Today, 15th February, I sowed my first seeds for regular harvest. I sowed Kelsae onions on 19th January for exhibiting, using seeds I made in 2017, but the process of growing food to eat started today.
The home made Kelsae seeds germinated at about 40% efficiency between day 7 and day 14 in modules containing Klassmann-Deilmann compost as shown below:
Twenty one seedlings were picked into 10cm pots containg Multi Purpose Compost (MPC) on day 21. By day 27, 16 of the 21 have their first true leaf.
These will continue growing indoors until 21st March, when further potting up may be necessary.
Today I sowed five first early Casablanca potato tubers in 10 litre pots containing MPC, a dribble of rock dust, some friendly bacteria and fungi, a scoop of Vitax Q4 organic and half a scoop of Nutrimate.
Prior chitting of tubers created several visible stems (see below):
The pots will now sit by an east facing window until plants emerge (usually around 28 days), when they will be moved outdoors:
In 2017, four pots each yielded around 2lb of small tubers from about 12 weeks after sowing, showing the method to be consistent and worth relying upon. This year, I am doing 5 pots to provide a weekly harvest from mid May to mid June, after which soil-grown early potatoes should start to be ready.
After succeeding in growing carrots in 17 litre bags through both summer and autumn in 2017, ths spring I am testing Amsterdam Forcing carrots in bags also.
I filled two bags with MPC, bacteria, fungi and rock dust and watered copiously. I riddled my new leaf mould on top, dropped seeds in a spiral form spaced around 4cm apart in the leaf mould, then riddled more leaf mould on top to cover. A brief watering and the bags will live with the potato pots until seedlings emerge (hopefully 14-21 days) before assessing whether the weather is benign enough for them to live outside.
As the new season begins, I harvested the second bag of Berlicum carrots from a June 30th 2017 sowing and obtained a yield of 6.2lb, with almost no fly damage at all. This suggests that 1.5lb of carrots can be harvested each week from two 17 litre bags from January 1st to the end of February, providing a supply of roots through the depths of winter.
It is good to get underway again, with a few more February sowings still to come in the next 13 days.