What awful weather we are having this year. This morning we hoped to go to the allotment to finish off the new paths but NO WAY. Snow had settled (not as much as in some parts of the country but enough to put me off) and its been bitter all day. So, a day for the polytunnel at home, trying to get it ready to take the tomatoes. The first job was to tidy up the lettuces that had overwintered (removing quite a few slugs in the process) and to put down some mushroom compost from the allotment to stir into the top couple of inches to help to improve the soil.
I’ve taken to growing lettuces in pots in the polytunnel border. This means that I can sow them whilst the tomatoes are still growing and then in late October or November transplant them into the polytunnel borders to provide salads greens over the winter. This year for the first time, I tried growing watercress in the polytunnel. It has been a success and adds flavour to the salads over the winter. The only problem was that I didn’t put it into pots so I’ll have to dig it out when the tomatoes are ready to be planted. One thing I did do however, was to run water permanently onto the watercress. I use run-off from a flat roof at the back of the house and leave it there all winter. It keeps the watercress well watered and this seems to make it grow well.
Finally (a lettuce theme today) I noticed that Ildi were selling “Living Salads”. So I bought one (89p) and split half of it up into eight pots to grow. I’ve done it before and it seems to work, nothing is germinating at the moment because its so cold so this gets over the first few weeks of growth. Should be suitable for salads in about 3 weeks, long before any seeds will have done anything and a lot cheaper than buying lettuce plants from the garden centre.
That’s it, still wanting to get out and sow things, the potatoes are sitting on the windowsill looking cold and not starting to grow despite the fact that its Good Friday next week and the traditional day for planting spuds. Not a chance this year, the allotment is cold and waterlogged and there’s no way anything would grow.