Allotment Celeriac

I do love celeriac. And as it’s being sold for very silly money in our local supermarket I’m very glad to have got my 24 little seedlings into their bed this weekend.

Thanks to Soilman’s good advice, I started my seeds off early and got about a 70% germination rate, and then cosseted them in a very counter-intuitive way by keeping them cool and not particularly brightly lit because they tend to bolt, he says, and I am taking his word for it.

Last year we were given half a dozen celery/celeriac seedlings which grow rather well plonked into the end of a row in a bit of membrane. This year we’ve dedicated an entire raised bed to them, but I’m going for the same system of growing through membrane for three reasons:

1. it serves as a great weed suppressant
2. celeriac like moist conditions and membrane helps guarantee that
3. it’s easy to mulch them over the top as they start to bulb up, which softens the skin and sweetens the bulb somewhat.

So, on an insanely busy allotment day I got on with planting the celeriac out, while Himself put in all the beans (I’ll describe the lovely bean homes next time) and once I’d raked the bed, laid out the plastic, cut the cross holes with my trusty Swiss Army knife, transplanted the celeriac seedlings, watered them, and put out the slug pellets (yes I know, I know, but if you inherit an allotment that hasn’t been worked for nearly two years, you find you have a slug Armageddon to deal with) I was feeling as if I’d done a day’s work.

But I hadn’t. While Himself was single-handedly responsible for planting out the runner beans, the Cherokee Trail of Tears Climbing French beans and the Borlotti beans, between use we also planted out 68 petits pois, the marigolds, the sunflowers, the love-lies-bleeding and the dill.

And we dug over the leek bed – I did the rough dig while Himself went home to collect all the things we’d forgotten and Himself did the second dig while I sat and drank a cup of tea. And I got sunburnt, which surprised me, until I worked out that I’d been on the plot from 11 am until 7 pm … and no sunscreen would last that long!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Monday, May 11, 2009

2 Comments:

Blogger Linda said...

Okay - confession time. I'm waiting for my celeriac plants to arrive in the post. Like you I adore celeriac. Can't wait to make celeriac remoulade this summer. Looks like you could make a profit on some of yours - or do the terms of your plot lease forbid you from selling the produce?

May 11, 2009 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Ah, I've got a little list, Linda - there are many celeriac fans out there, and I'm giving some of my crop (I hope) to people who've been generous to me over the recent months. Himself would never let me sell them, anyway, he'd rather eat them himself, even if he ended up celeriac shaped!

May 18, 2009 at 5:28 AM  

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