Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Let the Season Begin!

At last there is light at the end of the tunnel! There are signs of Spring around all over the place!These are some first early new potatoes 'Rocket' which I am leaving to chit in the garden shed. They should be frost free and in daylight. If you leave them in their bags they are likely to damage their shoots. If you keep them in the dark the shoots become white and spindly and break off. Rocket is the first early variety I choose to grow in a pot in the greenhouse for a special first picking.
The variety of leek I am growing this year is the F1 hybrid 'Oarsman'. I've not grown these before, but when I went to the RHS Autumn show at Wisley last year the man in the National Vegetable Society stall recommended this variety. Gardeners tend to be creatures of habit, and everyone has heard of Mussleburgh leeks because they have been around for so long, they are what most people tend to grow..just because....Well, 'Oarsman' is a new, improved variety. It is supposed to stand right through Winter and be resistant to bolting and to leek rust. Only downside is..... I only get 40 seeds in the packet! daylight robbery!

12 Comments:

At 1:18 AM, Blogger Hazel said...

Goodness me! Look at the shoots on those spuds already! I had my potatoes from the potato day at Ryton last weekend, so they are in egg boxes now ready for me to plant out maybe the first week of March.

I've grown rocket before - early they are, tasty - hmmm well. I think I'm happy to wait a couple of weeks longer for my International kidney .....

I have self-saved leeks just sprouting in a pot on the windowsill - I don't know whether they will be rust (or pesky allium bug) free - I'm just chuffed that the seed is viable!

 
At 4:37 AM, Blogger Kalena Michele said...

Interesting about the potatoes. Mine started chitting inside a kitchen drawer and the sprouts looked white. I thought that was a good thing. Is it too late to take them out now and sit them in a window? I'm supposed to plant them out in a couple of weeks.

 
At 5:24 AM, Anonymous kitsapFG said...

Only 40 seeds in a packet for leeks?!

I am expecting my seed potatoes to arrive in about a week. I am on an early delivery schedule with the firm I purchase potato seed stock from. I like to then chit them in some indirect sunlight for a few weeks before I plant them up. Like you, I find the sprouts are sturdier if they are not kept in a bag or too much darkness.

 
At 8:50 AM, Blogger Midmarsh John said...

I don't grow many potatoes. I just use any which start to sprout in the kitchen cupboard. They don't give a heavy crop but they are great when freshly dug at the end of the Summer.

 
At 9:05 AM, Blogger Magic Cochin said...

Snap! I've got my Rocket potatoes chitting in an egg box too :-)

I've cut back a little on the spud growing this year - and they will either go in containers or a new plot yet to be dug - the freed up bed will be my 'Winter Potager'.

I bought my faves International Kidney and Ratte and wanted a third. My mum said my Dad's choice would have been Rocket - so that's what I got. An hour later I heard some very sniffy comments about Rocket on Gardeners Question Time :-( But - now you've made me feel a bit better about my choice - thank you!

Celia

 
At 9:53 AM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

Aren't those seed potatoes full of promise? Gets me excited every time! Lady Crystle for my first earlies.

 
At 2:35 PM, Blogger Jo said...

My potato order has just been delivered so they will be set out to chit before being planted out. I grew Carlton leeks last year but they were very thin. I'll be interested to see how Oarsman do for you this year.

 
At 3:58 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

Hi Matron, definite signs of spring showing up,we lost all of last years leeks to rust.The ones we planted this year have escaped and we still have some coming on over the next few weeks.

 
At 9:17 AM, Blogger Cabbage Tree Farm said...

Good luck with those 2 crops. We are really enjoying our spuds here!

 
At 7:17 PM, Blogger John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

lovely blog!!!

 
At 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good atricle......cant wait to get planting now ive done all my diggin after just taking on my first allotment....ill keep nipping in for more advice now..thanks

http://theweedlesswonder.blogspot.com/

 
At 9:55 AM, Blogger Dee Sewell said...

I'm trying Red Duke of York this year following recommendations from Gardeners World mag this month. Last year we successfully grew Sarpo Mira but they're very expensive (should have saved some)! We also grew Epicure but prefer the waxy spuds. Hopefully the Red Duke's will crop before the blight.

 

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