Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The sowing has started

Just a very brief update on the allotment scenario:

It's still too damn wet to do anything there properly so I've gone through my seed stash and decided what to grow this year, what I'm abivalent about and what not to bother with.  The 'not bothering with' list is the shortest  -
  • swede (just won't grow in the soil properly), 
  • tomatoes (blight every time so not bothering again), 
  • sweetpeas (too many greenfly), 
  • broad beans (ditto), 
  • Swiss chard (grows well but pretty underwhelming flavour - pretty colours though, but no), 
  • sweet peppers (until I get a proper glass greenhouse, these just don't work for me).

Ambivalent -
  • Dwarf Yellow Beans (prolific but got dry and leathery very quickly), 
  • Mange Tout/Sugar Snap Peas (I grew both intermingled but only liked the flavour of one - seemed a lot of effort for not too much reward), 
  • Red Cabbage (rubbish yield this past season, not much better season before), 
  • Garlic (grows well but we just don't use that much in cooking), 
  • Onions (don't grow very large and cheap as chips in the shops - I know that's not the point but sometimes it's best to be realistic), 
  • Broccoli (big plants for not many spears, plus mine flowered extremely quickly).  
Chances are I'll probably still grow all these anyway, as I have the space and the seeds so might as well....

Checking the packets to see what can be sown now, I've taken the risk and sown half a dozen little pots each with Leeks (Musselburgh), Spring Onions (White Lisbon), and three kinds of lettuce - red Lollo Rossa, green Salad Bowl and green Little Gem.  You're not supposed to sow any of these until March but I thought I'd experiment with them a bit early and pop them into one of the plastic-houses at the end of the garden.  No pictures I'm afraid as they're just too dull.  Some dark brown earth in paler brown pots stuck on a gently rusing shelf in a dilapidated plastic-house whose cover has gone brittle in the UV light over winter and split, now held together with brown plastic parcel tape. Not very Cath Kidston, I know, but at least it works!!!


  1. We grow sweetpeas but I know what you mean about greenfly. I recently read that if you grow lavender near something the greenfly doesn't like lavender so may be worth growing around sweetpeas if you ever want to give them another go :-)

  2. There's still no work done on my allotment either, but I've done the same as you and started off some seeds. I'm going to have a go at swede for the first time this year, I hope I don't encounter the same problems as you.

  3. Glad to hear garlic grows well - I am trying it for the 1st time this year & I use it lots in cooking :) I'm not bothering with broccoli this year - mine went to flower too soon too. Lots of effort keeping the pests off. I totally agree with you about Swiss Chard. Looks amazing but not much to write home about in the kitchen. If I grow it again it will be just to look nice! & for me, tomatoes - never again! it was like taking care of a needy child :P haha!


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