to a cracking start. I was going to start measuring when the seeds got to about 10cm but they grew so fast I missed it! Ive been meaning to pot them up for a few days now, so before they were transplanted, Jacob and I measured each of the plants and noted their height as we went.

Sunflower jungle

Sunflower jungle

Roots ahoy

Roots ahoy

Now I’m not saying he cheated, but I think there might’ve been a little creative measuring as both of Jacobs sunflowers took first and second place. I think I’ll have to have an adjudicator next time!

While the potting compost was out I thought I’d keep up the momentum and pot up my tomatoes. I’ve selected the strongest of my tomato plants and transplanted them into their own individual pots. Ive been really lucky with the tomato seeds considering one variety was a gift (Tigerella) another was a free trial pack (Nimbus) and the last variety was free with a magazine (Gardeners Delight). Practically all of the seeds I planted germinated which has given me about 25 tomato plants.

Tonnes of tomatoes

Tonnes of tomatoes

I might’ve got a bit carried away planting them up because I’ve ran out of windowsill room, so I’ve had to move the tomatoes and cauliflowers to the greenhouse at the allotment.

Now this poses a new challenge; will the seedlings survive in their new home? I’m feeling pretty confident about the tomatoes adjusting to their new climate and surroundings but I’m worried about the cauliflowers, they’ve had a pretty traumatic time of it so far (Noodles had been at them again yesterday) so I’m hoping they make it through the night.

All cozy in their new home

All cozy in their new home

Yesterday we spent the day on an Easter egg trail at Alnwick Gardens. I love visiting here. There’s so much to see and do and so many flowers to smell. We usually visit a few times in the summer and over the autumn season, but yesterday was the first time we visited in the spring. It was lovely to see all the new shoots emerging and the spring flowers in bloom. It was also lovely to complete the trail and get a little treat as a reward, we love Lindt chocolate, although the bunny we got was a little smaller than the bunny we saw in the gardens!

Hellebores

Hellebores

In the ornamental garden

In the ornamental garden

Big bunny

Big bunny

Next week I’m hoping to give the plots all another digging over and get the peas sown. Ive decided to sow the peas directly into the ground where they are to grow so I’ll be stocking up on bamboo canes and working out how I’m going to structure their support. I’d love to hear how other vegetable growers protect their peas from birds and mice, and if covering the whole structure with netting works or not.

Im so excited for April. There’s lots more seeds to be sown and in a couple of weeks I’ll be able to plant out my potatoes (freeing up more windowsil space for more seeds) I can’t wait to get more seeds sown and planted out at the allotment, after months of waiting, it really feels like I’m making progress at last.

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3 thoughts on “Full steam ahead

  1. I usually grow some peas on indoors and transplant as well as putting seeds straight into soil. Theory being – longer harvest period. Have the same dilemma as you re netting. I usually net the peas from the beginning with a rather Heath Robinson contraption. However I have a problem with some kind of pest that infects the peas and ends up with little worm like things in the pods and eating peas.

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    • I like your longer harvesting plan, I’ll have to give that a go next year to get a bumper crop! I’ve planted the pea seeds today and left them uncovered for now, as soon as the seedlings appear I’ll pop some netting over to keep the birds off. In the mean time I’m leaving seed out for the birds at the opposite end of the site, hopefully that’ll work as a bribe to keep them off my peas and beans! (I know, it’s wishfull thinking, but we can try can’t we?!)

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      • We have lots of pigeons who seem to have a 6th sense when it comes to seedlings so I net asap. I’m not sure our pigeons would be tricked by the bird seed. Good luck with your plan. Let us know!

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