Allotment planting February

We finally managed to get our Golden Gourmet shallots in the ground – just in time for predicted snow in the week! We’ve sown three rows, with some sand added to the soil to give them the lighter conditions they like, and we’ve covered the rows with a little netting because we’ve had problems in the past with pigeons pecking out both shallots and onions. No photo, because, seriously photos of shallots being planted are really not interesting! What I do is scrape away a little soil and drop the shallots in – making sure they are root end down – and then just rearrange the soil around them. Lots of books recommend that you ‘simply push the shallot into the soil’ but they don’t presumably, have the clay that we do and the writers don’t presumably, mind losing a few shallots to rot as you push them down onto what turns out to be a stone, puncturing the bulb, which then sits in the cold, and usually damp, winter soil, gently mouldering away instead of growing. I am a pinch-penny gardener and I think the extra couple of seconds required to scrape a shallow trench into which to drop them is worth the effort!

I also transferred two barrows of lovely manure from the heap outside the shop to the bed for our first early potatoes – it’s a pretty long walk with a barrow so two a day is the most I can manage. I’ll need six barrows for the firsts, seconds and maincrops, so I’ll do two a weekend, and still have a couple of spare weekends to dig it in before I have to think about planting the first earlies.

In the greenhouse we’ve started off Feltham First and Meteor peas in toilet roll inner tubes (aka anti-mice devices), a tub planting of Nantes carrots which I’ll hope to be harvesting as baby salad carrots in six weeks time, and two trays of Elephant leeks for transplanting into pots when they are two inches tall, and then again to the plot a little later on. All in all it’s been a productive weekend!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Monday, February 8, 2010


OpenID said...

wow...very productive...I managed to buy my seed potatoes and had the intention of putting manure on the allotment this weekend...but it was freezing fog so I decided to wait just a little longer....god I long for spring!!

February 8, 2010 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

I've never grown shallots before, but I've got some waiting to go in for this year. I didn't realise that they had to be sown so early. I've heard of some people starting them off in modules in the greenhouse until they've started to shoot.

February 8, 2010 at 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Damo said...

just planted Golden Gourmet myself before the freezing conditions this week - typical! I did post photos on my blog and you're right they're not very interesting - haha live and learn!

February 10, 2010 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Thanks Tanya, I do feel productive, but the weather seems to be conspiring against me again!

Jo, I've never tried module planting for shallots, but I assume it would be fine - the saying with shallots is 'plant on the shortest day, harvest on the longest' so that's planting on 21 December, ideally, and harvesting on 21 June.

February 11, 2010 at 5:26 AM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Damo, I went and had a look, the photos may not be very exciting but the shallots look great! I agree with you that raising the soil a little and making sure onions, shallots and garlic get good sun in winter is crucial to good cropping. I'm interested to know why you want smaller onions as well as large ones though - do you cook them whole?

February 11, 2010 at 5:29 AM  

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