Late May, is usually the safest time to plant out your young plants as the risk of frost has normally past. This year, we have been holding off a little because of the heat.
I have been hearing all about how well your vegetables and sunflowers are doing. My sunflowers (a variety called ‘Vincent’ after the painter), are not doing so well. I have been measuring them just and as you have been - but the tallest of my sunflowers so far - is one school ruler – 30cm. Unless you not measuring correctly, it sounds like yours are leaving mine behind. I also hear that the grandad who issued this challenge to all of us – well his are in the lead. I am beginning to think he may have started before us, well at least before he issued the challenge – what do you think is it all down to the variety?
Now, it is time to plant out our young plants we have been so carefully looking after on the windowsills. I think we will need to research some courgette, tomatoes and aubergine recipes over the summer for Design and Technology, because I think as a community if all our plants give us a harvest we might be swamped with lovely veggies.
When you have too many it is called a ‘glut’ and the best way to deal with a glut is to process the fruit or veg and make meals a head of time and put them in the freezer. Here are the last batch of seedling left for my garden. I have been planting a few seeds each week to space out the harvests. I have been hardening these off in the wheelbarrow so I can water them easily in the heat.
Talking of harvests, we are now in June and the rule I learnt from my grandfather was after the longest day (20th June) stop picking rhubarb to allow the plant to recover for next year. So, my first harvest is just about to come to an end but the second and third harvests are about to start. The Gooseberries are ready and so are the cherries.
The cherries look like the wasps and the birds have started to sample, so we need to pick today! During lesson today, in my breaks I will be out in the garden harvesting. The gooseberries will be made into Gooseberry Fool and the cherries - well these are the eating and not cooking cherries (the cooking cherries are still green they might be ready in two weeks time) - the eating cherries might not make it into the kitchen at all.
Before you plant out you will need to do a few things to prepare the area and to ensure all your time and effort are not wasted once you plan them out.
1. Thoroughly dig, rake and gently firm the soil and add some slow release fertiliser to the area.
2. Make an individual hole with a dibbler or a trowel for each young plant.
3. Make the hole deep and wide enough for the entire root ball.
4. Fill the hole with water and allow it to drain.
5. Position the plant into the hole and back fill with soil, firming it gently around the plant.
6. Water the plants after planting to settle the soils around the roots.
7. Feed and water regularly.
8. If the plants become leggy pinch out the growing tip to encourage bushier growth and more flowers (more flowers on plants mean more fruit on the vegetables).