Let 2014’s veggies get growing

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Well right on queue as I started planning for the garden, the snow came. Luckily we haven’t been hit in Musselburgh but coming home from Edinburgh on Friday I felt like Scott of the Antartic and it’s definately feeling quite nippy outdoors.

Not to be disheartened though, all I am doing just now is to get the tomatoes etc going before the weather improves and they go to live in the greenhouse. So we popped out today to Pentland plants which is our favourite nersery and garden suppliers and stocked up on the bits and pieces we would need for our veg beds.

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For just now I’ve got the tomatoes, courgettes, peas and beans in little plastic propagators on a shelf in the den so they have a safe, warm place to get a start in life. (The bit of paper sellotaped to the propagator is my list of what’s what)

We’ve decided that this year we are mostly going to stick with cherry tomatoes as we seemed to get a better yield from them. We do still have a couple of plum tomato plants for making pasta and pizza sauce.  So we’ve got red and yellow cherries and some red plum tomatoes.

We’ve also got yellow and green courgettes going because we got a better yield of green but liked the taste and texture of the yellow.

We’ll have to wait till July to see how it all works out but we’ll keep you updated as usual.

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We’ve also added a bit of fun with the potatoes this year. We found in previous years that Arran Victory do well here, so we’ve got a few of them chitting, we’ve added some Maris Piper to try these out and we’ve also gone with Charlotte salad potatoes just to see how things do.

Chitting potatoes

I’ve talked a little about chitting potatoes but I’m conscious that when I first started and Luke gave me potatoes and told me to chit them, I had no idea what he was on about and remember standing in the greenhouse googling things on my phone. So for those of you who may be feeling the same way, here is the skinny on “chitting yer tatties”.

Chitting – is the name for the process that encourages tubers to sprout before planting. To chit seed potatoes, place them side by side in a clean egg box or tray ‘rose end’ up (the end where tiny buds can be seen). Label the box with the potato variety and put in a cool light place for 4-6 weeks allowing the chits to develop. By putting them in a light place, the shoots will remain short, dark green and compact.

Want to know more about growing potatoes?

 

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2 Comments

  1. Brilliant gals. Have finally stopped work and now have time in rainy Belfast to play in my greenhouse and garden. Skills are very rusty so thank you for all the tips. I’ve bought the quadgrow system based on your experiences. Excited! Please please share more on seed raising as I’ve just taken tomatoes and sweet peppers out of my electric propagator and now think I’m going to get leggy dying seedlings. Any tips on how to get them from here to unheated greenhouse would be brilliant. Most stuff on internet is posted by southern gardeners alas. Ps have cucamelon and cucumber seeds bought.

  2. Hey Annie,
    fantastic to hear form you and yes, we completely share your despair at trying to make gardening in sunny southern climes meet our needs I have only just got seeds sown this weekend!

    Hmmm leggy seedlings are never good. I used to plant up on warm window ledges to get a big ahead of the game, but found quite often we’d end up with leggy seedlings as they desperately tried to find the light. Now I just wait a little bit and then plant up in propagators in my greenhouse. I don’t have heated ones so I am at the mercy of the weather a bit, but I have been known to sow into a propagator and put that propagator inside a bigger propagator in the greenhouse . Needs must sometimes.

    If you are worried about moving seedlings from heated areas to the greenhouse just take it gradual :), maybe move them for a few hours during the day, then whole days and then once they are a little bit more acclimatised, leave them over night. Although the cold of the night will be a facto, you don’t have to worry about frost etc.

    It’s all trial and error and learning.

    Good luck,
    Eli

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