Not sure what to do when?

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Trying to grow carrots without carrot fly damage!

A description of our method of growing carrots along with one or two other additions has been added to the gardening techniques page of The School Vegetable Patch website.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Planting onion and shallot sets

We use sets from which to grow our onions and shallots. Onions can be raised from seed but are more prone to problems and do not do as well on poor soil. The process also takes longer to produce a mature onion. Growing shallots from seed is fairly uncommon. Last year for the first time we tried heat treated onion sets. These are treated to cut down the chance of the plant bolting and producing a flower stem. The heat treated sets are more expensive but did perform better than those that were not treated and so this year that is all that we are planting. Heat treated sets should be planted slightly late than other sets i.e. late March to Early April. Onion sets are smaller than shallot sets. An onion set is an immature onion which was grown from a seed the previous year. It will grow and form one onion, whereas a shallot set splits and forms a cluster of several shallots.

We also planted both onion and shallot sets last year to overwinter which will give us an earlier crop. The ones planted this spring will be good for storing over next winter. Click here to read how we go about planting the sets.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Sowing Parsnip Seeds

Parsnip seed does not keep well and so it is recommended that new seed is purchased each year to increase the chance of good germination.

Parsnips are in the ground for a long time - we are still harvesting parsnips sown last year, so this should be kept in mind when choosing a location for sowing.

Most advice is to plant very early but there is no point in doing this if the ground is cold and wet as the seed will rot and so not germinate in these conditions.

Parsnip seeds are notoriously slow to germinate and some people prefer to pre-germinate them on damp kitchen paper but touch
wood we have generally had reasonable success using the method explained here.