Lots and lots of ladybirds on the allotment and forget-me-nots too!! Ok… yes, they might be weeds, but they are very beautiful ones!!!
Today I have been finishing planting my potatoes.
Almost 2 beds are full, with 2 rows of potatoes in each. We used to dig trenches which was back-breaking work, but last year I purchased a long handled bulb planter which worked really well and makes light work of the potato planting task.
I buy my seed potatoes through the allotment society which means I get a great selection at a great price and place the order in October / November time. They are ready for collection from the Allotment Shop in February / March.
Potato varieties I am growing this year are:
Charlotte – Salad Potatoes BBC Charlotte Potato Recipies
Aaron Pilot – First Earlies
Kestrel – Second Earlies – a firm favourite which lasts exceptionally well in storage or if left in the ground
Markies – Main Crop Markies Potato Information
King Edwards – Main Crop
For a great resource that tells you all about the many varieties of potatoes try the potato council website www.lovepotatoes.co.uk.
After winter the growing season begins again. Of course there are things that can be grown over winter, but from March/April onwards seeds need to be sown in earnest and the hard work begins. I have recently cleaned out the greenhouse and for the first time bought some tomato plants to put in the grow bags.
Why? You might ask. Well, every other year I have grown my own, but I never seem to get fruit until September which means many of them don’t ripen. Unfortunately I have limited space in the house for starting them off early and my greenhouse is not heated. I noticed last week that the local garden centre had some excellent specimens for reasonable prices so this week I decided to spend a total of £7.50 on a selection of 8 plants.
They are far more developed than my seedlings have ever been at this point of the year, some are even starting to develop flower trusses!
Another new method I am trying this year is only planting 2 tomatoes in each grow bag instead of 3. Also I am ‘extending’ the grow bags (so-to-speak) by placing in pots that we have cut the bottoms out of to allow the roots to grow freely and which allows me to add more compost. Finally, for watering I have sunk a smaller pot in the middle of the two plants. I shall see how successful this method turns out to be over the coming months…