Sunday, March 15, 2009

Planting continues............

Rising at 8-30am

Another sunny but cool weekend here in Oklahomegrownvegland. Very pleasant working conditions for the Happy Gardener.

I've decided that the four largest Kohlrabi plants can go outside now. These plants prefer cooler temperatures so the sooner I can get them in the ground and established, the better. They will be going into Plot 4, the smallest of the 6 plots I have. I clear off the Cyprus Mulch, fork the soil over and rake it flat.
As I mentioned earlier, I've read that these veggies don't really like transplanting so.........
...I carefully cut off the bottom of the peat pots and place the whole lot into the ground. As you can see from the picture above there's a lot of root growth. Cutting off the bottom of the pot allows the roots to spread easier. They transplanted well last year so I'm confident.
I then plant them fairly centrally in the plot. This is because these plants grow some pretty big leaves and, should temperatures drop dramatically and I need to put the floating row cover over them, they will have plenty of headroom. Then, just for the sake of it, I stick in a few Red Onion sets around the outer edges of the plot. Last of all I add a liberal sprinkling of Iron Phosphate.
Next, my attention turns to Plot 5. I'm only going to work on one half of it for the moment as both Bright Lights Swiss Chard plants from last year seem to have survived the winter
and are growing back. Swiss Chard is a good substitute for Spinach and it's quite a bit more heat resistant too. A handy quality for a plant to have in this neck of the woods. At the other end of the scale, if you cut the plant right back at the end of Fall and give it a good covering of mulch it will grow back again the next Spring!
Here again I clear the mulch then fork and rake the soil flat. I then dig out two trenches approximatley 3 inches deep, into which I place my second batch of seed potatoes of the year. These are the Red variety (Lowes finest). The soil is then raked back over. I dont water them as there is a chance of storms in the area so the job may get done for me. If not, I'll give the plot a moderate drink in a few days time. Again, Iron Phosphate is added.
Around the front of the house last years Chrysanthymum is ready for a haircut.
We left it like this throughout the winter because the old growth helps to protect the lower part of the plant from the snow and severe frosts that can hit...... can be seen here from a couple of years ago.
The cropping is done and reveals.......... 3rd generation of growth forming at the base
Indoors now to repot the two largest of the Catnip plants.

Again, these plants are left in their small peat pots. The bottoms are carefully removed and the whole lot transferred into these larger pots. The new containers are then filled around the edges with a mixture made up of equal parts of soiless potting medium, garden soil and my home made compost which I then mix together and slightly dampened. They are given a place on the windowsill in my office, allowing them plenty of sunshine throughout the day. The newly formed plant tops are nipped off to encourage bushy growth and they are treated to a drop of half strength Fish Emulsion.
The last task of today is to start off my first batch of tomato seeds.

As you can see, I've set them off in a couple of old egg cartons filled with soiless potting medium which I dampen slightly. Remember, this medium doesn't want to be too wet to start with.
Into each compartment I put 2 seeds. The two varieties I'm starting with this week, both from my own seedstock from last year are:
Old Virginia and Giant Beefsteak.
The bottom of the tray is covered with a few layers of kitchen roll onto which I pour a little water, just enough to dampen the base of the containers. The tray is them placed on the top of the refrigerator.
Enough work for today. Time to help make................

Chicken with Garlic, Rosemary and White Wine. The garlic is left whole, simply "topped and tailed", and with the skin intact to give it a sweeter taste. Serve with good quality Basmati rice
Meanwhile, certain other members of the family prefer to eat..............

....far plainer fare.