Every now and then I feel that my efforts to keep the site reasonably weed free are like painting the Forth bridge (but even that doesn’t need painting over and over again, they have got some special paint that lasts longer). It was the turn of my largest soft fruit cage – I have lost count how many time I did that and the weeds keep coming back.

I didn’t stay much longer after that and after lunch at home it was time for some greenhouse work. I have some garlic growing in there in one of my grow beds already and now I have added some shallots and onion setts in small cell trays. It works with the garlic – I’m hedging my bets as I have some garlic growing on the allotment already.


I haven’t tried it with the onions or shallots yet, it will be interesting.


Well, the weather isn’t too great but everything in the garden – or rather on the plot – is growing fine.

It was rather chaotic in the greenhouse and in the veranda at the back of the house – an organised chaos I must add. The veranda was used for hardening off all the plants before I took them to the farm to plant out and this method worked! Everything on the farm survived the move and is growing well.

Cabbages in the net tunnels, tomatoes, lettuce, Chinese lettuce, climbing beans are all fine. And then there are the hardy types who survived the winter out there – onions, shallots, garlic, strawberries, rhubarb and last but not least the potatoes and raddishes who are trying their best.

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…and a lot of hard work was the order of the day on the allotment today.

There was a plot on our site that nobody worked on. I thought that somebody wanted it and was going to start working there. I was wrong. It happens from time to time that people think they would like to have an allotment but when it comes to actually working on the plot, the reality hits them – it is quite a lot of work. This particular plot wasn’t overgrown with weeds – I know because it was mine last year. When I harvested the potatoes I dug it all over so it was in good order.

All the same, this person didn’t return so rather than to leave it neglected, I took it back and it is all ready and just waiting for good weather.

I had to clear some big drums , some were full of sand – this belonged to the chap before me who was into growing exhibition parsnips. Anyway, all the drums are gone, the sand neatly heaped to one side and the new space ready.

Because there was quite a bit of sand mixed with the soil I took an advantage of it and made it into a parsnip patch. We’ll see.

Next on the list was finishing planting some garlic – I had some tiny cloves, put them into grow cells, they rooted so now was the time to put them out, join the overwintered ones.


Onion sets and shallots received the same treatment. The shallots were well rooted in the cells so they’ll have a head start. Then I planted some red onion sets but even though I thought I had enough I shall have to get some more. Work will continue…


Last but not least was some work in my greenhouse when I got back home. I wanted to have some very early potatoes, decided on the variety. They’ve chitted well so they went into pots and will be kept in the greenhouse for now.

Then it was the small task of looking if all the seed trays are well watered and that’s that for today. Tomorrow is another day….010


Things are looking up – I was able to spend some time in my greenhouse. I went to B&Q on Wednesday to buy a pot of paint to do some DIY in Mum’s bungalow and I ‘just happened’ to see some shallots. I already made the decision not to grow onions this year – they’re cheap enough to buy and I don’t want to use valuable land to grow them – but shallots are different. I actually prefer to use them in cooking. They’re just the right size, I don’t have half an onion just shrivelling in the fridge and the flavour is good too.


They are quite simply planted in small pots so that they can develop good root system and when the weather improvesĀ  in the early spring I’ll plant them out on the allotment, they will have a head start.

I always grow garlic, the same reasoning applies here – it is not very cheap to buy it and the quantities I use would cost quite a bit. Besides, you can’t beat the taste of a home-grown garlic. I have got quite a bit of it already growing on the allotment but as a back up I used some of the smallest cloves and planted them in the cell tray. They’re doing quite well there and again, the same will happen with them, they’ll go out in the early spring.


The weather was quite mild so far so my salad leaves are doing well in the greenhouse, even though it is not heated at all. It is just a simple salad leaf mix but very tasty and we can have it as we need it. Mum loves it and as she is trying to eat a healthy diet, this fits in very well.


At last the time came and I can start, very slowly, thinking of sowing some seeds.

The first are radishes ‘Scarlet globe’. I don’t want to grow them outside yet, it is far too early, so I put a couple of rows in one of the beds in the greenhouse.


The next were some shallots. I decided on ‘Zebrune’, an unusual long shallot, very tasty and easy to slice. Those I put in two different containers, one being the latest development, my egg-shell planters. These I will keep on the kitchen windowsill and gradually transplant into bigger and bigger pots and finally plant them out on the allotment.


This time I can take it easy but soon everything will be going at a fair pace. Bring it on!