Sunday, 24 April 2011

They're In

I managed to spend some time at the allotment today. I've come home because I'm shattered, it's hard work doing anything in this heat, but Hubby is still down there preparing more beds for me. I managed to get my shallots - Sante, and onions - Turbo planted. As you can see, I started my shallots off in pots in the greenhouse, and they've already got plenty of top growth as well as great root systems. I didn't plant my onions and shallots until the 16th of May last year, I was very late, but they still produced a decent crop and I hadn't started them off in pots either so I'm hoping for an even better harvest this year.

The first early potatoes - Arran Pilot which I planted nearly two weeks ago in containers seem to be doing well. They had been well chitted and I can already see some foliage peeking through the compost, they'll need earthing up soon. I'm hoping to get my maincrop potatoes planted at the allotment during the next week.

I hope you've all enjoyed the Easter weekend, it's made such a change to celebrate Easter in the sunshine, I remember many wet Easters in the past. We went out for a walk this morning and came across a male Orange Tip butterfly.  I wouldn't have recognised it if it hadn't been for Flighty of Flighty's Plot mentioning that he'd seen one last week. It had fluttered off before I managed to reach for my camera so I'm afraid there's no photo. I hope you all enjoy the rest of the Easter holiday whatever you've got planned.


  1. Your shallots look big and healthy. Have a lovely weekend, looks like Easter is full of sunshine and a bit of heat. Kelli.

  2. Not easy to grab a photo of butterflies especially the flitty ones. We saw a few brimstone today but didn't manage a photo of one of them either.

    Our potatoes in bags are up and need earthing as they are growing really quickly now.

  3. Your shallots look great! I've been growing banana shallots from seed the last couple of years - but they still look like feeble blades of grass at this time of year. Hopefully they'll put on a growth spurt soon...

  4. It's all looking, and sounding, pretty good!
    I always think that planting onions and potatoes is a long, rather boring, job and glad when I've done it.
    Thanks for the linked mention. They seem to have been seen all around the country over the past week or so.
    Flighty xx

  5. The shallots look well. It's hard work in this heat. We had a BBQ instead!

  6. I haven't tried shallots this year, I think it'll have to be something on the list for next year!!

  7. Hi Jo, I am still using the shallots l grew from last year and they are still really firm and taste great. And they have been kept in an unheated greenhouse all winter! Makes you wonder why we go to such length's to look after over-wintering veg sometimes.

  8. Heat - what heat??? We are even further north than usual this weekend, and have been doing my Dad's garden in distinctly chilly Scottish weather.
    Interesting to see your shallots. I plant mine straight in the ground, and they're only coming away now, after several weeks.

  9. I planted shallots last autumn. Half rotted away and the other half are competing with yours!

    Today I took my camera with me when we went to the coast today. (Yellowcraigs, Linda) I lined the family + dog up in front of the Bass Rock, only to find the memory card was still in the computer at home.

    Also I love it when the Swifts arrive each year, but they are so fast and unpredictable that I have never managed to capture them 'on film'.

  10. I've never had much luck with Shallots. I've tried then a couple of times and they only produced bulbs about the size of a Broad Bean! What was I doing wrong, I wonder? They never put on as much top growth as the ones in your photo.
    Like other commenters here, I have begun to see a lot of butterflies now. There already seem to be more about than there were last year. I have seen several small blue ones, but I can't identify them precisely. The rarer ones are often the least spectacular to look at!

  11. Lovely looking shallots, I must plan for room for them for next year methinks. I don't know how anyone manages to get photos of butterflies, I never can, but wonderful to see. Unless they are white and flying near your brassicas...

  12. We've begun to grow onions in modules too. They get such a good root system before they go out (and the blackbirds don't pull them up and ruin your neat rows!

  13. I wish my Hubby was so helpful on the plot...the only way I know I have beds ready is because i have prepared them..I don't mind though...the plot is MY domain and that's the way i like it!!

    Looks like you got a good start though....I have been getting a few things done too!!

  14. It's been a lovely Easter weekend, Kelli. It's made a change to get a bank holiday which is sunny, and we've done a bit of everything.

    I haven't seen any Brimstones this year, Sue. It's amazing how quickly potatoes grow once they start.

    Growing from seed is so different from growing from sets, Surburban Veg Gardener. I might have a go at onions from seed next year.

    Thanks, Flighty. It's been on my mind for a while that I need to get the onions in so I'm glad it's done with now, just the potatoes to go. I'm watching out for more Orange Tips, let's see if I manage to photograph one.

    I don't blame you, Damo, a BBQ sounds good. We lit the chimenea last night and toasted marshmallows.

    Shallots are great, The Dream. Onions give you a larger onion from one you plant, whereas shallots produce lots of shallots for each one which is planted. Definitely worth trying.

    You've had great success with your shallots then, Wartimegardening. I've planted more this year in the hope that they'll last longer.

    Sorry to hear that you haven't been enjoying the fine weather that we have, Linda. This is the first time that I've started my shallots off in pots in the greenhouse. I did it to see if it would make a difference, and it certainly looks like they've got a head start.

    I think you can count your shallots as a success, Mal, as it's surprising that they all didn't rot in the winter we've just had. I don't think I've ever forgotten my memory card but I often forget the camera itself. Swifts are very fast, I wouldn't be able to photograph them either.

    I'm no expert when it comes to shallots, Mark. This is only the second year I've grown them myself. They went in very last last year but I still got a decent crop so I hope they do well again this year. There does seem to be a lot of butterflies around this year, and I started seeing them a lot earlier than usual too.

    I've seen some Cabbage White butterflies around this weekend, Janet. I've got brassicas hardening off in the garden, I must remember to inspect them for eggs before they go out under the netting.

    It's only the shallots which I started in pots, Kath. The onions have gone out without being started off first so Hubby has been instructed to check them today. No doubt some have been dislodged by the birds.

    Hubby wasn't interested in gardening at all when I got the allotment, Tanya. He's since found that he enjoys the manual work like digging and building cages and wigwams so I'm happy to let him get on with those tasks, though I do help too.

  15. It did get rather warm this weekend Jo and I had to pack in working at the allotment too :) Interested to hear how late you got your shallots in last year ~ have already got some in but maybe still time for more:)

  16. Butterflies! A sure sign that garden season is here to stay, at least for a while. How big an effort are the potatoes? How much space do you have to dedicate for a consistent yield? Cheers!

  17. We have been down our allotment a lot lately too, it is so dry down there at the moment though :-( I have been having to go down with milk bottles full of water to water all the new plants - the water butt is already empty :-o

  18. It was the first time I'd grown shallots last year, Anna. They were very late going in, but I still got a decent amount off them. Certainly worth taking a chance with, the sets are only cheap.

    The potatoes in containers are really no effort at all, Avis. It's a case of planting them and then filling the container with more compost as they grow, and that's all there is to it, apart from watering. I plant three tubers in each container and I get a good few meals from them. You do need to have a lot of containers on the go for a continuous supply though.

    It's nice to get out to the allotment in this weather, Scented Sweetpeas, but it's often been too hot to do much work. I try not to water plants too much, they get a drenching when they're planted and then I try to let them fend for themselves, though I agree that it's been very dry lately.


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