The sun is shining and the frost has thawed, it can only mean one thing, a trip to the allotment, No.27.
It is normally a tale of digging and more digging, but today was excitingly different. I began direct sowing as well as a bit of digging, just for good measure.
Spring Onions were first in, a 1 x 3m row of Barletta variety, from the Italian Kitchen range by Suttons seeds. They are described as a sweet tasting quality onion, easy to grow and ideal for pickling.
Seeds can be sown from March to June, weather depending of course (they don’t mention that on the packet) and will be ready for harvesting July to October.
Cultural instructions are easy, sowing thinly into raked soil at a depth of 13mm in rows 30cm apart. No thinning required either, bonus!
Next up, was a 1 x 3m row of Mr Fothergill’s ‘Boltardy’ Beetroot, an early favourite that is bolt resistant and an excellent source of folate and potassium.
These intriguing looking seeds, can be sown from March to July and harvested from June to October. Sowing thinly 2.5cm deep in to finely raked and already watered soil. Allowing 30cm between rows.
According to Mr Fothergill, seedlings should appear in 7-21 days and be thinned to 10cm apart.
Lastly, was a 1 x 3m row of Mr Fothergill’s ‘Autumn King 2’ Carrots, claiming to be an excellent maincrop carrot, with first rate colour and flavour. Storing well and providing an excellent source of Vitamin A and antioxidants.
Carrots can also be sown thinly at 1.5cm deep into finely raked and pre-watered soil from March to July.
Early sowings benefit from cloche protection, especially recommended as we still have at least another frost forecasted next week.
The beetroot and carrots can be stored in dry sand for winter use.
I am planning on doing successional sowing of all of these to enable me to have a continuous supply throughout the summer and winter hopefully. I will be doing another row of each in a months time.
I find sowing extremely exciting and hopefully all gardeners and allotmenteers do, no matter how long you have been growing your own. I really do hope it never gets boring. As I have said probably a number of times, the thought of sowing a seed and watching it grow into deliciousness is very rewarding.
I finished my mug of Bovril, did a bit of digging and before leaving I tucked all the rows up under a cloche to keep them warm and protected from any potential frost.
Job done and time to head home.
Has anyone tried these varieties before?
Hope you all managed to get even a small amount of time up at the plot this weekend, it’s worth it just for the fresh air. Happy Gardening! xx