Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The sowing season has started!

I love Spring it is so full of promise! As I write now the sun is shining, beckoning me outside -but those bitter winds are still rather chilly so I will need to wrap up warm should I succumb to the invitation!

I have already started to sow my seeds, its probably far too early for some things so I am trying really hard not to get too carried away. The Great Big Allotment Challenge definitely got me in the mood. I know the programme isn't to everyones tastes but I loved meeting the contestants - just ordinary folk like you and me. I also loved finding out which varieties they grow, I particularly liked Rob's selection as he likes to grow heritage varieties. I try to grow these too- its very satisfying growing varieties that have been growing for years and to help save them from being lost never to be seen again. I hope to let you know more about the seeds I have chosen to grow in further posts.

Another reason I enjoyed the show was seeing the plots in the lovely weather we had last year. I definitely am feeling the need for sunshine and warmth - My greenhouse is going to be the best place for me just now- I love feeling the warm sun on my back as I sow and plant in there.

So back to the seeds I have sown some leeks - My usual Musselburgh and Bleu de solaise which is blue leafed variety that turns more violet leaved after a frost! and apparently is quite hardy. These should be pretty, perhaps I should plant some near the house to give added interest in the garden over the winter. The Musselburgh have already started to show their heads but the latter were sown a week later so no show there yet!

 In the greenhouse I have sown broad beans and peas in my usual loo rolls in pots( filled with compost) and also have sown some mangetout.

For broad beans I have gone for Bunyards exhibition, and peas- Meteor and Onward both dwarf type varieties growing to about 18 inch- 2 ft tall and for Mangetout Norli which is another  dwarf variety which will grow to about 2 ft tall.  I have grown the Norli as I found these on a reduced counter last year and have no experience of them - so these will be a bit of a surprise!

I was very excited to  receive some seeds yesterday in the post  from one of my favourite companies 'The Real Seed Catalogue - and in there were some very early dwarf peas called Oskar which I really need to get planted this week.  These promise to be a very early variety  and I will need  plant further varieties afterwards in order to have a continual production of peas this year.

I'm not sure if you have watched the  aforementioned programme but Sandra, one of the contestants said she hadn't had much luck previously with peas and that has been my experience to date so here goes lets hope for a bumper crop this year!
In my next post I hope to update you on the peppers I have chosen to grow so happy gardening until then!