19 September – Out with the old … in with the new

Radar Onion

Radar Onion

September seems to be a sad time of year on the allotment, watching the summer crops come to an end.  But if  you’re planning on growing veg through the winter, this month has its share of excitement too.

Before we had our allotment, we were definitely fair-weather gardeners.  The idea of growing vegetables throughout the year had never occurred to us.  Now is the time to plant those onion sets for an early crop next year.  We’ve opted for the ‘Radar’ variety again this year, having had good results with them.  Our spring planting of onions didn’t perform so well, so we’ll be looking for ideas and suggestions for the best varieties to grow.

Our spring cabbage and greens, grown in modules at home, are now ready to be planted.  These were seeds which came free with the Grow It magazine, so we’ll be interested to see how they fare.  As usual we’ve planted too many, but I’ve already promised some to another allotment holder who was bemoaning his half-empty plot.  If all else fails and we still have some left-over, a quick ad on Freecycle will soon find them a home.

I read something a few months ago which said the British were the most pessimistic gardeners in the world.  Apparently, we always plant far more seeds than we need, just in case they don’t all grow!  I guess I’m guilty of that too, but our red brassica varieties (kale and sprouts) did have a very low germination rate, so I doubt I’ll be changing my ways just yet.

Another allotment in the family!

The highlight of our trip to Portsmouth last weekend was having the opportunity to go and see the newest family allotment!  My daughter and her partner finally came to the top of the waiting list and took over their new plot just a few weeks ago.  They’ve already made great progress with 2 beds cleared and ready to plant.  Although a small plot, it will be more than big enough for them to cope with, especially with our 5 month old granddaughter in tow.  No doubt this is one baby who will be getting a gardening set for her first Christmas.

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