Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Am I being too optimistic?  (Read 2943 times)

ellied

  • Joined Sep 2010
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Am I being too optimistic?
« on: March 04, 2011, 09:33:51 pm »
It's barely March but so warm and sunny that I got a couple of beds dug over and planted half of each up, leaving the other half for thinning/transplanting later on :)

Fleece over the top held down with stones will help keep the seeds warm and safe from my cats digging and birds etc for a bit but it's too narrow to grow with the plants once they come up (assuming they do ::) ) and I'm also wondering if I was a bit too quick to get things in the ground in case the weather turns wintry again ???

The brassica bed has PSB, calabrese, kale and cauli in so far, all say March planting but it's only the 4th and it is Scotland ::)

The roots/bulb bed has beetroots, parsnips, onion sets (they're overwintering hardy and just didn't get put in in November cos of the snow so hope they'll still ripen!) and the old celeriac ::) to finish off a packet which has yet to produce anything edible :o

Bed 3 is yet to dig over for beans and peas, and bed 4 still has leeks, brassicas etc from last year plus the chives have come up again - that bed is to be my salad veg and I can't wait to get homegrown leaves going again :)

And I need to sort pots for potatoes, courgettes etc that take a lot of room and I don't have ground space for :)

Are other folk planting yet or am I premature?  I've some left for a second planting if need be but hope I'm not going to lose the lot ???
Barleyfields Smallholding & Kirkcarrion Highland Ponies
https://www.facebook.com/kirkcarrionhighlands/
Ellie Douglas Therapist
https://www.facebook.com/Ellie-Douglas-Therapist-124792904635278/

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Am I being too optimistic?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2011, 11:21:34 pm »
Hi ellied.  It's hard to withstand the pull to get planting when the sun's shining  :D  However, there will be more frosts (and possibly snow) and depending on just where you are in Scotland these can carry on right into June.  The psb and kale may well be ok as they are fairly hardy, but the frost may get the caulis and calabrese which are more tender - caulis can be stunted later if they have a set-back even if they look ok.  Sow broad beans but not french or runner which would just rot in the soil - they need quite warm soil to germinate, whereas broad beans are quite hardy.  We had a little grass growth for a few days last week, when day and night temps were 7 degrees or more, but that is just temporary and the cold will come back.
The old test is supposedly to sit on the soil with your bare backside to test if it's warm enough  ;D.  I think a  man made that one up  ::)  It's good enough to dig down a few inches then test the soil temp with the inside of your wrist - if it feels cold then it is cold.
To get ahead in the sowing game and to avoid mice etc eating bean seeds, try sowing some things in pots then transplanting them when the soil and weather are warmer.  This works for some things such as brassicas (and stops the slugs chewing little stems) but you can't do it with parsnips or carrots.  Beetroot can bolt later if planted too early, but you can sow one seed cluster to a module then plant them out at greater spacing and you get several beets growing together, but still with a good shape.  I did that last year with excellent results.
For tender beans I usually sow them about 4 to 6 weeks before the expected last frost, or a month earlier in  the polytunnel.  Courgettes I sow on the 1st of May so they can go out on  the 1st June. Last year I sowed tomatoes, cucumbers, and chillies in Feb - they all grew fine but were indoors in a propagator and had become far too big before the beginning of June when I could plant them out.  This year I haven't sown them yet, but am working towards it.
Lettuce and other salads can be sown in modules indoors or in a cold frame for early salads but keep them well protected from frost.
If the things you have sown don't work, don't worry - you can always sow more, and if they do work you can laugh at me for being too cautious  ;D ;D
« Last Edit: March 04, 2011, 11:23:57 pm by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Blonde

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: Am I being too optimistic?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2011, 02:35:55 am »
potatoes are a breeze  use a banana carboard box and put over the potatoes when it comes up to th surface,  Allow the  to growth to grow then fill in kthe box with soil as the plant grows.  the potatoes will grow in the box and just underneath it.  When the box is full of dirt and the plant has died dnown dig the hole lot up.

