March 2021

The February “beast from the east” gave way to March winds which blew in from the west. The allotment shed was once again tied down as a precaution and my plastic greenhouse also secured. Both the greenhouse and shed withstood the high winds but what I’d forgotten to do was make sure that all the plants and bits and pieces, that I was storing in the greenhouse, were also secured. I opened it up after the storm to find plants tipped over and some of my seed trays on the floor. Being a plastic cover, the wind went under it and sent all the light stuff flying. Oh well, they were only seeds that I had collected from plants that were already in my garden. The potted plants I managed to rescue.

Potatoes will be planted this month. I have three varieties that are going in: Charlotte, Red Duke of York and Maris Peer. The other two, King Edward and Maris Piper, are to go in the ground next month (April).

I always plant a few potatoes in bags. I get quite a good crop from this method and will be trying it again this year. I have yet to decide which ones will be used but it’ll be interesting to compare cropping from those grown in bags and those grown in soil on the allotment.

I bought the potato bags from a certain online company a few years ago. I fill them approximately half-way up with compost. I then put between 4-5 seed potatoes in each bag, pushing them down but being careful not to break the growing shoots. I place more compost on top, water and wait. When the shoots are high enough, I earth them up with compost from my two compost heaps in the garden.

At harvest time, I always enjoy putting my hands in the soil to lift the potatoes and see what kind of crop I get. I’m not usually disappointed either. I find that this way is much easier than digging with a special potato fork to get at them, no accidental skewering of potato.

In addition to potatoes, I’ve now started sowing seeds into trays. Some are in our spare bedroom and some in the greenhouse. I’ve planted salad, sprouts, marigolds, mint, parsley, petunias, busy lizzie, tomatoes, dahlias, geums and sweet peas.

I am fast running out of space but am hoping that if I manage this correctly, I should be able to rotate the seedlings as I have still many more packets that will need sowing in the coming weeks.

The daffodils are looking resplendent and glorious. All we need now is better weather and some warm spring sunshine to bring on the feel-good factor. Well, we can hope but this is the UK after all!

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