The Weekly Round

Only when those tasks of the daily round are completed should you move on to these.

Sow. If you don't sow it then it can't grow. Sowing windows are critical; for example Japanese onions must be sown in mid-August or they will fail for sure.

Prick out. Leaving seedlings to choke each other is extremely counter-productive -just an extra few days will seriously stunt them. Ideally most seeds should be sown singly in pots or cells, or station sown in the ground. Trials showed tomato seedlings pricked out after three to four days made plants twice as big as those left over the week before pricking out.

Pollinate. This must be done when flowers open and before they are too old, transferring pollen from male to female with a brush. Although not needed by many crops if you fail to do this for say early melons you are unlikely to get fruits.

Pot on. Like with pricking out any delay and cramping is detrimental to yields. I once left some seedlings in a multi-celled tray to get bigger before I planted them out. They never got bigger, they just bolted. Give your plants space and pot on as soon as the roots start to cover the inside of the pot. Likewise plant out as soon as possible, not later and harden plants off wisely, with planning, over several days at least.

  1. Be it heating in the greenhouse or cloches against the wind or cold, nets against the birds, fleece v fly or wire baskets against the cats. It is worse than foolish to grow crops without then giving them physical protection against obvious known frequent hazards. Treat actual pest and disease attacks as soon as they're spotted and before they spread.
  2. For all sorts of reasons we keep far too many plants going which compete for air, light, water and attention worse than weeds. Immediately cull the sick, the poor, the leggy, the pale, spotty and the odd looking. Thin all sowings and plantings. Thin fruits, as soon as possible and on several occasions to improve those left.
  3. Weeds compete viciously with our crops and need control promptly or they
Harvesting fruit and veg as soon as it matures ensures continued cropping

only get worse, hoeing every week is quicker than once monthly. However, once a crop is three-quarters grown weeds become irrelevant and weeding can be deferred.

Feed. In the open ground organic gardeners should need no feeds but if you do have plants in containers then they almost always need some extra nutrition and this is best given a little and often rather than in heavy doses every few weeks. I tend to like alliteration and 'Feed on Friday'.

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