Garlic, Shallots & Polytunnel Growing
Back at the end of January I started off some Solent Wight garlic in pots. The pots were in my shed, which has windows to the south and the garlic seems to like it. Most had come through and the shoots were about 8″ (20cm in new money) high.
I’ve actually left them a bit long, the roots were coming out of the pots or circling inside. Anyway, better late than never. It was a pretty straightforward job to pop them into one of the raised beds except the wind was biting cold and I was shivering by the end.
The bed had some French beans in it last year so it probably was OK for nutrients but I added a couple of ounces of fish, blood & bone just to be sure. We love garlic and I want to make sure I get a decent crop this year.
It’s ironic that we’ve finally got more land than we need and I’m growing in raised beds. Still, it’s useable land that matters and turning the rocky pasture is a very long term job.
After a cup of tea in the shed, it was back outside. I prepared another of the raised beds and then planted out shallots. Prepared the bed in the same way as for the garlic, a quick hoe over to loosen the soil, couple of ounces of fertiliser and then hoe again to mix it in.
I was left with six shallots over. Now there’s little point in giving in to temptation and overcrowding but I hate waste. So popped the six shallots into 3″ round pots. Now if I lose some from the bed, I’ve spares to fill the gap. Otherwise, I’ll find somewhere to pop them in.
Potatoes & Garlic
The potatoes in the shed are chitting well. Short coloured shoots starting to grow, you don’t want the long white shoots that you get when just leave potatoes in a cupboard. Must get more beds prepared as they’ll need to go out in a month.
T&M delivered some Sarpo and Kifli potatoes which I’ve set out to chit with the others, along with some Picardy garlic. I really would have liked the garlic earlier but there you go.
Anyway, planted the garlic into pots which will get it off to a good start and nature does have a way of catching up. Must get the boards in for the new raised beds asap now.
Vegetables for the Polytunnel & Greenhouse
In my last post I said that getting tools sent to try is one of the nice things about running the web site. The books I get sent to review are a bit more of a mixed blessing. Some of the ones I get sent I wonder how they got published.
Anyway, I was really pleased to get a copy of Vegetables for the Polytunnel & Greenhouse from Klaus Laitenberger. He writes clearly and concisely, so you get the information you need without wading through waffle.
The first half of the book consists of a comprehensive list of the vegetables you can grow in a polytunnel, generally covering cultivation methods, pests, varieties etc. I say comprehensive and I mean it. He actually covers a vegetable called Yacon that I’d never heard of before.
The centre has a number of colour photographs which are followed by the second half of the book. This covers more general things like choosing and siting your polytunnel along with various charts showing optimum germination temperatures etc.
Finally he provides a month by month guide taking you through the year. It’s one of those books that you read and then keep on a handy shelf so you can look up details as you go along. I’d strongly recommend it for both beginner and more experienced gardeners.
Vegetables for the Polytunnel & Greenhouse by Klaus Laitenberger. £12.50 (€14.95) Published by Milkwood Farm www.milkwoodfarm.com
Filed under Allotment Diary by