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Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.


Plough Field Allotments at Amerton


Gardening Tips
By Mrs FM


Unusual & Old
Fashioned Fruit


Herbs & Other
Edible Plants.

Environmental Issues And Going Green.

Books By
Alan J Hartley



An Early Harvest.

My Sea Kale seedlings came on much better than I could have hoped for as they put on a lot of top growth that looked something like a cross between Rhubarb and Globe Artichoke leaves. They grew so big that in the Winter when they were dormant I decided to re-plant them and spread them out a bit more to give them more room. The Crowns seemed nicely developed as did the thick fleshy root system that were again reminiscent of Rhubarb roots. Because of the apparent health of the plants I decided to try and “Force,” them to get some stalks to harvest in the early Spring, although it is recommended not to harvest them for a year or two after planting. Getting as many cheap buckets as I needed to cover all the crowns I shielded the plants from the daylight from January onwards. Within a couple of weeks the Crowns started to throw up long, pale, leaf stalks that were soon ready to cut. They looked very much like Celery stalks, but cut, cooked and tasted exactly like Asparagus.
As with other Herbaceous type plants, Sea Kale Crowns will multiply in numbers quite readily by removing the small offsets that appear round the main Crown. Most of my Crowns already have several little plantlets growing round them that I shall remove, pot up and give away. There is quite a bit of interest in the plants on the allotments so I am sure I will make plenty of new friends!

My Welsh Onions have also come through the Winter nicely and are bunching up well so, I should be able to pull a few of those soon. They will make a great alternative to Spring Onions that I don’t grow and will be another early harvest for this Spring. Last year they suffered too much after dividing, but the mild, wet Winter has done them good and got them off to a flying start. This time I shall not leave them so late in the year before dividing and replanting. 
The Egyptian “Walking,” Onions sets that were delivered at the back end of last season are shooting nicely and will be ready to plant out soon. These are another unusual plant, but are more of a novelty than for serious cropping. The Onions develop at the top of the stem and then start to grow as their weight bends the stems down to the ground. Hence the name “Walking,” Onions because if left alone the plants will spread by this method of “Walking.”

At last I have started cutting a few Chicory, “Chicons,” that are developing nicely in my cold greenhouse at home. They were of course grown in my allotment before being taken in and replanted in the dark as the Winter came. Normally you would harvest them in the depths of Winter, but they were hidden under the staging and I forgot to water them so, they just sat there until I did. Still, we like them lightly boiled and served hot so, they are another green vegetable for early on in the season.

I am awaiting delivery of yet another new plant and that is a root of Licorice. I don’t know if you would really class this as a vegetable because it is most definitely edible, but you would hardly serve it up with roast beef! From what I have read it is the roots that yield the sweet juice that sets into the Licorice that we all know. For hundreds of years it has been grown in Yorkshire so it should be alright on my allotment and the plant is said to be drought tolerant to some extent so even if we have a dry Summer after our wet Winter it will be able to cope.

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