Home brewing antics can now be found at my other blog; http://gettinggrist.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Allotment - February

It feels like I've abandoned the allotment for a while, but to be honest, there's not been a lot for me to be getting on with. Not to mention the fact it's so wet down here. The plot's on heavy clay and, when it's this soggy, there's no point setting foot on it.

I've got the seed potatoes chitting at home. As the maincrop I've got Cara, and Red Cara (not tried before) plus a handful of Accord for a row of first earlies.

Today I've sown some tomatoes too, the only seed I bother with in February.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I'm not growing tomatoes up the allotment this year, as they tend to fruit while we are away in the summer and I'm not happy nursing plants from February, only to lose the bulk of the harvest - simply no point.

Homegrown tomatoes are completely different gear to the shop bought ones though, so it would be churlish to ignore them completely. So, I've decided to grow some Tumbling Tom (Yellow) in hanging baskets at home.

I grew these last year, along with Tumbling Tom Red. The fact our fussy four-year-old, who claims not to like tomatoes, actually ate the yellow ones, means they're the obvious choice this year.

No fancy propagators for me. I'll grow them on the windowsill in an old Flora tub.

For one, I don't need many plants - I only intend to pot on four, and I'll choose the two strongest for the hanging baskets. Secondly, the Flora tub is less precarious on the sill, especially with out little'un who tends to knock into everything.

The long range weather forecast currently suggests March will be a more settled month, with below average rainfall here in the south. If they've got it right, that should enable me to get my backside in gear and get the plot tidied up. I'll have Parsnips and Carrots on the agenda, plus the eary spuds to get in. But for Feb, I'll be content with my toms on the windowsill.


  1. What are Cara and Accord like? We're still deciding which potatoes to go for at the moment!
    I cannot wait for home grown tomatoes...they are just too delicious!

  2. Hi Philippa, Cara are a really good maincrop. We like them because they give lots of good size potatoes for jacket spuds - nice, easy, inexpensive, suppers through the winter. They are also drought tolerant, which seems a bit odd with all the rain we’ve had lately, but in the summer we do get quite dry in Swindon. They still give a nice size spud when it’s dry, so I don’t bother with watering them – just let them get on with it.

    As for the Accord, they are new to me this year. I’ll let you know how I get on :)