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Allotment this weekend:

Posted by Guy Barter on 26 Feb 2010 at 02:01 PM

After recent heavy rain it is going to be hard to finish digging, or prepare  seedbeds.  On the other hand temperatures in the South have risen sufficiently to make spring imminent and few days of sunny, windy weather could dry out and warm the soil significantly.  This being so…


• Sowing where soil has been warmed and   rain kept off by cloches or plastic sheets – Cloches tend to blow away on allotments, but beneath plastic sheet it might be worth attempting sowing of carrots, parsnips, peas and broad beans.


• Pre-germinating seeds and showing chatted seeds with just the merest tip of white showing can be effective at this season. It is my favoured approach when sowing parsnips.


• Indoor sowings can now go ahead within the limits of available space.


• Spent crops can now be discarded to get the ground ready to cultivate.


• Stored crops are being sorted out discarding decayed examples and getting the rest ready to use.


• Shallots can now go out. (Garlic has long since been planted).


• It is still a tad early for onion sets – they are inclined to bolt, but I like to plant out a few as an experiment to see what I can get away with for future years.


• Previously cultivated land is being left for the first batch of weeds to grow.  Once these have come up they will be polished off before sowing or covered with black plastic so that they will be dead by the time the land is needed for sowing.


• In the next two or three weeks sowing will be in full swing.  It is worth marking out where the rows will be going with line, tape measure and pegs.


• Crops of carrots, parsnips, savoys, Brussels sprouts and leeks are still holding out well.   Cape and sprouting broccoli are on the verge of cropping. Spring cabbages are showing much winter damage but at least some will survive for cropping in mid-spring.  Spring onions and lettuces are still months  away from cropping but they at least they are alive.


• And, to my relief, the last of the potato seed order has turned up and they will need chitting.


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