Look!!! A tomato seedling…….the earliest ever!!!
So what did Mr Middleton have in store for us last week?
Firstly. How to use Bad Weather. Mr Middleton at last acknowledges that the Winter can be wet – and that other things can be done – lifting leeks to make room etc. Well I have been clearing the animal pens out of rubbish, and hopefully next week will clear out their sleeping quarters – lots of straw and dung for the allotment. It should be dry enough (we have been lucky in missing a lot of the rain that is about this week) to walk over the soil so dumping the manure should be possible.
EDIT – I have found that these onions are too far gone – they have clearly got damp and started to rot – shame.
Second. Plant Shallots. Where weather permits plant out – well I would lie to do this – but not sourced any Shallots yet!!! Maybe over the week.
Third. Plant Artichokes. I’ve never planted Artichokes from seed before – I like the look of the plant, and as every other type of thistle seems to grow here I am going to give this a go. Six planted and on the window ledge – Purple de Provence.
Fourth. Fill up Spring-Cabbage rows. Replace any that have been lost in your rows. I didn’t have any rows going so I can’t do this……
Fifth. Sow Maincrop onions. Mr Middleton likes his onions…..as stated in the last three weeks I will be planting sets later in Spring.
Sixth. Sow Sprouts and Cucumbers. Sprouts for next year need to be sown now – even though I am still eating last years!!!. I wont be buying seed to plant sprouts – I only need 6-8 plants, its cheaper to buy a tray of seedlings then a pack of seeds (£1.57). I’ll buy seedlings in April.
I have planted 2 Cucumber seeds (an heir and a spare) of the Iznik F1 variety – they are a smallish full flavour type – gave loads of cucumbers last year – I need to remember to save some seed this year though!!
Seventh. Examine Seed Potatoes. Mr Middleton advises to examine the seed potatoes and ensure that each only has no more than 2 shoots, on the basis that fewer shoots mean more and bigger potatoes. I’m not sure this is valid……
Eighth. Prune new fruit trees. Its the season to buy and plant new fruit trees and bushes. There is 5 holes in the small Orchard where replacements are needed and I’ll be looking to get thee in the next couple of weeks.
This year I am going to plant soft fruit bushes in the Allotment, so I have started to purchase these………Wilkinsons provide a really good and cheap selection of these – and having grown these before they are reasonable quality. I am looking at Currents and Gooseberries, possibly Raspberries. Not any of the other thorned berries they sell though – they grow wild.
February is a good month for growers – it starts with plans to be made – and ends with the planting in full swing!!!