It’s been snowing all day here.
Earlier, I walked down to my allotment to check it over and it looked beautiful:
Unfortunately my nets have taken a battering! I cleared the snow off them but I will have to sort them out properly another day:
Over the last two weeks I have been sorting all of my seeds out.
As I have four allotments, I do need a lot of seeds. I have a spreadsheet with all the seed packets listed on it, this way I know every single packet of seed that I have and the date they need to be used by (though some seeds I keep an awful lot longer than the date on the packet e.g. brassicas, as I know they will be ok to use a long time after the ‘sow by’ date).
I do have a weakness with seeds and I find it hard to resist a free packet or a bargain, so after sorting them out I found I had quite a few duplicates. I have never sold seeds on EBay before, but as there were so many I decided to give it a try. I’m not sure if they will sell or not, but I will let you know.
During the next week I will be sitting down and working out exactly what vegetables and salads I want to grow on my allotment this year. After this I will work out a month by month plan, showing exactly when to sow my seeds and whether the seeds need heat or not. I will show you the end results after I have completed this.
Over the last two weeks I have sowed my first seeds for 2013. Before I did this I made some more seed labels and in Mrs Thrift fashion, I made them for free.
All I use is an old plastic milk bottle that has been washed out.
I cut it up into labels, with a point at one end and write the plant type on the label in permanent ink.
The seeds I sowed were sweet peppers, coriander, basil, leeks and onions. I have put these in a propagator on my window sill until they germinate, at which time the propagator lids will come off. The leeks will then go into my unheated greenhouse, while the others will be grown inside my house, where it is warmer.
I also planted some more garlic. Previously I planted some garlic at my allotment, but it has been so wet that hardly any have grown and I suspect they have actually rotted in the ground. As a back up, I have planted some more in pots, which I will keep in my cold greenhouse for now.
The broadbeans that I planted in December are just poking there heads through the compost, so I am really pleased with this. These were planted into cardboard toilet roll tubes.
Unfortunately, the broad beans I planted in pots at the end of October are really very leggy and probably won’t make very good plants now. Unfortunately they are the result of mild weather and the fact that I haven’t been able to plant them into my allotment, due to the ridiculous amount of wet weather we have had for weeks on end. I may just plant them in my polytunnel to see what happens.
My two free strawberry plants from Spalding bulbs are still sitting nicely in my cold greenhouse. I will plant them in the spring.
Last week I brought my seed potatoes. I usually buy them from a place called ‘Hawgrips’ which is in Enderby, Leicester. I like to buy them early as I get a bigger choice of varieties to choose from and I make sure I get the ones I want. I also like the fact that you buy them loose, rather than in bags, as I work out exactly how many I need and just count them into bags.
I have chosen my usual two favourites:
Marfona (A second early) and
Picasso (an early maincrop so this helps to miss the blight).
This year I have decided to also grow ‘Desiree’ potatoes, after much discussion with one of my fellow allotment friends. I had such a big problem with slugs last year and my friends’ Desiree potatoes didn’t seem to have a problem, so I thought I’d try them. I let you know how I get on.
When I bought the potatoes home, I put them into trays to ‘chit’ them. ‘Chitting’ just means that you are encouraging the seed potatoes to sprout before you plant them outside. All you need to do is stand the tubers with the eyes facing upwards, in trays or old egg boxes.
Contrary to popular belief, chitting potatoes is not essential, except for early varieties, to produce an earlier maturing crop. However, if you buy your main crop early like I do, then you may as well ‘chit’ them as well.
Place the potatoes in a cool, light place. I leave mine in our bedroom, as it’s the coolest room in the house…so romantic!
I hope we have a better crop of potatoes to harvest this year, as they were full of slug holes in 2012.
I hope you enjoyed reading my blog today.