Thursday, 19 March 2009

Onions, onions!

At home my chillies and toms are happy enough. My toms definately look happier than last year where they were far too leggy.

I've started my parsnip seeds off on some damp kitchen towel. This worked brilliantly last year and as far as I know I had 100% germination. I've chosen two types, Gladiator which is a big canker resistant type (not tried before) and Imperial Crown which has a smaller crown and I have tried this - very tasty! Pop another folded bit of kitchen towel on top to keep them damp and stop the seeds floating off when you water them. In about a week these should have sprouted and I'll then sow them as usual.

I went to the plot this afternoon. It was lovely hazy sunshine in the morning but had gone behind clouds by the time I had got there and it had turned really cold :o(. Shame! Anyway got in 45 onion sets (forgotten the variety) in rows and a further 40 odd in a patch under the step-over apple tree to eat small or uses to fill gaps / put around my carrots. I still have some left and they were good quality sets too - from Wilkos for £1.25. Better than the independent garden centre up the road. They had 50 red Baron sets for £1.99 and they had a fair few that were mouldy! I'm going to get my red ones from Wilko too!

In the greenhouse the sweetpeas are doing well - as are the lupins. I've also moved the pumpkins into the greenhouse now, hopefully they will cope with the highs and lows temp wise in there. I wanted to move everything before it all got too crowded on my windowsills and they were struggling for light.


  1. I'm interested in the parsnips. I started mine in loo rolls last year, which worked ok but they never got enormous like yours! Do you just wait until they have sprouted a bit them bung 'em in the ground?

  2. Hi Lisa, yeah exactly that. I managed to do really well this way last year - making sure they didn't dry out by putting a layer of kitchen towel on top too, which I've just done - I'd forgotten about that until I just had a look back at last years blog entry!

    Then, when the little shoots popped out I sowed them in rows in the ground as you usually would. They did really well as you know!

    I tried the loo roll method too which was okay but they weren't as big and much more of a faff!

  3. OK. My parsnip seed packet says not to sow until April and that earlier sowings attract canker. What do you think about that?

  4. Errm, I'm not sure about that, I thought you got canker if there was a build up in the soil of a fungus thingy (technical I know!). Mine did get a bit of canker but mostly on the really large ones and only on certain varieties (can't remember which). I'm growing ones with a bit of resistance this year.

    If you're worried you could easily wait til April, it's only a week away and mine won't have sprouted until then anyway - I wonder if it's to do with the fact that some used to sow the seeds in Feb because of the poor germination?



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