Have been busy recently with work - it's that time of year I suppose, and actually travelled down to Glasgow to help my mum and Jim sort out their garden over the weekend.
On the home front, things are progressing apace, all five varieties of potatoes (Casablanca, Kestrel, Winston, Maxine and Harmony) that are being grown in polypots are showing the tips of their shaws, those shallots that were deemed worthy have been thinned down to four bulbs with the thinnings being used in the kitchen, the broad beans are starting to put on some growth of the vertical kind, the carrots and parsnips are growing away steadily now and the beetroot has been thinned to one plant per station. In the greenhouse, there are still some young tomato and cucumber plants for clients, but of my own stuff, the next two Carmen cucumbers are just showing their first true leaf, the courgettes has two true leaves each, the Stenner runner beans have just germinated, the first batch of dwarf french bean The Prince have been potted into their large growing pots and the second batch sown into 3" pots tonight. The lettuce Festa, the turnips Snowball and the second batch of beetroot Pablo have all just germinated. The one pressing job is to pot on the chillies and Capsicums - tomorrow night hopefully - unfortunately I have paperwork to catch up with tonight.
Over at the tunnel, the brassicas are growing pretty darn quick - too quick in some cases I think, so I may have to make another sowing of cabbages and caulies at the weekend. The onion sets (Setton) in the raised beds are doing really well and are on target for harvesting at the end of July. The tomatoes seem to have settled in are are now beginning to grow away, the aubergines are looking fine and healthy, the first cuke is not doing a lot at the moment but I am not too worried - previous years have taught me that they are slow to get going then absolutely fly when they decide to get started. And the rhubarb is just awesome this year!! and I have already got myself another 4 blue barrels for next season so I might grow more parsnips, and try long carrots and long beetroot too - it's getting a wee bit of an obsession now - wish I could devote more time to it this year but I can only do what I can do.
It was the May meeting of our local gardening club (of which I am secretary) last night and we were treated to a very amusing and informative talk on how to stage exhibits for showing, both flowers and vegetables. More than a few valuable tips were passed on to the assembled audience, as well as recommended varieties that work up here - most of the well known show varieties but also the favoured onion for the onions from sets class seems to be Hercules, and the favoured broad bean is Inperial Green Longpod. For onions from seed, these guys recommended Marco as opposed to Tasco. So thanks must go to JK Ross, John McKay and also to Wattie McBeath, a local exhibition grower who joined them. John brought along a cell pack of a dozen Celeriac plants (variety "Brilliant") that I got hold of at the end of the night, however by the end of today there were none left for me!! However JK is going to pass me a few spare Pendle leek plants that he has so that's another new show veg I shall be dabbling in this season.