I’m not sure is the short answer, but the weather was so lovely at the weekend I thought I had to plant something. I have to say the digging came as a bit of a shock to the system as it’s been a while since I did any heavy lifting in the garden, but the sense of satisfaction when it’s all done is unsurpassed in my view.
So I grabbed my wellies and planted 4 rows of Charlotte, my preferred second early potato, which I grew last year and had an amazing crop (and a gorgeous taste!).
Also planted the first of my broad beans, a few rows of Stuttgarter onion sets, and 2 rows of ‘Large White’ garlic. As I was having a bit of an Alium weekend I thought I’d also sow a pot of leek seeds, which should be ready to plant out in about 4-6 weeks.
Last year I planted my onions and garlic in March, but I’d read somewhere they can be planted anytime after New Years day (as long as you can get onto the soil). This year I’ve also decided to have a go at growing a few shallots for pickling. I’ve never grown shallots before so looking forward to seeing how they do.
For my onion bed I prep the ground with a little chicken manure and bone meal, then I walk all over the soil so the sets sit tight in the ground, which helps them to set strong roots. I space the sets about 8 inches apart in rows 8 inches apart.
For my potatoes I prepare a shallow trench, about a spades width across and a couple of inches deep, into which I put a thin layer of compost. The compost does two things, it keeps the tubers reasonably dry so they don’t rot in the ground, and it retains moisture in the Spring and Summer when the ground tends to dry out.
I plant each potato about 12-18 inches apart as I like to give them plenty of room to grow into nice big fat potatoes.
I won’t be planting my second early’s until mid March, so in the mean time I’ve laid them out in egg trays in a cool dark place (shed) to kick start the tubers into growth. If you’ve never heard of ‘chitting’, it’s basically kick starting the potato tubers into growth so when you come to plant the potatoes they get away a bit quicker. I find they don’t produce any more potatoes, they just crop a bit earlier.
Well, the days are starting to get little longer, the roses are slowly starting to burst into growth and the Clematis Armandii are starting to bud up nicely. It really does feel like Spring is just around the corner!
I wonder what I should plant next weekend?