A NEW YEAR FULL OF HOPES, DREAMS AND PLENTY OF PRODUCE

Today I couldn’t wait any longer.  I had to start sowing.  Too early for outside but with one of my polytunnels now empty after completing harvesting new potatoes I had prepared a lovely series of seed beds a week ago, giving a light dressing of fish, blood and bone.  In the warmth of a the polytunnel – it being another glorious, sunny day today – I sowed two varieties of carrot; an F1 early from Dobies called Parano and Amsterdam Forcing 3 Sprint from D.T. Brown.  I also sowed two varieities of beetroot; Red Ace and Boltardy, both from the Organic Gardening Catalogue.  Lettuce varieites were Winter Density from Mr Fothergill and Winter Lattughino, bio-dynamic seed I was given by the head gardener at my oldRudolph Steiner school, Michael Hall.  I also broadcast a handfull of winter mixed salad leaf from Dobies and sowed too a short row of rocket from Franchi seeds and Scarlet Globe Radish from Garden organic.  To be sure of lots of tsaty leaves in March and April I also sowed a short row of a spinach variety called Campania from Marshalls.

It’s been a very strange winter so far.  On 7th October last year I sowed the pea variety Douce Provence in one of my polytunnels.  Normally I would expect this variety to grow through the winter to no more than six inches.  However, I have a crop now at least a foot hight, if not taller and coming into flower.  In fact the first flowers appeared before Christmas.  I will be fascinated to see if the crop will set properly if temperatures remain low – already the first flowers have set – and maybe I’ll be eating peas before Easter.

Although I do keep a minimum temperature in my greenhouse I have not expected to still have chillies ripening.  However, Pubescens Rocoto, a black-seeded variety is still gowing strong.  Very hot and pungent, I expect to keep harvesting through to the end of February!

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