20140207

February 7th 2014

Potatoes

Our seed potatoes have arrived: salad potato Charlotte and maincrop Lady Balfour. Both have been selected for their great taste and reliable performance on the plot.
Traditionally, potatoes are planted on Good Friday (which is very late this year); in practice it’s sensible to plant them out any time from the end of March. But first they need some help!

They should be chitted, which means encouraging them to create nice sturdy little growing points. This will speed up the growing process when they are planted out. All you have to do is to decide which sort of potato you want to grow (you can have some of each if you like) and how many (allow 30cm between individual potatoes and 60cm between rows), then pop them into an eggbox to start the sprouting process. chitting
Chitted spuds
Look at your potatoes for little ‘eyes’, which are the starting point for the growing points, then place your potatoes with an eye upwards. If you’ve got room to do this at home on a cool window sill, that’s ideal – but if not, don’t worry. We can look after them for you in the shed – just make sure you label them with your name.
If you don’t have time to do your own chitting, we’ll make sure we have plenty of spare potatoes ready to plant out. Do remember: never grow potatoes that aren’t certified ‘seed potatoes’, as ours are. If you plant out potatoes that you’ve saved from last year, or use cooking potatoes, you are inviting disease.
Do check out our demonstration plot opposite the greenhouse, where we’ve sown onions, garlic, broad beans and peas.
Peter A is experimenting with peas under a cloche there too.
cloche

Harvest…

Vegetables: Celery, celeriac, brussels sprouts, kohl-rabi; roots –beetroot, parsnip, swede, green leaves –oriental salad leaves. Pak choi; leeks, kale, winter cabbages and sprouting broccoli; winter herbs: rosemary, sage and thyme.
Seeds: Wait till mid-February (or later if it’s cold) to plant broad beans if you haven’t already sown them. We’ll have red onion sets soon too. Later this month we’ll be offering beetroot, parsnip and radish seeds.

Time to prune and plant soft fruit

Don’t forget this Sunday is our training day and we’ll be pruning gooseberry bushes and other soft fruit. This will be a practical session so if you have any favourite secateurs that you would like to bring, please do. We will also be offering a few raspberry canes and some currant and gooseberry plants on a first come, first served basis. secateurs-animated
pruning-sketch
Included in the session will be a short introduction to some of the really useful resources on the website.  You may not be aware that it includes all the growing guides by plant and by plot, plus recipes and other goodies.  Take a look now at www.grow-our-own.co.uk. Go to the members area where the password is ‘garlic’.
Click here to see the “Grower’s Guide”grow-info-thumbnail
Training is from 11.00 to 12.00 at our big green shed.

GO2 growers who also have Council allotments on Bluebell South

Several GO2 growers now also have Council allotments and they have asked about using GO2 tools. The answer is that, provided the Council plot is on Bluebell South, growers who want to use GO2 tools and take seeds and plants must pay the £16 fee that other grow-at-home growers pay.

So, if you have recently taken a Council plot on Bluebell South and still retain your GO2 plot, plus use GO2 tools and seeds and plants, please arrange to pay £16 by your usual payment method. If you give up your GO2 plot and want to use tools, seeds and plants on a Council plot, then that is also £16. Please note that tools may not be taken to the Bluebell North site. tool-rack in shed

Thanks!
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