Stourport 2010

Stourport 2010
Winning vase 5x 'Sarah Louise'

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Update: Leeks and West Mids D.A

Things are growing well at the moment. At present, I have some pendle improved blanch leeks and cumbrian pot leeks under the lights. Alongside them are some 'Toughball' onions destined for the 8oz classes. The leeks have got there first lot of support clips on to ensure they remain as straight as I can get them. They are getting no supplementary feed at the moment just a seaweed tonic and calcium nitrate every fortnight at the rate of a teaspoon to the gallon. The seaweed is just a general 'pick-me-up' whereas the calcium nitrate helps to prevent white tip on the leeks and onions.

We had a talk given by Mark Hall FNVS at the West Mids D.A Thursday night which has further spurred my interest in the Millenium class, a class at most NVS shows consisting of five plates of veg to include: 4 globe beetroot, 4 stump carrots, 4 medium tomatoes, 4 8oz onions and 4 potatoes. Mark explained how, in the past three years, has been awarded two seconds and a first in this class across the country, having travelled as far as Scotland and Dorchester in pursuit of that elusive red card!
The meeting was well attended and many notes were taken down (myself included).

That's all there is to report on really. I'm currently moving my runner bean supports and building another two as I aim to make three staggered sowings next year. I've completed two bean trenches, filling them with the gladioli haulms, hop manure and shredded paper. I then backfilled with soil and topped with real old muck. A couple of weeks before planting out i'll work some fertiliser in and that's it.
I'm halfway through putting all my gladioli corms to bed. They are all more or less dried off so I'm just removing all the little cormlets, taking the old roots off and any loose skins. They will then be dusted with some sulphur and popped into the spare bedroom where they remain cool and dry.

Prepared pot leek beds today: 1. Trench dug out. (I use these breeze blocks as sides. It doesn't matter if there are small gaps in between each block as this lets any excess water drain away freely without washing the soil out with it.
I put a fork in and just wiggle it about to ensure the bottom of the trench is free draining.

2. I then line the bottom of the trench with old straw that has sat out all year to 'weather'.
3. Leafmould then goes on top of this. This is one year old stuff.- leeks love it!

4. A cupful of Antagon is then scattered over the bed.

5. The bed is then topped up with sieved topsoil. I sieve to remove any twigs or stones that may damage the growing leek beneath the soil, leaving a dent or scratch.

6. Finally I scatter a cupful of perlka over the bed.

Now I start to build the covers!