Sunday, 17 March 2013

Starting to plant potatoes and repotting the Parsnips

Happy weekend everyone :)

At the end of last week the final part of my bumper-order arrived which was my potato planters and some seed potatoes. Yesterday, therefore, I got all excited and decided to get them planted out.

These are the three shiny clean planters just out of the box. And yes that IS sun you can see in the picture. I know, it's been so LONG since we saw it!

Not so clean now, the instructions that I had read up to this point in time told me to fill the bag about one third full and plant some seed potatoes at that depth. So this is what I am doing...

... however after filling two of the three planters to that depth (just about) I recalled my hard-learned-lesson and thought "ooooh - I should be warming this up before planting". So this is one of the large bags of compost next to the radiator and I also brought the other two bags in after taking this picture.

I also read the rest of the instructions and discovered that they recommend that you Chit the Potatoes prior to planting into warmed soil anyway so this brought a resounding stop to my "let's plant some potatoes" plans for this weekend. I have, however, set them a-chitting...

Three egg boxes from the stack I have saved now finally coming in slightly useful.

The Maris Piper seed Potatoes set with the sprouting end upwards in the egg box which is clearly marked for future reference.

Five Rocket Potatoes set out for chitting.

And finally the Charlotte Potatoes wedged in.

These three egg boxes are now sat on a chair in the dining room next to the window as that room is cool and has plenty of light; my effort to take over the entire house with growing stuff is going well :)

So now I just leave these for a while; some websites are suggesting six weeks which just will NOT happen - I'm going to leave it until all of them have some good green showing, and then get them in the planters and outside...

To make up for the disappointment of not being able to plant my Potatoes, and also to make space on the boards next to the radiator, I have decided to take the sprouted Parsnips and put them into deeper soil. This is the first one to be moved.

All the Parsnip seedlings re-potted. I am a bit disappointed with my yield from the Parsnips and Carrots; I have probably only got about 65% seed success. I will not bother with the effort of singly planting these root crops again; next time I do it I will plant as I did last year, into grooves in the soil and using lots of seed up (but I will remember to bird-proof the seedlings too).

So, finally for this super long blog post, I have a couple of updates then I'll let you get on with your day...

First of all the second Birdseye Chilli has sprouted. This picture was taken on Saturday and when I checked this morning it was already about twice as big as this.

The shop bought Coriander is now fully back to life and looking strong and healthy. If you look to the right edge of this picture you will see stubs where leaves have been picked; this is providing us with tasty additions to curries regularly already.

Outside, the Broccoli appears to be putting on a growth spurt and the leaves are starting to take on a less "juvenile" shape. Here's hoping we can be eating this soon too.

By contrast the Onions have not really done much at all; this picture nicely shows the success I have had with each seed as you can clearly make out the V shape I planted the seeds in.

Lastly for outside the Lettuce is still pathetic and small... come on little seedlings, get big so I can eat you!

Finishing with a success story; the seed grown Coriander, which was looking so unhappy in the rubbish planting material the seeds came with, are now really strong looking and potentially I will be ready to give a couple of these away to deserving people. Shout now if you want any?

So, there you have it... I will keep a photo diary of the potatoes and may bore you yet with a day by day chitting progress report when I get round to planting them.

I'm hopeful for another guest blog post shortly too.

Keep growing.

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