Wednesday, 18 April 2012

On The Plot

At long last, I managed to get to the allotment on Sunday. I started the shallots and red onions off in pots in the greenhouse many weeks ago and they should really have been planted out before now. As you can see, they'd put on plenty of top growth and as I removed them from their pots, I could see that they'd put out plenty of roots too. I'm hoping that this has given them a good start. The Bedfordshire Champion onions which I started from seed are still only like blades of grass. It's the first time I've tried growing from seed and I don't think I'm going to be very successful, surely they should have grown more than this by now. I've no idea when I should plant them out, but I don't think they'd stand much of a chance at this point. Perhaps I'll buy a few sets and get them out as soon as possible then I won't be left without.

I also planted out the broad beans. They'd also been languishing in the greenhouse waiting for their turn to be turfed out. I've only got a dozen plants, I'm not sure what sort of yield each plant will give, but as I'm not sure whether I like broad beans or not, I thought a dozen was enough to try. They've grown in to sturdy little plants so I hope the cooler weather we're having at the moment isn't going to do any damage to them.

The first direct sowing of the year has taken place, half a row of beetroot, Boltardy. I'd only ever eaten pickled beetroot from a jar before I grew my own, now I love it roasted, though none of the family are particularly keen. Hubby also sowed some carrots. You may remember that we experimented last year by growing carrots in an old bath which had been left on the allotment when we took it over. The carrots grew really well, and weren't troubled by carrot fly even though they didn't have any protection, so we're growing them the same way this year. We're trying a new variety, Sweet Candle. There's one thing about the wet weather we're having at the moment, I'm not having to go down to the allotment to water anything.


  1. Hi Jo, my onions I sowed from seed are like blades of grass too, not sure what to do with them either! I am going to plant out one tray and see what happens if they take off then I'll plant the rest out. I'll keep you posted.

  2. our braod berans are still languishing albeit in the cold frame!

  3. Our broad beans are still in the cold frame waiting to go to the plot and carrots are safe in their seed packets. As the weather doesn't look like improving I guess we're going to have to start dodging the showers.

  4. I always think that my onions will never work as they seem to look so pathetic for so long but eventually they always seem to come good. I'm about to sow broad beans too - I usually plant about 12 which is enough for our family. The kids tolerance of some veggies only goes so far...

  5. Your shallots look great. I just put mine directly into the ground but I think I'll try your method next year. I'm trying carrots in pots this year. I've got some colourful ones and I'm got them in the back garden. The allotment is just rife with carrot fly so not going to risk them up there.

  6. I don't grow onions from seed - a bit too fiddly for my liking - but the leeks haven't changed in size since I transplanted them - they seem to have come to a full stop. My broad beans are in the ground but covered for a bit of protection. It is still so bloomin' cold isn't it - I have a feeling we are all going to have late crops this year.

  7. Onion seedlings should be planted out this month, and sets should be as well.
    The broad beans should be okay. If not then try sowing some seed direct, which you can do through to the end of May.
    I've sowed some beetroot and carrots. I usually do okay with the first but as for carrots...
    A wet week here so it looks like I won't be plotting again until next week! Flighty xx

  8. I LOVE roasted beetroot especially with balsamic vinagar and a pinch of sugar and a sprinkle og fresh thyme. we have it atleast once a week in the summer.
    as for the onions from seed i gave up on that its far to much faffing about.

  9. Well Jo, I've sown beetroot, spinach and bell peppers, whether they grow or not is another thing.........I'm feeling quite proud of myself, of course they may all come to nothing........there's that potting on bit stage to still get through.........I'll be stalking your blog for info and tips.
    lily x

  10. Hi Jo, I have got my onion sets in and they have got a fair bit of top growth too.My direct sown carrot seeds and spinach have appeared (although judging by the amount of rain we are having at the moment they may well drown!) and the potatoes are pushing through too.I bought some strawberry plants 6 for £4, they are only small but I have put them in the flower beds and they will have to get along with the 'pretty' plants. I still need to sow some lettuce and another sowing of carrots.

  11. I can't imagine that you won't like the Broad Beans! I just love them. Twelve plants should certainly give you enough to see whether you like them or not. I have about three dozen plants, and I know it isn't enough...
    My shallots and garlic are loving the rain we are getting at present. The Drought Order has certainly had the desired effect!

  12. Looking good! :)
    We have nothing out yet. We've had a spate of hard frosts and now everything is muddy.

  13. I am currently hardening my broad beans off to plant them least that's the theory but it's been so wet I keep leaving them in the greenhouse!!!

    I too love roasted beetroot!

