Carrot Chitting

Well, so much for the dire predictions of us all being struck down by a heatwave in August, it’s more likely we’ll be down with the flu! In fact, as I write, we’ve got a fire going in the woodburner to lift the chill.

All the early potatoes are lifted now which gives me a clear bed. I left it for a couple of days then went through again. Despite being really thorough in harvesting every tuber, still found another half dozen decent sized spuds and quite a few tiddlers as well.

A good dose of chicken manure pellets to perk up the soil because the potatoes will have taken a lot out of the ground. I then gave it a going over with the three pronged cultivator and raked it roughly level. Once it’s settled a bit and had some rain I’ll apply a heavy dose of wood ashes (for the potash) and then sow some late carrots. Bit late, but worth a try.

I’ve had great results with my recent sowing of pelleted seed – carrot seed is a pain to handle being so small. I’ve sown about an inch apart which will work in the rich compost of the raised bed. Reading my 1943 gardening book I came across this piece which I’ve paraphrased a little, something I may try.

Chitted Carrot Seed

Germination is usually slow in the case of carrots and this can be hastened by the process of chitting. The seed should be spread out carefully on a damp board and each seed separated from the other using a sharp nailfile or pencil for the purpose.

If you have no greenhouse stand the board under a light window and keep it damp but never actually wet. Soon you will notice the seed has begun to germinate and, having been given this start, it is ready for sowing.

New Radio

My personal radio has gone to the ether. The LCD display went all black a month ago and now it’s completely silent despite a new battery. I do like listening to radio whilst I’m working outside but the cheap Sony I used to use and had kept as a backup isn’t as good and half the time loses the signal tuning into odd Irish stations at random.

Anyway, treated myself to a combined DAB radio and MP3 player for £30 from Ebay. Perfect signal with no random Irish pop stations and the capacity to hold my entire record collection on a tiny little memory card. My first hard drive was the size of a brick and held a huge 10MB now it’s 16GB (1600 times that) on a card smaller than my little finger nail.

If vegetables had progressed like technology, we’d chuck a handful of seeds on the ground, go in and have a cup of tea then come out to find them ready to harvest! Oh, hang on – that’s how it works on TV already.


Getting some lovely tomatoes now from the Ailsa Craig in the greenhouse. Proper sized, tasty toms. Big enough to slice onto a cheese sandwich or cut in half and grill to go with a meal, sprinkled with a little garlic salt; food for the gods.

We’re averaging a small cucumber every couple of days and we’ve enough sweet peppers to start a shop off. I’ve also noticed an aubergine starting. If we get a fruit off every flower we’ll be able to start a moussaka factory.

The tomatoes need feeding twice a week at the moment being as they’re in production and I’m sideshooting and tying in at the same time. In sunny weather I’m watering every day, otherwise every other.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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