Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Spring is around the corner

Over the weekend we managed to fill a 3rd bed with rotted muck thanks to the horses.  That’s 3 large beds ready for top soil at the end Feb.
I am super excited to tell you about my hot bed.  It’s not an outdoor Victorian one, it’s an internal greenhouse one.  A hot bench I think is the correct terminology.  I knew there was something there last year but we didn’t know what it was and didn’t use it, we just used the space for something else.  This year however, I’ve found out how to use it and am in the middle of preparing it for seeds.  This is what it looks like now, I’ll share it with you again when it’s ready for use.
 It’s  amains powered thermostat that heats up wires in the sand and we think we’ve finally found where the mains power runs to, only it’s not attached to anything.  We’re going to get that sorted so I can get sowing in there.  It won’t be long now.
Having said that, I’ve started the sowing season already.  Too early some will say and I know and am prepared to take the risk.
I have got a couple of each of the following in: 
Heat loving germinating seeds:  Tomatoes (different types), aubergine, peppers (hot and sweet),
Cooler germinating seeds:  cauliflower, cabbage, PSB, leeks and red onions.

I was disappointed to find out that my new propagator wouldn’t fit in the airing cupboard!  This is where I planned for the heat loving ones to go, so I need to find them a new home.  When things are ready they will be moving into the part of the greenhouse heated by the paraffin heater.
My corn salad is up, it only took a few days to germinate however the first aubergines aren’t (they went in on 14th so I won’t give up yet).  It’ll be interesting to see how the salad copes.  It’s in
a propagator in the kitchen next to the window.
I’ve also decided not to get the polytunnel that I was going to get this year.  Instead, as a compromise, I’m getting a smaller, green one.  Now a lot of people don’t like these and say we’re throwing money away as they don’t last etc.  However for us, it’s the right decision.  If and when it breaks, the framework will be used elsewhere.  If it doesn’t break, great.  As long as it sees me through this year and some of next, I’m happy.
I’ll be putting the first early potatoes into bags and also a bed in the polytunnel and then outside when the weather allows.  They aren't chitting yet, a job for tonight maybe.  Again it’ll be interesting to see how it extends the season for us.
Spring is definitely on it's way.  Just temperamental February to get through yet.  I have still not managed to get my hands on to any Seville oranges, despite going to the shops much more than I care to!  What’s everyone else up to in January?

15 comments:

  1. Hey chic. Your raised beds look fab. Love the hot bench! Well done with the corn salad. None of my seeds areoup yet... If the small poly tunnel works for you then great. My spuds are chitting but no shoots yet. Look forward to putting these in toward the end of the month.x

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    1. Thank you - am really pleased with them. Spuds are on for tonight - I've moved them to the house, just need to go to the windowsill now lol x

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  2. We have a few seeds up thanks to our HotBox heated mat in the conservatory. Tomatoes and cauli. Good decision re the tunnel - to do it properly with cemented in struts, a good quality polythene and all the work involved is a big commitment and takes some thinking through.

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    1. I love that others are doing their seeds now too, seeing new life spring forth as they say - it's marvellous!
      We'd thought it through and had the plans ready but we need to prioritise the money this year (well every year) so it's being held for 12 month or so. Thanks :)

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  3. The heated bed will be great, the poly tunnel frame will have so many uses, my frames I use with netting spanned across the paths between beds for beans and peas to climb up, I also used them netted as runs for young poultry.

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    1. Exactly, so although it may not be as longer life as the expensive one, there's still a different kind of life that we'd use it for once it's done it's day job!

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  4. You are doing what is right for you and finding out what works for you, therefore what you are doing is right!!

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    1. Excellent point well made Amy, thank you

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  5. Everything looks fantastic! Best of luck to you and your seedlings. And your raised beds - I am so jealous! They're so pretty.

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    1. Thank you - we want to try and keep the place looking nice as well as practical

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  6. Tracy those beds look super. You are going to get a lot from them. That hot bed in the greenhouse is a real find. Re the Seville Oranges I do not know whether you have a Waitrose near you or not but they have Seville Oranges on their main site at £2.49 per kg. Alternatively if Tescos are having them in but you are missing out ask them to save how many you want so that when you go you are guaranteed in getting hold of some. Just a thought. I would hate for you to miss out. I am hoping this weekend is going to be a nice one. Oh is muttering about fishing again so I an hoping to get out to do some tidying and then get down to the tip to get rid of the rubbish. I am determined to have some crops this year but needs clearing first. Also need to get a patio down in front of the shed so that can put table and chairs out. I still have not mentioned the smoke shed but I have an idea about that. I am also after some fruit trees and a couple of grape vines. Would quite like some peach trees a quince sime crab apples and some eating and cookers but all would need to be in pots.Take care. Pattypan.

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    1. Thanks PP, I can't wait to see the beds productive! It'll be great in mid summer when all of the greens are out :) Tesco have the oranges on their main site too, which is what's so frustrating. My Mam's offered to go to her greengrocers bless her, so fingers crossed they have some there. Marmalade is one of the few things my mam can eat due to an illness, so I really want to make her some.
      Oh you will get your smoker I am sure :)
      They'd be fine in pots for a while you know - exciting

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  7. Sowing so early it'll be light you struggle with I guess as heat is easier to provide than natural daylight. Have you considered some of those coloured led thingys? x

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  8. It will be the light as you say - we can but try. I'm going to put tin foil on cardboard to help reflect some I think. If it doesn't work this year, next year we'll either wait, or look into the lights you mention x

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  9. I don't sow anything until the beginning of March when the conservatory doubles up as my greenhouse. I must do repeat sowings so I more.

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