Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Seedy start to the year

This year's seeds have arrived! I love this time of year when everything is still in the planning stage, the allotment is half dug and I can sit inside with a cup of tea and dream of the bumper harvests. Sadly we all know that not everything will go smoothly but part of the fun is seeing just what will thrive this year.

I will be growing 'True and Tender' parsnips, 'Giant Red' red carrots and having another try with the 'Diamond' aubergines. After last year's success I am repeating the 'Wautoma' cucumbers but this time I'm going to follow the instructions and try and save some seed! In fact, all of my seeds are from 'Real Seeds' so in theory, since none are F1 varieties, I'll be able to save seed from all my vegetables. Watch this space...

Tomato wise I'm going to risk growing a few plants on the allotment so alongside 'Latah' and 'Gardener's Delight' I'll be growing 'Galina' and 'Solanum Spontaneum' which is an intriguing orange currant variety.

Also going into the new category are some blue 'Azur' khol rabi and a brocolli raab. All of these will join the usual brassicas, salads, beans, potatoes and leeks that I have seed left over from.

Now I just need to finalise a planting plan and quickly work out where the seed gaps are. How is your planning going?

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Happy New Year

The last few months of 2010 went a little mental so sorry for the lack of posts. I did manage to get my sister through a wedding, and of course give her a proper send off with a rather boozy hen night, and then there was some craziness at work which doesn't look like it will be fully sorted until February.

All of that and the terrible weather has meant considerably less time was spent at the allotment. As a result the allotment is looking very weedy, even with all the snow and ice there are lots of things growing and it's just a shame they're not things I can eat. I have managed a couple of recent visits so the digging has at least begun but once your feet have doubled in size and the spade is twice as heavy with wet mud I start to wish for a cup of tea and a warm sofa.

Late in November I found time to plant 'Sicilian Red' and 'Lautrec Wight' garlic in the raised beds at home, where they will hopefully avoid the rust I have had trouble with at the allotment. Since then I have been given some garlic bulbs by a kind neighbour so I will be putting in a couple of rows on the allotment too.

I still have kale, cabbages, brocolli, celeriac, parnips and leeks growing but annoyingly now that my rabbit proofing has stopped the rabbits eating everything it has given the pigeons a good chance. It looks like next year will see the purchase of some proper netting for the brassicas.

Now I just need to get my seed order placed before the VAT rise.

Happy New Year!