>Progress at windowsill level.


It’s all guns firing on the windowsill nursery right now.Squash seedlings at first true leaf stage so can be potted on. Toms are also at true leaf but can stay where they are for longer as they are much smaller and will survive happily for a little longer. Leek seedlings are at the crook stage, where the top of the seedling is bent over like the top of a safety pin. I thin they get potted on now too, so they can grow on and avoid crowding. Sweet peppers are like the toms, ok for a while. Sweetcorn doesn’t have a true leaf stage as it is, like all grass family members, a monocot plant. his means it produces one leaf on alternative sides, from the stem rather than a balanced pair of leaves as the biocots do. Take a look at any grass or corn type plant, and you’ll see.
The corn may need potting on eventually but I can wait for that a while longer, the urgent one is the squash, due to it’s size relative to the seed tray. It doesn’t take long to fill it’s space with roots. I sowed my seeds in compartmental trays this time, sets of six per half tray. Meaning I can separate them all easily later, like when I pot on the squash!

Today was a glorious spring day so I spent it on the plot planting new potatoes. Variety Rocket. I put them in the bed that I covered in compost from the old dalek bin last week. Drew out a trench with a dutch hoe and loosened up the soil so I could plant about 12″ down. Covered the newly placed seed spuds with some straw and then a layer of soil. As the new shoots come through, I will draw down some of the soil I removed to make the trench.
The broad beans are doing well, sown in the autumn and now about four inches high and stocky.
The carrots are showing some some possible signs of activity already, just a week after sowing.Had a very good chat with my good neighbour Len, about technology and rugby.Strimmed around a few of the beds with the battery powered rechargeable I use. Prefer to use rechargeable rather than petrol as I think it’s just better for the environment. Misguided or just totally lost it may be but I have my preferences.
Then onto the first real crop of the year, the purple sprouting broccoli. Cropped a big handful today and it look great, can’t wait to taste it in one of the wife’s stir fries.
On a sour note, I collected a couple of old tyres to use as a forcing jar extension for my rhubarb, as many others on my site are doing, when an old jobsworth in a boiler suit decided to inform me that ‘we are going to ban them completely’ on all sites. This was due to the problems encountered with one hardened trouble maker who had amassed a collection and had refused to remove them from her plot.Yes, her plot. The very hardened adversary was a disabled pensioner. Rather than tackle this feisty foe, the brave members of the committee has decided they will enforce a blanket ban on recycling old rubber car tyres. Oddly, I feel recycling anything for use on a plot is part and parcel of allotmenteering. My old grandfather used to find a use for almost everything and would fashion containers out of the most unassuming things. My own father made garden planters out of used tyres turned inside out. I had originally had a plan to use more tyres to make something my Australian friend had told me about, Tyre Swans.Tyres and similar things are the life blood of allotments, or should be, along with old window frames as cold frames, floorboards for edging beds and net curtains protecting crops from butterflies.
OK, maybe we are due for a change and the committee should do something with the money they make from subs but how about doing something positive and helpful rather than laying down rules?

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