Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a courtyard garden. Which edibles will tolerate less than ideal growing conditions. Discovering how veggies can grow in partial shade.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spring Sowings

I bought some Yorkshire forced rhubarb this week. Early stems of rhubarb are sweeter and contain more water than those picked later in the year. Well worth the extra cost for just a few bowls of lovely, sweet rhubarb.
It annoys me therefore, that Sainsburys and Waitrose are selling forced rhubarb which comes from Holland! Grrrrr! The best rhubarb comes from Yorkshire!
A sad sight awaited me when I went into my garden shed this week. My seed potatoes were unable to cope with the freezing temperatures we've had in the past few weeks. These Rocket early potatoes are soft and mushy. Fortunate that I hadn't bought any others yet, I will be replacing them in the next few days. Varieties will be Epicure, Rocket and Red Duke of York.
I planted my first seeds in a heated propagator in the greenhouse this week. I have always wanted to try growing Pot Leeks. This year, I have been able to obtain some F1 Cairngorm pot leek seeds. Pot leeks have a much thicker shaft (Oooh Matron!) whereas blanch leeks have longer thinner shafts.
Chilli seeds are best planted as early as possible. As long as you can protect them from extreme temperatures they appreciate a much longer growing season. These Black Pearl Chilli were given to me last year by a very kind fellow blogger, as part of my Black veggie collection.
I haven't grown these Joe's Long chillis for a few years either. These are a hot Cayenne pepper, the plants can grow 4 or 5 feet tall, and the chillis can reach 10 or 12 inches long.
Here are some that I grew a few years ago, they ripen to a stunning scarlet red. They made fantastic Christmas decorations strung together. At last the growing season has begun.


At 12:07 AM, Blogger Scarecrow said...

I hope your growing season goes well this garden is winding down from summer now and getting ready for the winter crops.

At 2:15 AM, Blogger Tim said...

Hi matron, I built a heated propagator in my garage, well I call it a plant incubator. Anyway there are pictures of it on my blog, I have a bunch of Tomato's and Peppers started in it plus more than I can remember at the moment. It is a simple design but seems to be working fine at the moment.

At 2:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautiful rhubarb...when Don was alive I used to be able to find what was available in a USA grocery store to make him at least one rhubarb pie a season...and now nothing. Just as well I suppose since I'm trying not to eat pie...with the calories from the crust!

Sad about your potatoes...but I know you always have a contingency plan in place.

Those chillis are fantastic!

At 8:10 AM, Blogger sonia said...

I had a lot of trouble with slugs with rocket potatoes. Happy sowing.

At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Rachael said...

I did Black Pearl chillies last year. The fruits were not particularly hot, but the plants are beautiful!

At 11:14 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

Hi matron,disappointing start with the seed potatoes but at least there is still lots of time to get replacements. We have not had such bad temps this year and spring has begun early with warm days adn some sunshine!
I actually bought and used a chilli for the first time last week but somehow I dont think I will try growing them. I love the vibrant colour and shapes when I see your photos though.

At 9:39 PM, Anonymous Damo said...

Hope some of your potatoes made it through and that chilli plant looks great.

At 10:49 AM, Blogger Lrong said...

Oh, the long chillies look so inviting...


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