We got the potatoes planted on Wednesday, as planned, which is good since they're now forecasting heavy snow for the weekend! (Good job I planted the spuds nice and deep.)
My eight foot square beds sometimes mean cramming things in closer than I should, and it was difficult to know how best to squeeze the maximum number of plants into the space.
Last year I had success with three double rows of tubers one foot apart, with two feet between double rows, allowing me to grow 42 plants like this:
But this year I'm growing four varieties, which obviously I'd like to keep separate! There's no way I could squeeze four double rows in, and cutting them down to single rows would mean only 28 plants. So I finally settled on this:
Earthing the rows up might get interesting, but this allows me to plant all ten of each variety, except two Cara which I'll grow in tubs at home.
I sowed a few rows of seeds in the salad patch as well. I'm a little more worried how they might fare in the snow for a couple of days but these are the risks we take... Last year I told myself I'd start the leaf veg at home like most other things and plant them out, as I had such mixed success direct sowing like this, but the fact is I just don't have room for so many plants! So fingers crossed... I planted two more bulbs of garlic too, in a seam down the middle of the bed to divide up the short rows. The plan is this:
Yellow indicates varieties not sown yet, and the green down the middle is the garlic and perhaps some coriander to keep the aphids away. It seemed to work last year, although I was surprised yesterday to find some greenfly on my coriander plants at home...
10 potatoes 'Arran Pilot' (first earlies)
10 potatoes 'Charlotte' (second earlies)
10 potatoes 'Kestrel' (second earlies)
8 potatoes 'Cara' (maincrop)
2 more bulbs garlic 'Thermidrome'
1/2 row Lettuce 'Marshall' (red cos type)
1/2 row Lettuce 'Balmoral' (crsiphead type)
1/2 row Letuce 'Lollo Rossa'
1/2 row Spinach 'Mediana'
3 x 1/2 row Beetroot 'Boltardy'
1/2 row Mizuna
1/2 row Mustard 'Oriental Pizzo'
1/2 row Land Cress
1/2 row Garden Cress 'Wrinkled Crinkled Crumpled'
1/2 row Spring Onion 'Ramrod'
1/2 row Spring Onion 'North Holland Bloodred Redmate'
1/2 row Corn Salad 'Large Leaved'
1/2 row Lettuce 'Little Gem'
Another thing we did on Wednesday, on a whim, was to build ourselves this little table out of a couple of pallets:
Ugly it may be, but it's much needed; there's an obvious drawback to having all our tools stored underneath the only place to put bags, coats, and drinks! And it'll come in useful for picnic lunches and summertime drinks too.
My sister, Jess, spent the afternoon with us as well and it all felt very industrious; Eddie planting spuds, me sowing seeds, and Jess painting our new table! The best times on the plot are always when friends and family muck in and you can natter away while you work (and they lighten the load too of course!), and when you get to spend a good few hours there and get lots of diferent things done it feels so rewarding.
One thing though; for all this exercise in the fresh air, working towards more healthy, organic and nutritious food, when I get home after a hard day's work on the plot why is it I just can't resist the urge for a greasy takeaway?