Monday, 7 January 2013
The heavy rains last autumn put an end to many of our attempts to plant winter crops. If we managed to get a few days without rain (there weren't many), we often found that the ground was so wet that it was impossible to plant anything. We managed to get a few cabbages in and half a bed of onion sets planted. Onions are one of our most important crops. They are used in a huge range of recipes and preserves. The miserable crop we got in 2012 has been supplemented with onions from other allotments. We traded eggs and jam for them.
Despite getting some of the onion sets planted, we had three quarters of them still to be used so over the weekend, instead of planting them outdoors, I decided to plant them in the greenhouse. Some went into recycled seed trays - ones in which we had previously bought seedlings, made up of lots of little compartments. Claire, one of my fellow presenters from the Horticultural Channel tv series, came up with the idea of using cut up toilet rolls as disposable plant pots. We liked the idea so much we have adopted it ourselves. No toilet roll holder is ever put into card recycling in our house now. For the past year, we have collected them and a few days ago I chopped them into smaller sections. Yesterday I filled them, and the recycled seed trays, with compost and put an onion set into each.
Once they have established themselves and the worst of the winter is behind us, we will plant them out in the allotment. The cardboard toilet roll holders will simply rot in the ground. We have two sorts of winter onions: electric red and radar.
Claire has her own YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/clairesallotment.