Stourport 2010

Stourport 2010
Winning vase 5x 'Sarah Louise'

Friday, 13 January 2017

Potting on the Pendle

I woke this morning about 7am to find we had some light fall of snow. It was nice to see it but it didnt last long and went as quickly as it came.
Another bonus today was the free sample of biosys from Gareth at Ecothrive which arrived in with the postman. Gareth was kindly offering free samples to the growers on Facebook. It sounds a great product and one which I shall try this year. It acts as an 'instant' compost tea without the need of brewing your own.

I didn't go down the allotment today; the only bog job of the day was to pot on the Pendle improved blanch leeks I had from Gill Clark a few weeks back. They are doing well under the T5s receiving 12 hours light. They are sitting in a Vitopod propagator which provides gentle bottom heat which I find promotes some excellent root growth. I have added a short video on my youtube channel showing how I pot on my leeks. 

I popped to the garden centre this morning as weather conditions weren't great for getting on the ground. I picked up this handy little potting tray and shelf which is much better and more compact than my old one!

It came in handy for potting my leeks on. I  put all my compost ingredients in a bucket and then mix it all together in the potting tray. I always start to add some loam to the mix from the second potting. The loam usually comes in the form of sieved molehills which I collect from the field at work. Its a good lightly sandy loam which crumbs beautifully and which I think the leeks will enjoy getting their roots into.
 The main component of my mix this year is Incredicompost. I haven't used it before but it seems really good quality. It has a very high percentage of peat and a lovely fine texture with no rubbish in it.
My mix is very basic and not very scientific. It consists of 4 parts of the above compost, 2 parts molehills (loam) and to this I add some charge from Ecothrive.

To ensure the leeks don't dry out too much when i'm not around I have added capillary matting to the bottom of the Vitopod. The proper stuff isn't the cheapest but it works wonders. It has excellent water holding capacity and allows roots to take the water as and when they need it.

Sometime or another, if you grow leeks, you will probably come across the problem which I have pictured below. The growing flags become trapped by the previous flag which hasn't opened properly. It is nothing to worry about. All I do is open or pull apart the flag which is causing the problem. It has no ill effect on the leek if dealt with when you see it.

 All in all it hasn't been a bad day. Its been bitter cold but reasonably dry which has allowed me to crack on in the greenhouse. I'm hoping to get down the allotment tomorrow as I've got some well rotted manure I want to spread across the new xanth bed. I'm also awaiting some onions from David Metcalfe which i'm hoping will arrive this week. More on that later...

                                                       My growing for show youtube channel

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