Greenhouse report mid-February 2011

It’s rained almost without cease since Sunday, so I’ve not been able to do anything on the allotment, because even walking on the soil would compact it horribly and I can’t dig it (because you can’t dig a pond, which is essentially what our allotment has turned into!)

So my only activity has been in sowing. The chilli seedlings are away like greyhounds – their slender pointed leaves even look zippy, as if they are sprinting out of the seed. With any luck they will have been given enough of a start to produce good chillies this year. The ones in the house, which were sown at this time last year, have today one flower on each plant, five black chillies and one red one on one plant (too many ‘o’s in that phrase) and three black chillies and two reds on the other one.

I’ve also sown lavender to make a lavender hedge either side of my path (which is currently an underwater path), two kinds of poppy seed for which I swapped vegetable seeds at Seedy Sunday, drumstick primulas– they can be a little unpredictable to get from seed but worth trying, and my sweet peas. Every year I say I will get my sweet peas in over the winter and I never do …

The pea seedlings are racing away too – we have a very site specific system for growing peas, because I like to have fresh peas as early in the season as possible. Other women may favour orchids or early roses flown in from Africa as their luxury items – I like to have early peas! Our allotment site does have a lot of rodent life, and we’ve lost peas to mice before, so what we do now is grow our peas in these biodegradable pots, in a big tray. If the weather is really inclement, we simply put more compost between the pots and the pea roots break through the pots and find the fresh food in the compost, but if the weather is relatively favourable, we plant out our peas when they are four inches tall, under fleece, and I reckon we get our first peas about 10-14 days before most other people. And for me, that’s worth all the effort!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Blogger Joanna said...

So many folks seem so busy at this time of year potting up "sigh"! Our land is under a metre of snow at least, it finally reached higher than last year by about 5cm, only know that as I can see the kids swing is below the level of the snow now, unlike last year, and the litter bin was completely under snow until someone tried to ski over the top of it. It was also -27C this morning and set to be cold for the next week - think I will save planting any seeds just yet. Plus our dear polytunnel collapsed under the snow over winter so we have to repair that before using it.

February 15, 2011 at 10:28 AM  
Anonymous allotments4you said...

I have just been and bought my compost today so I can get sowing this week...wanting to get an early start on my peppers this year to see if I get a better crop!!

February 15, 2011 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Plantaliscious said...

I'm with you on the early peas, though mine won't be quite as early as yours - I plan to sow them today as like you the ground at the allotment is too wet to work :-( Thank goodness for seed sowing and nurturing, how else would we cope with wet days!

February 16, 2011 at 2:18 AM  
Anonymous Clay Earth Cafe said...

Oooh you're putting me to shame. I'm still waiting to receive my seeds from the allotment society and haven't finished clearing up from autumn. But your blog has focused the mind! Cheers.

February 16, 2011 at 3:04 PM  

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