Plot planning

I’ve still not made it down to the allotment yet this year. I have vowed to get down there as soon as we have a nice dry day, but that’s certainly not today! However, it’s a good job we have these wintry months in order to take stock of seeds and supplies and restock.

The bulk of my seed potatoes come from our local horticultural stores, from where I have ordered some Kestrel (did well with these last year) and some Pink Fir Apple. After a trip to the garden centre at the weekend, I couldn’t resist adding in a couple of extra varieties in smaller quantities. Highland Burgundy Red (as pictured above) for novelty value, and some International Kidney, which are basically Jersey Royals, except you can’t call them that unless they’re grown in Jersey on their unique soil where they grow them with seaweed I think?

I also bought some Hercules onion sets, on the basis that they’re strong flavoured and good for storing. Two things you want in an onion!

Also new on this years list:

  • Butternut squash – Hunter. I’ve grown lots of unusual varieties of squash in the past couple of years, but have decided butternuts are still my favourite.
  • Cauliflower – Romanesco Navano. Some call this a cauliflower, some call it a broccoli. It’s sort of a cross between the two. It’s Italian anyway!
  • Climbing mushy pea bean. I kid you not. I tried growing marrowfat peas a couple of years ago with little success (given up on peas now, except for sugarsnaps which I’ll grow at home so I can keep them well watered). But beans do well for me on the allotment, so thought these were worth a try.
  • Tomato – New Yorker. ‘An early outdoor variety that rarely splits or suffers blossom end rot.’ I get a lot of blossom end rot on my allotment toms because they get quite erratic watering (and that’s usually just the rain). From the same company as above.

All the rest will be varieties I’ve grown over the past few years, and I know work well. I’ve restocked carrot and parsnip seeds as they don’t keep, and have indulged in some Russian giant sunflower seeds as they always look great on allotments where there’s enough space for them. I think I’ve been quite restrained on the seed buying front this year!

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