Tag: onions

Seeds I’m sowing in February

It’s nearly the end of February and I’ve got an itch that I simply need to scratch. Seed sowing.

I see a lot of people sowing their seeds as early as January. While some plants take a long time to grow, such as chillies and peppers and need to be sown early, I personally think January is too early for most veg plants.

Sowing seeds early can lead to spindly or leggy growth, poor germination rates and generally, in my opinion, a weaker plant. That said, you can use growing lights and heat mats to combat this. But once the plants get to a certain size, you need to move them on and if you haven’t got the space indoors, means moving them into the garden or greenhouse. The weather might be a little too cold for them and shock the plants.

I prefer to start sowing my seeds from mid-February.

Seeds I’m sowing now

I started some broad beans in little pots a couple of weeks ago and these have just started poking through the soil. I’m growing my broad beans in two beds and will get around 8 plants per bed. So far, I’ve sown 12 plants in total and will sow another 12 in a couple of week’s time. This will give me some extra plants in case some fail to germinate, or they don’t survive.

I’ve also sown some spring onions into seed trays. These will go out into the salad bed when they are large enough and I’ll harvest these in clumps.

In the next couple of weeks, I’ll start sowing most of my seeds in the greenhouse. The less hardy plants such as sweetcorn and runner beans will be sown Mid-April. My tomatoes will be started indoors around Mid-March and once big enough, will be moved into the greenhouse.

Looking back at 2022

I realise we’re at the end of January, but I thought I would take the time and reflect back at 2022, and look at our successes and failures.

After moving plots in autumn 2021, 2022 was the first year growing on the new plot. We managed to clear a large bed in time for spring (in fact it covered almost half the plot) and gave enough growing space for what we needed. We kept to our core veg; potatoes, beans, onions, sweetcorn, pumpkins and courgettes.

The potatoes started off well and we managed to harvest all our first and most of our second early potatoes. However, we left the main crop in the ground for too long, and when it come to digging them up in the middle of winter, they had rotted away.

The beans done extremely well, but started to suffer a little during the heatwave. They soon bounced back in late summer.

Our onions were fantastic, in fact probably the best crop we’ve ever had and we’ve still got some left in the cupboard.

Sweetcorn started really well, but we had a few succumb to smut, a fungal disease which affects sweetcorn. Smut thrives on hot dry summers, so it’s no surprise we had it considering the temperatures we had.

There’s one major issue that cropped up in late autumn and that’s rats. Rats have moved in underneath the chicken coop and while we are keeping them at bay with traps, they are still a problem. Fortunately, they seem to be leaving the chickens alone and more interested in digging holes everywhere.

Here’s some pictures from last year.

A morning down the plot

I managed to get an hour down the plot this morning with the aim to plant out my remaining onions. I planted out a load of them at the beginning of April but I purposely didn’t plant out one tray, as I’ve had problems with birds pecking the tops off them. Fortunately, they’ve left them alone this year, so I should have a decent harvest from them come summer time.

I’ve been growing my onions from sets for years. I did try growing them from seed a couple of years ago, but germination was extremely poor, so I’ve grown them from sets ever since. I simply plant the sets into seed trays, grow them in the greenhouse until they are around 6 inches tall, and then move them to my cold frame for a month or two.

While having a walk around the plot, I noticed how much the weeds have grown since last weeks rain. Fortunately, my Oscillating Hoe made short work of them. If you haven’t got yourself an Oscillating Hoe, I highly recommend you get one, I find it a lot more effective at dealing with the weeds. It cuts the weeds beneath the soil level where they are most vulnerable.

I’m going to leave you with a photo of the plot looking from the shed.

Until next time…

View of allotment from my shed

Things are in motion

I finished work early today to try and get down the plot for an hour. It felt nice to get down after work to be honest. My aim for today was to plant out my first early potatoes which I bought back in January from a local garden center, and like every single year, I cannot remember the variety. D’oh!!!!!

Planting potatoes

Most of the seed potatoes were either shrivelled up or really small. To be honest, I think I left them too long on the window sill and I should have really planted them a couple of weeks ago. Oh well.

I’ve still got my main crop of potatoes to plant out, which again, I can’t remember the variety (I do it all the time). These will go in within the next couple of weeks after I’ve finished preparing the bed.

 

While I was at it, I also planted out half my onion plants. I’ll give it a week before planting out the rest, the birds have a habit of pecking off the tops of the plants, so I don’t want to lose the entire crop. These were a bargain, 80 onion sets for £1 from a local DIY store back in January. I wish I picked up a couple of more bags to be honest. Oh well….

Onions