Stourport 2010

Stourport 2010
Winning vase 5x 'Sarah Louise'

Monday, 8 December 2014

Hi guys. Here's a link to a video I've just uploaded all about making my first batch of compost tea. I'm not saying this is the best way of doing it- its just the way I do it and it works for me.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Potting leeks and making trenches...

I decided to pot on the pendle improved blanch leeks I had from David Metcalfe last month. I'm moving them up into square pots of roughly 4" using a mix consisting predominantly of levington M3 to which I add 80g of Antagon (also available as adbaclife or microlife). As you can see the roots are looking nice and healthy. It is at this stage I add a pinch of mycorrhizal fungi to the planting hole.
This is the way I have potted my stuff on for the last few years. Sit the original size pot in the pot you are potting into. Then fill with compost and then simply remove the old pot and drop your plant in! Hey presto! no root disturbance.

Below: these are the pendle improved blanch leeks from David Metcalfe after repotting. They are receiving 12 hrs daylight. Bottom heat set at 15oc max and an air temp that doesn't drop below 8-9oc. Support clips are on to ensure straight growth.

Below: These are my cumbrian pot leeks. They are looking promising aswell. These are currently in 1ltr pots of the same mixture as the blanch. I don't want these too warm as they will then start to stretch and, as most will know, pot leeks should be no more than 6" from button to base.
Finally below we have the toughball onions i'm growing for the 8oz classes. Its the first time I've grown this variety having stuck with varieties such as vento. These were sown back in October and originally started life just on the greenhouse staging. However they seemed to be struggling so I have since put them under the lights. Thankfully they have started to pick up and some, since taking this photo, have stood to attention.- it just goes to show it is surprising what a bit of daylight can do!
All leeks and onions are receiving a fortnightly spray against thrip and rust. I'm not feeding as such- they have received their first dose of fish mix today and are getting regular root drenches of calcium nitrate and seaweed.
Work this week has been the celery beds for next years morning star. The ground is of nice loamy consistency already, ideal for most vegetables. However I always prepare a celery trench and this is how I do it:
First I dig a trench a spit deep. I loosen the bottom of the trench and apply a layer of shredded paper. I sprinkle this with sulphate of ammonia and then lightly water...

Then I put back some of the excavated soil to cover most of the paper...

Then a get a wheelbarrow full of well rotted manure and fill it with four gallons of water. Mix it all together until it resembles missisippi mud pie...

I do two wheelbarrows like this and tip them in the trench.
Then all I do is replace the remaining soil and leave it to settle over Christmas. About a week before planting I shall add my fertilisers to the bed and rake them in well.
This bed will house two rows of celery.