Shallots out

With today’s rain receding I managed to get my shallots out this afternoon. A few sets of Hative de Niort and Jermor went in next to the overwintered onions. And some onion sets left over from those I planted out at the shared plot which I filled any gaps with.

I attended my local NVS DA vegetable seminar last weekend (see Darren’s blog for all the details). This was the first weekend event the DA had put on and they’d lined up two excellent talks for us. The first was a year on the allotment from NVS national chairman Barry Newman and he pointed out some great tips that he had picked up from the showing side of the Society and applied them to his allotment growing to get better results for the kitchen table (this is the way the NVS willl attract new members I think as the show tips and disciplines can be translated to the garden/allotment with great results). The second talk was from the legendary Charlie Macey on cucumbers and tomatoes. What Charlie doesn’t know about these subjects isn’t worth knowing. I learnt that you can’t really grow cucumbers and tomatoes in the same greenhouse effectively as they like different conditions with cucumbers preferring the humid, steamy greenhouse conditions that are achieved in summer by keeping the doors and vents closed and regularly damping down. We also saw slides from Charlie’s tomato greenhouse were he was still getting a great crop off the 12th truss of the plant which was growing across the top of the greenhouse. This was some serious tomato growing but nothing that anyone with a greenhouse or polytunnel couldn’t achieve. I came away with plenty of notes and a plan to concentrate on cucumbers in the greenhouse this year (the family favourite) and grow my tomatoes in a bed alongside the greenhouse using 3 mini-greenhouses side by side as protection in the early part of the summer. My main tomato variety will be Goldstar (recommended at the seminar for both its excellent taste and show qualities) and the cucumber variety is Carmen (which all the family love eating and is the top show variety).

And there’s plenty of sowing done and to do. So far Brussels, Celeriac, Broad Beans, Tomatoes, Chillies, Pepper and Lettuce are all in various trays indoors or the greenhouse. I’ve pricked out some celery plants that Darren kindly gave me and there’s the very first signs of carrots coming through in the pipes. Fingers crossed I’ll get decent germination from the pipes as I’ve only got one chance for the New Forest Show at the end of July. Well off to do some more sowing now. Have a great weekend!


13 responses to “Shallots out

  1. You’re doing well Damo. I’ve only just got my broad beans and onion sets in but have prepared all the beds in readiness for the great sow down to come. May don the wellies and pop out to sow carrots this afternoon. Going to try growing in buckets to give them some leg room but fearing the hosepipe ban to come in April … Good luck with your carrots, we’re all rooting for you … oh haha, sorry about the pun ; )

    • Haha like it! The ban is a pretty sure bet in the next couple of months I think. Whether or not Wessex water will go the same way as Southern I’m not sure. Good luck with your carrots.

  2. Our shallots need planting out. As for cucumbers – Burpless tasty Green outdoor with some success – enough cucumbers for us anyway. It doesn’t seem very fussy about conditions really.

  3. Damo, your shallots are planted at very wide spacings. Is this necessary, do you think? I have put mine about 30cm apart. Do you think that will matter? However, mine are not intended for showing, which I expect yours are.

    • Photo is a bit deceptive Mark, they are planted a trowel length apart which is about 30cm. I don’t have room to give them anymore space and I’m sure they’ll be fine.

  4. I planted my shallots out 2 weeks ago and they are just starting to sprout which is nice to see. I’m trying some crystal apple cucumbers this year. I’ve heard they can be a bit difficult so I’m hoping are a disaster. I haven’t tried cucumbers before. I’ve got some radish that have just germinated in my cold frame and some lettuce so hopefully things will start to warm up over the next couple of weeks. It was such a miserable week here with fog and low cloud we didn’t have any sun all week. My little seedlings just seemed to sulk, but spotted 3 antirrhinum seeds this morning which fllled me with cheer. I’ve just sown some carrots in pots too. I’m hoping I can defeat the carrot fly by firstly not growing them at the allotment and secondly at home I should be able to just drape some fleece over them to keep any flies out.

    • Fleece is a good way to keep the fly away. I’m trying garlic spray this year to see if the smell puts them off. Not heard of crystal apple cucumbers but best of luck with them. I think things are starting to warm up now so a good time to sow things like lettuce and radish in the greenhouse/cold frame or under a cloche.

  5. I also got mine out today

  6. Your shallots look to have plenty of top growth, mine have only just started sprouting in the greenhouse, but will be planted out soon. I grow my cucumbers in with my tomatoes and they never really do well.

    • They came on strong in the last couple of weeks so yours won’t be far behind. I did the same the last 3 years and had one good year with cucumbers and two bad ones so they defintely need their own greenhouse to be prolific.

  7. Busy and occupied I see! I hope that you had a good weekend.
    I’m hoping to plant some onions and potatoes later in the week.

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