Sunday, April 7, 2013

Plants, plants and more plants!

Despite the cold nights the days have been glorious. We have had weeks and weeks of sun and I even have a sun tan!! The greenhouse in the day is lovely and warm, actually far too warm and I have had to open the windows AND doors! Because it is not warm enough at night I have to bring in the plants and   because of the sheer numbers we were getting overrun by trays of plants! As we have no water at the moment I decided to cover the bath with boards and put them in there. I have trays of tomato plants, broad beans on the go ready for the plastic tunnels, peppers, lettuce  potatoes chtting and  3 large trays of shallots. And that is just in the bathroom! The shallots are just starting to shoot and they have a story....

I was given a bag of shallots last year by a friend across the valley, quite late in the season but he thought they should be planted and thought that I would get around to it quicker than he would! The other shallots are a bag of Red Sun shallots I bought from England last year and with both sorts the plan is to build up the stock so that maybe next year I can start to sell them and/or eat them! I started last year with 15 Red Suns and this year I have 77 growing, not bad for a pretty rubbish growing year! The other sort are also more than when I started. We have to wait and see which ones survive!

I have moved the potatoes to the bathroom out of the direct sunlight, although at one point in the day it does reach the toilet seat! I move them onto the empty space left by moving all the other trays to the greenhouse.

I have a load of new plant coming up on the heat mats in the kitchen, more tomatoes, peppers and chillies (the seed shop lost my order so was late sending them which was a bit annoying  but hopefully they'll be ok) Then I have a whole load of spring onions multiple sown into cells, cauliflowers, chives, coriander  physalis and some more leeks and onions which I again hope will catch up!  Oh yes also some sage which the super market was throwing away, I watered it and 5 plants survived! I have lettuce which we also saved from the supermarket and the first lot of rather sad looking leaves were fed to the animals, then as they were in pots, I watered them and popped them on the windowsill  and we have taken a second cut and eaten them ourselves and a third crop is growing now!!

 In the autumn I dug up the tender herbs and popped them in pots and they have kept going all winter. I hope this year we will be able to dry lots and lots of herbs. There are also some geraniums and some daffs I bought for Easter!

Every year I save a few pepper and chilli plants to keep in the kitchen over winter. Only a few make it and this year rather disappointingly we only had one chilli plant survive, and here it is on 7th April flowering away. This means we will have very early chillies  Next year we WILL have more surviving!! The great thing about this technique is not only do you have early fruits, but you can take cuttings which I hope to do next year!! Note another crystal blue sky day in the background!

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