Allotment raised beds in March

Yesterday, while our neighbours got on with their own spring cleaning (see how the graffiti has disappeared from this window?) we spent three hours getting raised beds ready for planting, or actually planting them.

While Himself planted the first row of second earlies, I lifted the glass from one raised bed, in which we’d put sand and compost a couple of weeks ago, and planted two rows of parsnips and one row of radish. The idea is that the radish are all used up long before they can get in the way of the parsnips. The bed had got really dry with the glass over it, so I watered the mix well, then laid the seed rows on the damp surface, and sieved well-aged compost over the top. I prefer this method to drills or holes for parsnip seed, which doesn’t like to be too cold or too deeply planted. It means the seed has ‘wet feet and a dry head’ because it goes onto damp soil but is covered by warm dry matter which should speed germination. Everybody knows that parsnips are fussy germinators, but usually (fingers crossed) I’m pretty lucky with my seed.

The glass went back over the top, because our last frost date in 2009 was 29th March, so our glass stays on tender crops until at least then!

Himself moved on to putting up pea supports while I dug manure into two raised beds that will hold baby leeks, when they are ready, and one for a courgette or pumpkin (haven’t decided yet) and dug over a sandier bed for beetroots and carrots and sowed the first two rows of each – Early Nantes 2 carrots and Chioggia beetroot – I’ll make successional sowings every two weeks or so. That bed also has a glass cover.

I picked an entire bag of purple sprouting broccoli – enough for three meals for two hungry adults at least, and once that was done we suddenly realised we were so exhausted we could barely crawl home!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Monday, March 22, 2010

5 Comments:

Anonymous allotments4you said...

wow ...busy day. I haven't started with my seed yet but do have my first earlies in.....my purple sprouting broccoli isn't ready yet!!

March 22, 2010 at 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Damo said...

you've been busy, still waiting for PSB, must be doing something wrong!

March 22, 2010 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger Joanna said...

I am pleased to find that parsnips are hard to grow, I have never had a problem before in Derbyshire or Denmark but now in Latvia we had three last year and I wondered what the problem was, now I am beginning to find out.

March 22, 2010 at 11:43 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

You've been busy. I haven't got anything planted yet, though the preparation work is well under way.

March 23, 2010 at 1:55 AM  
Anonymous allotments4you said...

I so wish my allotment looked like yours....do you fancy giving me a hand??? Or just lending me 'Himself' for a day...lol

March 25, 2010 at 1:02 AM  

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