Undercover sowing

It’s still a bit too cold to sow seeds directly on the plot, unless you can give them a warm fleecy cover, which will encourage them on a bit quicker. At this time of year these fleece tunnels are really worthwhile. Under here are some extra early carrots (Amsterdam Forcing) which will hopefully be ready to harvest by June. They will be smaller than the later maturing carrots, but small and sweet is exactly what you want from the first carrots in summer. The fleece will also protect them from the pesky carrot fly if I keep it on till harvest.

Under a second fleece tunnel are my first sowing of peas. These would probably be okay without the fleece, but I had problems last year with pea and bean weevil, and so I’m hoping the cover will help to protect them, at least until they get fairly strong. I’m trying out marrowfat peas this year, as they’re great for making mushy peas and they’re also apparently good in stews. I’ll also be growing some mange-tout which I’ve grown before with relative ease. I’m going to start those off at home and transplant them in about a month or so.

In digging over the bed for the peas, I dug up three more parsnips! Okay, the one on the left is pretty rubbish, but the other two are fine. I can at least add these to the mountain of leeks I’m still working my way through. There’s not much else for harvesting now, one cabbage left, and a few spring onions that have been growing over winter. The purple sprouting broccoli that was so fantastic last year has not done so well this year. I think it’s down to the harsh winter. I didn’t cover the plants, and they look a bit sorry for themselves. I had hoped they’d pick back up but I think too much damage has been done. You win some, you loose – quite a lot actually.

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