Sunday, 22 May 2011

A First On The Allotment

This is the third year I've had my allotment yet it's the first time I've got any carrots to germinate. I don't know why this is, perhaps it's because the ground has been worked for a couple of years now. I dug out a small trench which I filled with multi purpose compost and the seeds were sown in to this. I've ensured that the seeds have been kept watered on those days when there hasn't been any rain. I've tried to sow thinly to avoid having to thin out, but plenty have germinated. I'm taking a chance and not covering them with fleece, only time will tell if I'm being foolhardy. I've just got to get them to grow now.

It isn't only the carrots which have germinated, even the parsnips have done so, and in record time too. Sometimes they can take weeks to start showing. I sowed them exactly the same way as I did the carrots, though it was easier to sow thinly as they're bigger seeds. I definitely shouldn't have to thin them much. I mentioned in an early post that I'd also chitted some parsnip seed and sown them in to plantpots to plant out later. Well they're just starting to put some leaves above the soil now so they'll be planted out very soon. It's important not to delay this job otherwise the tap root will hit the bottom of the plantpot which will cause the parsnip to fork. It will be interesting to see whether the direct sown parsnips or the ones from chitted seed do best.

I wanted to get my tomatoes potted on today but it's so windy that I couldn't chance doing any such jobs outside. I daren't even carry the plants from the greenhouse to the kitchen in case a gust of wind snapped them in two on the way. I'll leave that job for later on in the week.


  1. Well done getting all the roots germinated for the first time. It'll be a good harvest in a few months!

  2. We were talking about parsnips earlier as a friend has managed to get his to germinate for the 1st time this year - we put it down to the warm weather. Well done with yours.

  3. Congratulations!

    Fingers crossed for a bumper crop!

  4. Congratulations :)
    We spent yesterday 'battening down the hatches' but no doubt the wind will find something to damage.

  5. We've had gales in N Ireland as well. I had my snapdragon outside hardening off on Sunday and I could see them being battered so I've put hardening off on hold a few days until the wind dies down. The carrots I planted in my veg box are about the same stage as yours, great to see them germinate. Kelli

  6. If you have a carrot fly issue them you really do need to cover the seedlings or all your hard work could come to nothing - glad you have had some success.

  7. Congrats on the carrots and parsnips! I've given up growing carrots on the allotment this year, growing some in tubs in the greenhouse instead and they seem to be doing well. :)

  8. AnonymousMay 23, 2011

    Well done you're doing better than me, which isn't hard to do!
    I've also got some carrots germinating, but they're not in the ground! Flighty xx

  9. Well done on the carrots! My tomatoes in big pots are usually out for the day at the moment but they've spent the last 2 days in the greenhouse - it's SOOOO windy!

  10. Fantastic, congrats on the carrot germination, and parsnips too? I am envious, though I do have some germinated in half loo roll centres. The blackbirds have wrecked my back garden salad crop, fossiking about in the compost for tasty morsels, I may get a single sanwich from them today but need to start again. Like you, the tomatoes have had to wait for the wind to die down - all seems calm out there at the moment, so I have hopes...

  11. Germination is one thing, now I need them to grow, Damo. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they do well.

    I wondered if it's to do with the warm weather too, Su. Seeds always do better with a little heat to get them going.

    Thanks, Martin. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for the next few months.

    Thanks, Mo. The wind's bad here at the moment. I hope you don't suffer too much damage.

    Hardening off will have to be put on hold while this wind's about, Kelli. I've nurtured the seedlings too long to have them battered by gales now. I've got some stumpy carrots in a container which are futher on than the ones at the allotment which I planted just in case the allotment ones didn't germinate.

    I don't know if there's a carrot fly issue at the allotment or not, Sue, I've never got any carrots to germinate before. I'm going to chance it this year, I may be foolish.

    I've got some carrots in a container too, Paul. They were my plan b in case the allotment ones didn't germinate.

    Thanks, Flighty. Glad to hear that you're not going to be without carrots completely this year.

    I've moved plants back in to the greenhouse too, Kath. The wind isn't letting up here at all, in fact it's getting worse.

    It seems you've sent the winds here, Janet, it's worse today. Birds can be a nuisance, even when they're not meaning to be destructive. Enjoy your sandwich.

  12. AnonymousMay 25, 2011

    Well done on your carrots and parsnips, hope you get a good crop. We aren't very knowledgable veg growers and I don't know where OH got the idea, he will have read it somewhere but he sows our carrots and doesn't thin them out straight away but when they are an inch or inch and a half and we just keep eating them, thinning them out as we do, the little ones are really tasty and the ones left just grow bigger. No idea if that is wrong but it's worked quite well for us on a good year.
    The wind has been terrible here too, we have lost a tree and the garden has taken a battering, hope summer comes soon!

  13. Congrats on the carrots. Jo...mine haven't done too well this year so maybe the ground being worked id the answer as Ihave put mine in the new half which hasn't had so much work done on it...I guess i will have to wait and see.

    You have been very lucky with your parsnips too...mine have never grown directly sown into the ground so this year I used peat pots and actually have some growing..yay me!!

    I know what you mean about the wind...we actually had two tomato plants snap off...luckily we have plenty more.

  14. Dear Jo, Carrots and parsnips, oh my! I haven't got any seeds in the ground yet because of the rain. You are going to have a wonderful harvest, this year, Jo. I look forward to seeing the results. P. x

  15. I love baby carrots, Bluebell. Thinnings are a delicious treat, and doing it that way means no waste too, good all round. Sorry to hear about the damage to your garden, so sad to lose a tree.

    It's times like these when you're glad you've sown extra, Tanya. You're lucky it was only two tomato plants in the winds we've had recently. I was without parsnips last year so I was determined to have some this year. I've got some growing in plantpots to be planted out as well as those directly sown.

    Germination is one thing, Pam, getting them to grow is quite another. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

  16. Congratulations on the carrot gernination Jo. Hope that you get a great crop!

  17. Thanks, Anna. I'm keeping my fingers firmly crossed that they grow now. I love the taste of home grown carrots.


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