I was very excited this week as I purchased my seed potatoes (little things make me happy). I like to buy them early so I get the varieties that I particularly like to grow. I have chosen:
‘Marfona’ which are second earlies,
‘Picasso’ which are an early main crop and
‘Desiree’ which are red potatoes.
I bought the potatoes from a nursery in Enderby, as I like to be able to pick the exact number of seed potatoes that I need for each row at my allotment. It was fascinating to see the amount of different varieties of seed potatoes that they stock. I must say they have an amazing choice.
However, the best price per kg for seed potatoes that I have found this year, is at Wilkinsons. Unfortunately they don’t stock the varieties I wanted, but If I wasn’t fussy then I would definately buy them from there. They are also selling some potatoes loose this year for the first time, so you can also just buy the exact number of potatoes you require, rather than buying a bag.
I have now put my seed potatoes in seed trays to ‘chit’ them. You don’t really need to ‘chit’ main crop potatoes but there isn’t really anything else to do with them until April.
As per normal, I am the most romantic wife around and I have the potatoes ‘chitting’ in our bedroom, as it is the coolest room of the house. It’s a good job Mr Thrift is a tolerant man:
This week at the allotment I removed the environmesh over my overwintering onions and weeded. A couple of years ago I lost most of my overwintering onions to the ‘allium leaf miner’ (you can read about it here). When I harvested my onions last year, they were great after I covered them with the enviromesh, so I did the same thing again when I planted this crop.
After weeding I replaced the cover again.
I also forked my green manure into a couple of beds. I sowed ‘Phacelia’ in the beds in late summer and then chopped it down just before it flowered, but I find it never seems to die completely and keeps growing. So now, I cover it with weed suppressant for a few months to make sure it dies back and then I fork it in.
I then covered the two beds with plastic to warm the soil ready for my onions in February or March:
I also spread some manure around my rhubarb plants. I have placed a bin over one of my plants to ‘force’ the rhubarb. This way I will have lovely pink tender rhubarb a couple of weeks earlier than my other plants.
I inherited the rhubarb when I took on my plot number two, so unfortunately I don’t know what variety it is. What I do know is it is a very early variety and it’s actually starting to grow already:
Back at home I have started my seed sowing. I used toilet rolls filled with compost to sow my broad beans in. I sowed an overwintering variety called ‘Aquadulce’. I will leave them in my greenhouse until they germinate. You can plant these broad beans directly into the ground at the end of October but I find that mine always seem to get eaten by mice, so by planting them at home it ensures success.
I also sowed my leek seeds and I planted some garlic. I am a bit late planting my garlic but it should still be ok:
I am still harvesting things from my allotment and this week we have had some cabbages, carrots and a swede.
One of the cabbages was huge and I have loads left in my fridge:
One bit of bad news this week is we finished the last of my butternut squashes (which were also stored in my romantic bedroom with my pumpkins). I made a butternut squash soup and it was lovely and thick.
Finally, I picked my last red cabbage from my allotment and I decided to make some pickled red cabbage. If you have never pickled red cabbage before, it is really easy to do:
All you do is wash the cabbage, shred it and then cover it with salt:
Cover it and leave it overnight:
Rince the salt off the cabbage and then put the cabbage into a sterilised jar and cover with pickling vinegar.
Leave for a month before eating.
Thank you for reading my blog today.
I will be back again on Monday at my usual time.