    I haven't done any of my direct sowing yet but plan to make a start this weekend!!

    The shallots are looking good. I have never grown them it too late to plant some now??

  14. I did my firat outside sowing this weekend too - beetroot and carrots and sald mainly. My shallots are still in pots in the greenhouse, but they're not as big as yours so I think I've still got time to get them outside yet!
    I love this time of year, it's so busy, but so full of expectation and hope!

  15. Those shallots look extremely healthy. I think you either like beetroot or you don't - there's no in between.
    It's been trying to rain here again - just can't make up its mind. Good for the seeds though.
    Love from Mum

  16. Glad to hear that you finally got some time to spend at the allotment Jo. You do feel a sense of satisfaction once you have got certain jobs completed. I got some potatoes in on Monday afternoon and had a big grin on my face for the rest of the day. Was hoping to do some direct sowing this week but has stopped play.

  17. That's a good idea, Wigglywoo, I might do the same, though I think I'd better wait for this rain to stop first otherwise they'll get washed away.

    It's probably the best place for them at the moment with all this rain, Sue. I hope mine are ok.

    There's no let up from the rain yet, Martyn. I don't know about dodging showers, I don't think this weather is conducive to gardening.

    Fingers crossed that my onions come good too then, Liz. I somehow don't think my kids will enjoy broad beans, but you never know, they might surprise me.

    I did the same thing with my shallots last year and got a great harvest, Wellywoman. I've grown different coloured carrots before but the kids weren't over keen. They like their carrots to be orange.

    I don't know if I'll bother with onions from seed again, Elaine. As you say, they're a bit fiddly. I don't even know if they're going to work out or not yet.

    The onions are just so small, Flighty, I think I'll just have to bite the bullet, plant them out and see how they do. It's very wet here too, there definitely won't be any gardening happening this week.

    I shall have to give that a go with the beetroot, Stacy. I enjoy it with a bit of goats cheese too.

    Good luck with everything, Lily, I'm sure they'll be fine. There's nothing quite like the taste of home grown veggies so it's worth all the nurturing of the seedlings.

    You did well with your strawberry plants, Anne, I've seen them selling for £1.50 per plant in some garden centres. Hope the carrots and spinach survive the downpours, it hasn't let up since yesterday here.

    I'll probably kick myself only planting a dozen broad bean plants if I like them, Mark. There's always next year though. You certainly wouldn't think we had a drought going by the amount of rain which has fallen in the last two days.

    Probably very wise, Mo. It's never stopped raining since I planted everything out so I'm hoping they're ok.

    It's not too late to plant shallots, Tanya, providing you get them out as soon as possible. Hope you manage to get some gardening done at the weekend, I think it will be too wet to do anything here.

    It's a great time of year, Su, but very busy for the gardener. I just wish I could get on with some jobs, but rain's stopped play.

    Beetroot is a bit like Marmite, Mum, as you say, there's no in between. Can't wait now until I'm harvesting the first lot.

    It was a feeling of relief after getting everything planted out, Anna. I've been meaning to get it done for a while now but there just isn't enough time in the day. I do wish the rain would stop so I could get on with a few more jobs.

  18. My onion seedlings are also looking very tiny and unpromising, however I have bitten the bullet and planted them out. From what I have read everyone seems to say they don't do anything for ages and then suddenly they're away. Leeks are similar aren't they? Time will tell, I'm keeping the faith for now!

  19. The soil in your photo looks very dry. Bet you're glad to get a bit of rain. Your onion photo looks so pretty!

  20. Blimey you have been busy - ive been direct sowing then doing a lot of finger crossing as the frosts are still coming thick and fast!

  21. It seems that most people are planting their onions out while still small, Rachael. I think I'd better do the same, though I'll wait for a little better weather first.

    I think the photo is misleading, Kelli, as the soil was rather damp when I planted the sets out. It'll be much wetter now though after all the rain we've had.

    I don't think we've seen the last of the cold weather yet, Freerangegirl. Most plants can cope with a little cold, fingers crossed that yours are ok.

  22. I'm planting 4 types of broad beans.Can't get enough.
    Suttons went in my raised beds at home in the warm spell in mid March and now just peaking through.
    Planted a tall variety in allotment a week after Easter.Will be nice to have the space in my new allotment to succession plant the rest until end of May.

  23. Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, Shinny. You must enjoy broad beans if you're planting that many. I'm hoping that I like them too.

  24. I grow winter onions - start them in November and then pull them in June. I do find they don't keep so well but do find it's worth doing

  25. I suppose they fill the gap between finishing last year's onions and harvesting this year's, Growing Onions. Definitely worthwhile if you use lots of onions.


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