Wednesday, 21 March 2012


Because I grow so much stuff in containers I have to mix a lot of compost to fill them. Obviously I have to get the raw materials from somewhere so I have two 'dalek' compost bins, one large open heap, two leaf mould cages and sundry plastic sacks filled with decomposing garden waste.

if it's organic it goes into the mix!!
The basic potting mix I'm using this year consists of two parts home-made compost, one part leaf mould and one part sieved soil. The unit of measurement is a 12 litre plastic bucket so I'm mixing around 48 litres at a time and to each lot I add one cupful of BFB and one cupful of Seer rock dust. The last ingredient is just a trial to see if it lives up to the claims of the manufacturer.

I can modify this basic mix to suit whatever crop I'm growing. Potatoes get the addition of a high potash slow release granular fertilizer, brassicas get chicken manure pellets and carrots and parsnips have it finely sieved and mixed with sharp sand and no extra fertilizer.

carrot compost: no lumps, no stones so straight carrots, hopefully

As with just about everything I do in the garden it's all a bit experimental but eventually I'll get everything just the way I want it....probably the day I get too old and infirm to actually do any gardening!!

But let's not be gloomy. Today is the first day of spring and everything is looking good so far. Early potatoes in the greenhouse are ready for their first 'earthing up', peas and broad beans are romping away and peppers, aubergines and tomatoes are all looking healthy. No sign of any cucumber plants yet.
Apart from spring onions I've never before grown onions from seed but today I pricked out twenty Bedfordshire Champion seedlings into individual cells. I was probably a bit late sowing them to get big bulbs but I'm looking forward to comparing them to the sets I normally grow from.

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