Allotment update 14/4/2017

I’ve put in several hours on my plot yesterday and today, strimming, weeding, sowing and planting. It still feels early in the season but I’m well on the way to a full house.

I’ve said before that I have trouble getting seedlings going on my plot and start most things off in pots or cells. Today I planted out some carrots done in deep pots – I think they had seedling trees in them in an earlier life – and sowed another batch as soon as I got home. I sowed parsnips next to the carrots and covered the lot with fine mesh to keep out carrot fly. I hope that works, they did a lot of damage to last years crops.

Carrot Early Nantes
Carrot fly protection for carrots and parsnips.

I grew Flower Sprouts for the first time last year. They did very well so I have them again. I am trying two different cabbages this year, Huzarro and Delight Ball. The Flower Sprouts replaced overwintered and fairly useless Chard. I’ll give the spinach alongside a few more weeks. All thes brassicas had been sown in seed compost and pricked off into Sylvagrow peat free. They’ve done well but the cabbages are a bit soft.

Brassicas in 5cm cells.

My first sowing of perpetual spinach was in cells in Jack’s Magic compost, a peat based product that I have now used up and won’t be using again. That’s less because it’s peat than because it hasn’t given me good results. The spinach was sown under cover on 1st March and is looking hungry. It has been planted where the leeks were and since I am

Hungry spinach, planted out with last years leeks.

still digging and eating them, I haven’t mulched the ground. The no-dig model of mulching bare ground in autumn works well but it’s not so easy to fit in an annual mulch when there is an overwinter crop being followed by direct sown seeds or small transplants. Perhaps I shall top dress with compost when the plants get bigger.

Today I sowed in pots beetroot, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, courgettes, butternut squash, purple sprouting broccoli, purple curly kale, sweetcorn, parsley, peas, spinach, sorrel and giant goosefoot. I have no idea how I am going to fit it all in.

8 thoughts on “Allotment update 14/4/2017

  1. You certainly do have a lot to fit in, Jim! Fascinated by your carrot sowings. I was successful for the first time in about 5 years (I garden on a very dry, hot, sunny slope) when I sowed carrots onto spent potting compost, covered with spent potting compost and then sprayed over every day. I also covered the rows with fleece. It has worked! I have always avoided pots (although I do everything possible in containers, given our heavy clay, the position and the sunshine) for carrots – do you tease them apart when planting? I can see you’ve more than one plant to a pot. All the best for your vegetables!


    1. I thin to 10-12 in the pot, then plant it out as soon as I think it will hold together, as a clump. I lifted them as a clump too, when they were ready. Too many in the pot and you get very small carrots. I try to sow very thinly, in pots every seed makes a plant.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I have problems with slugs, wireworms and leatherjackets and getting things going from seed is difficult. I get millions of seedlings of welsh poppy and aquilegia in the garden, the slugs never even look at them. I guess we don’t regard them as edible either, come to think of it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m growing a tub of nantes carrots in the greenhouse. I can usually grow carrots from seed but as this is a new plot, I may follow your lead. Does the transplanting not cause the roots to fork?


    1. I plant them out as soon as there’s enough root to just hold the compost together; had no forking of roots at all. The pots I use are about five inches deep with mesh bottoms and ridges down the sides, used originally for young trees.


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