Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

What's in the Greenhouse?

My shallots arrived in the post yesterday! I chose the variety 'Pikant' they are a round, pink type which are said to be prolific. It is a bit too early to plant them out in the open yet, they might just sit there and rot for a few weeks. Instead I am giving them a few weeks' start in an unheated greenhouse sat in modules. This will enable them to get some roots down in safety.

In the same way I started off some 'Crimson flowered Broad Bean' a heritage variety I seed swapped with Celia from Purple Podded Peas. I read a review on Daughter of the Soil, they sound wonderful, can't wait to see them. I will find them a prominent place in the garden.

I have had excellent germination with my tomato seeds this year. I sow them individually in small modules for potting up later. This year I have sown Sungold, Moneymaker, Supersweet100, Jubilee.

I bought a packet of Country Taste F1 hybrid this week in the shop at Wisley. A bit pricey at £2.99 for only 6 seeds! A new variety for this year in the Thompson & Morgan catalogue. I wonder which varieties they crossed to come up with this one? Anyone know? Supposed to be able to grow GIANT beefsteak tomatoes in the greenhouse. If I trim the trusses down to 2 or 3 flowers, maybe I'll grow a WHOPPER!


At 7:56 AM, Blogger clairesgarden said...

ooohh aahhhh, exciting!!

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Threadspider said...

You've inspired me to get my shallots into modules too. Glad the no supermaket shopping is going so well.It is a delight to find great produce outside those places. How much extra time is it taking?

At 9:01 AM, Blogger Magic Cochin said...

That's a neat idea for starting the shallots. I'm growing Pikant this year - my veg plot is well drained so they usually go straight in the ground.

Lovely to see my broad beans growing - I'm sure you'll enjoy them. They're not a heavy cropper but the beans are bright green rather than grey-green and really tender.


At 5:37 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Threadspider - I am also taking the opportunity to eat stuff from my freezer and storecupboard at home. Cous cous, wholewheat pasta and some quinoa grain... just a matter of creativity and inspiration rather than time.
Celia - I read that the purple peas are quite a tall plant, I will grow them up an 8ft bean wigwam!

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Yolanda Elizabet said...

So you have already started with the broadbeans? I usually plant them straight in the earth. Does it make much difference to start them off in the greenhouse first?

At 6:18 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Yolanda - you ask an interesting question about the broad beans. With all plants I find that nature has a way of ripening vegetables all at the same time despite anything I do! Last year the tomatoes I planted in January fruited the same week as those I planted in April. I think starting them off early in the greenhouse is more a sign of my impatience to get the season underway! but there is a risk of seeds being eaten by pests or rotting away in the damp soil this time of year, so I like to think it helps.

At 8:41 PM, Blogger primrozie said...

Matron, I learn so much from you. I had no idea about starting the shallots in the greenhouse. I'm still waiting for new ones to arrive, but still have some from last season. Should I be able to plant those? They are in fine shape.

At 9:35 PM, Blogger Maggie said...

Wow, you have Australian native finger limes there and I can't get them here! They are fantastic, like bubbles if intense lime flavour, you just cut them open and use the pulp and seeds on your fish or grilled meat or veggies or cheese and crackers. Australian bush food sites will give you more info. Because they look like caviar and have such a flavour boost I am just waiting for the foodies to discover them.They are also amazing colours pink or lime green. We have a small finger lime growing in our garden. they love warm climates.


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