March Updates

I’m posting this later than intended because until two days ago I was waiting for seeds to arrive and complete this seasons’ varieties. Now everything is here (including seed potatoes) it must be time for a megapost…

Tomatoes are my thing, and the beefsteak varieties are what my greenhouse is for. I like to try new additions particularly in the heavyweight bracket so I have chosen Mortgage Lifter and Gigantomo. My go-to varieties for flavour are Brandywine and the ever popular salad size Ailsa Craig. Gazzy, a yellow f1 hybrid is making an appearance as is Zlatava, an orange skinned red fleshed type. My Brandywine seeds are my own selection from last season’s biggest fruit…

As you can see 666 grams! Well worth seed saving for future years.

I have a heated propagator and grow-lights so for now the tomato seeds go into the former until germinated. The aim for this years Gigantomo and Mortgage Lifter is to beat my ‘personal best’ heaviest fruit…

So that just about covers tomato fetishes for now.

Meanwhile, the allotment is just showing signs of life. There is digging still to be done but the earth is too wet. Better get in the greenhouse then…

Next to the path sits a clump of daffodils. At least there is one patch of colour out here. Anyway, time to sow some veg seeds.

Okay, not an inspiring image. These seeds are for the heavyweight cabbage ‘Brunswick’ and I expect good results. Last years crop saw the heaviest of 11 lbs. Up next is Broad Beans from seed I saved last season…

I use a potting mix of equal parts seed compost and Perlite; things tend not suffer from over watering with this mixture. The shallots and garlic were started in pots at the beginning of March and have come on well

They appear to be drowning here but I’d just watered them! The shallots are ‘Bizstro’ and the garlic is a real belter named ‘Cristo’. There isn’t anything else in the greenhouse yet except two large pots for my earliest potatoes ‘Swift’…

I do grow plenty of spuds both in pots and directly in the ground. Swift are my favourite ‘early’, usually ready mid May grown like this. Maincrop is nearly always ‘Arran Victory’ and the seed for these is at home waiting for another week or two before planting.

So let’s take a look at the rest of the plot, starting with the Cardoons. These were sown last year at the end of April and planted out late May. Rather than use the plants for their tender midribs I’m leaving them to produce artichoke-like buds instead

They are quite a size now having survived the wet miserable winter and should make more growth as things warm up. Two metres in height, apparently.

Rhubarb. Of course. Where would we be without it? Or, if you prefer tree fruits.. 

This pear tree is quite aggravating. It has slipped into biennial bearing and last year I got one pear for my troubles. When the bloody thing does decide to crop the fruits are fantastic so let’s wait and see.

VEGETABLES FOR 2017:

  • Beetroot – Boltardy, Detroit 2 & Boldor f1
  • Cardoon
  • Potatoes – Swift, Arran Victory, Pink Fir Apple
  • Sweetcorn – Lark
  • French beans – Blue Lake & Corona D’Oro
  • Runner beans – Enorma
  • Broad beans – Witkiem Manita
  • Tomatoes – Brandywine, Zlatava, Ailsa Craig, Gigantomo f1, Mortgage Lifter & Gazzy f1
  • Gherkins
  • Garlic – Cristo
  • Shallots – Bisztro
  • Celery – as young plants tbc
  • Leeks 
  • Borlotti beans – Lingua di Fuoco
  • Cabbage – Brunswick
  • Purple broccoli
  • Radish – trial variety from DT Brown
  • Lettuces (all types)
  • Pumpkin – Crown Prince f1
  • PeasOnward
  • CourgetteGreen Bush

FRUIT FOR 2017:

  • Apples – Bramley
  • Blackcurrants – Wellington
  • Pears
  • Cherries – Stella
  • Gooseberries – Invicta
  • Blackberries – Oregon Thornless
  • Raspberries – Polka
  • Strawberries – Senga Gigana

HERBS FOR 2017:

  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Marjoram
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