Japanese Onion Sets, Carrots, Parsnips and the Mantis Tiller

Japanese Onions

The last couple of days have been miserable, weather wise, but today was lovely if a little cold. So to the plot after lunch. Took the car filled with spent pots and growbags from home which will enhance the soil. Put these onto plot 29 where the potatoes had been. I also had a large bag of green material for the compost heap. Val’s flowers finally find a use,

Val picked up 150 Japanese onion sets the other day and planting these was my first priority. I’ve two patches of leeks on plot 5 and onions are all on plot 5 as I think I’ve got white rot on plot 29. So the onions are going in by the leeks.

A quick hoe and rake off the weeds then out with the Mantis. I only used the Mantis to go down about an inch or two to enable me to get the sets in easily. Raked in some fish, blood and bone fertiliser then planted at 6″ apart with a foot between rows. I want some decent size onions so I’m allowing plenty of room for them.

Incidentally, my Dutch hoe is one of the invaluable tools when combined with a metal file. What’s the file for? you may ask, to sharpen the hoe, of course. A sharp hoe is a wonderful tool compared with a blunt hoe.

To be truthful or not to be?

One temptation, knowing how many people may read this, is to gloss over my mistakes and set myself up as some sort of vegetable growing guru.  The truth is that I am not the best by far but I am learning, often from my mistakes. So I will stick to being truthful.

Carrots 2 Parsnips 10

I planted some carrots on plot 5 and they’ve been in the ground for too long and they were the wrong varieties for a maincrop. Result is that most are split and the slugs have eaten their way down from the top. I didn’t thin them out either and this was a mistake as I have clumps of too small to be worth it carrots. So more went to the compost bin than to home. Still managed half a carrier bag full, though.

Decided to dig up a parsnip, one of my favourite vegetables although Val doesn’t like them much. Traditionally they are planted in February and lifted after frost. Well these were planted on the 11th April (aren’t diaries useful when combined with google search?)

Wonderful parsnip – not cored (is that a word?) and weighed in at 2lbs 8 oz. I’m really pleased with that.

Clearing Plot 29

Final job was to clear some more on plot 29. The cucumbers are over so they went onto the heap and then to home

Back Again

When I got home there was another bag of compost material – Val’s busily tidying up the garden so loaded that into the car and put it onto the compost bin. Back home where I finally got a cup of tea and a sandwich.


The other night we had leek and potato pie for tea using the Sarpo potatoes. Whilst these don’t roast or chip well they do work beautifully boiled. They hold together well and taste very nice as well. Pretty sure they’re going to mash well but I will report back on that.

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