ellied

  • Joined Sep 2010
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Re: Am I being too optimistic?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2011, 07:57:29 pm »
Thanks Fleecewife, I did think I was getting carried away with a spell of good weather but at least it's dug and raked so if I have to replant I'm not so far away ::)

I can't do much in the house as no windowsills and 4 cats but I've a growbag in the porch to use and can set up a few seed trays once I get the plastic sheeted "greenhouse tent" going - that blew over last year so I may be better waiting ::)
Barleyfields Smallholding & Kirkcarrion Highland Ponies
https://www.facebook.com/kirkcarrionhighlands/
Ellie Douglas Therapist
https://www.facebook.com/Ellie-Douglas-Therapist-124792904635278/

BlueDaisy

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Grow your own - veg and chooks!
Re: Am I being too optimistic?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2011, 09:24:39 pm »
I have also dug half the plot but have only sown things in propagator so far.
It is difficult to contain yourself when the sun is shining and summer feels so close :D
I do have a greenhouse though so am lucky that way.

deepinthewoods

  • Guest
Re: Am I being too optimistic?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2011, 09:45:24 pm »
ive only sown in the propagator, chillis leeks onions and toms. ive dug beds ready but just covered them to try warm them up a bit. we had frost last week down to -5. i totally know how you feel tho, am glad i resisted the urge during the sun we had. i start nearly everything off inside my 'polytent' then transplant as soon as i get regular soil temps of 8+. i reckon i get better crops when sown a bit later but grown faster, rather than risk setbacks due to temperature.hth.d

egglady

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: Am I being too optimistic?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2011, 09:59:10 pm »
ellie, it was very tempting to sow things outdoors this week with the weather being so nice....BUT......watching the coutryfile weather forecast tonight we are due for some dodgy weather next week...sorry to tell you :(

like others i only sow things indoors during march and put them out the days it's nice and warm - nothing planted direct till at least mid april.  get lots going in modules and trays that you can bring in at night if you have to and then you can plant out when the weather is warmer.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Am I being too optimistic?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2011, 10:27:20 pm »
And what is so frustrating is that the days are getting longer and longer at the moment, but by the time the frosts are reliably over, they are suddenly getting shorter again  ::)
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Blonde

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: Am I being too optimistic?
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2011, 08:23:04 am »
And what is so frustrating is that the days are getting longer and longer at the moment, but by the time the frosts are reliably over, they are suddenly getting shorter again  ::)
  You just ahve to be patient.  The days her are still  really hot and it would be good if they were cools spring days, make the vegie patch grow a whole lot better.  You would then have your warm days for your vegie patch but not scorching days like we have each Summer

BlueDaisy

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Grow your own - veg and chooks!
Re: Am I being too optimistic?
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2011, 08:29:54 am »
Whereabouts are you, Blonde?
We haven't had a scorching day in the summer for about 4 years! ;D

Blonde

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: Am I being too optimistic?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2011, 12:43:47 pm »
Whereabouts are you, Blonde?
We haven't had a scorching day in the summer for about 4 years! ;D
I am in the wheat belt in Western Australia and  we have had 45 degree  days alot this summer.  the Zucchinis  have not set well, neither ahve the pumpkins, the beans have struggled  to get up the wire, the carrots have not really germinated.   The sweet potatoes are fabulous, the corn has done well, the silver beet and bok choy which is growing in the same patch is wonderful, But generally I am disapointed with the patch as we have had temperatures that have not been consistent.  We ahve had a good feed but we would ahve had ore of a feed if things had gone well.    We have also had an Erysipelas outbreak in the  pigs due to the rise and fall in the temperatures this summer......so all round it has been a difficult summer.  But hey there is always next year and it might be a better year....have to wait and see.

Need to get ready for the winter drops now so we are in full swing with both   pigs and vegies.

Hermit

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: Am I being too optimistic?
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2011, 01:50:41 pm »
I sow my Parsnip  first seeds end of April but everything else in May! Have been tempted to plant earlier but had to replant the lot >:(  We always add a month or two to packet instructions. I usually bring  brassicas etc on in the poly and then plant out when the suns heat is among us once again! The days may be warming up but the soil temp is still low.

 

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