In the last month I have not been idle. Despite a very unplesant cold snap in February I have been able to keep on top of my sowing schedule and hope that you all will now be limbering up to get a load of veggies going if you haven’t started already.
I started a second sowing of onion seed in mid-February. It is certainly fine to sow more now. I like Franchi Seeds who sell large packets of seed for a fraction of the price of their competitors. I like to grow red onions which are as a easy to grow as white ones, but, for reasons I cannot understand, cost twice as much in the shops! Try Rossa Lunga di Firenze. I also planted a Dutch variety of shallot called Ouddorpse Bruin given to me by a fellow vegaholic. Due to problems last year with white rot on the allotment I am growing alliums now on a new plot I have been given nearby which hasn’t had alliums on it for many years. I also planted out a brilliant garlic, Solent Whight. Highly recommended. Just yesterday I saw shallots, onion sets and garlic for sale in a garden centre, so there is still time to get these in the ground.
By the end of February my tomato seedlings were reay to be transplanted into 3-inch pots. I also transplanted the Syrian mini broad-beans I sowed a month ago into the allotment under a cloche. I also transplanted under bell-cloches some rather pathetic cauliflower plants, All The Year Round, which I had been overwintering in the greenhouse. The seed of the same variety I sowed at the end of January are growing well and are now hardening off in a cold-frame. I will be interested to see how the two crops perform.
I also sowed a quantity of my favourite broad bean, Bowlands Beauty, into my new plot in a rasied bed which had a foot of wonderful compost added.
In the last couple of days I have sown more lettuce, Little Gem and an HSL variety, Brown Bath Cos. If you want to have a continual supply of lettuce througout the year successional sowing is essential. I have lettuce seedlings in a polytunnel which I will transplant in a coule of weeks’ time. My over-wintered lettuce in the polytunnels are almost ready now that the endive and radicchio on the allotment are all but finished. I will sow more lettuce later in March – just a pinch of seed at a time.
Now too is a good time to start off a few leeks in pots in the greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill. And today was a bit of a marathon as I sowed parsnip, spring onions and radish on the allotment under cloches and in the greeenhouse, fennel, celeriac and artichoke in modules in the propagator. I also sowed some patio tomatoes, Tumbler To and Maskotka, which will be planted up finally into hanging baskets in late April. And finally I sowed a nice purple-flowered climbing French bean called Cobra which gives a good crop of green beans and a yellow wax bean called Gialli. These will be planted out in a polytunnel for an early crop at the end of March or in early April along with sweetcorn.
With sowing over it was time to pot up some chillies and spend a considerable amount of time reconfiguring everything to fit in the greenhouse!
With sowing over it was time to pot up some chillies