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I've been unable to source any seeds in GCs, but if I ordered some seeds online am I too late? The info I've seen seems to suggest so. I thought I might be able to find some plants at my local blooms but I have been totally unsuccessful, which is a shame because I'd have loved to have put some in at the allotment this month.
Another one for next years list methinks!
Never grown it from seed but since you're not going to get a crop from it this year - or next, probably - I wouldn't have thought it too late. But then I'm no expert. No, sorry - I'm not No Expert, I'm just.....oh never mind. More tea.
Wait until the late autumn SweetPea and then ask around the allotment to see if anyone is dividing one of their crowns - offer them something in return and hopefully you'll get it for peanuts
Plant it with lots of organic material, FYM etc, and don't pick anything from it next year (apart from removing any flowering stalks). Water it well and keep mulching with FYM/compost etc and by spring 2016 you'll be picking your own rhubarb
I must admit I didn't know it was such a slow provider. If it does take so long, then I don't mind prioritising something else that will give results a little sooner, as the aim is to get as much in now as we can, so we don't feel we've wasted too much time this year.
It really needs to build the crown up before you can use it - save a corner for it in the autumn - it'll need an area about 1m x 1m.
Have you planted any dwarf French beans yet? They're quite quick to crop. Pak Choi is another quick one. You can so them both direct into the ground where they're going to grow.
I'm amazed at how quickly my Pak Choi is growing this year in the warm dampness at the moment.
We've got lots of seeds, it's just a matter of improving and breaking down the soil, it's still compacted and unsuitable to sow in. Another week or two, but I'm very very aware time is marching on!
I have grown rhubarb from seed and although very satisfying it does take a few years. You can pick one or two stalks per plant in the second year. Biggest problem is that you end up with dozens of plants - rhubarb is one of these species where you seem to get 100% germination.
Unless you are growing commercially it takes over and you'll want to grow something other than rhubarb, so best to scrounge a bit from someone else.
This shouldn't be a problem - I keep hacking mine up and it seems to make no difference whatsoever to yield, but I do mulch with well rotted manure in the autumn.
On the soil issue I have to say that I would advise you to cheat and spray roundup on what you aren't going to be able to do in the next fortnight, leave it for a couple of weeks and cover it in as much manure as you can get hold of between now and winter. (6 inches absolute minimum.) You will be amazed at how much work earthworms will do for you. You can then rotovate the whole allotment in early spring and start at the right time of year. By spraying you will be killing off the weeds before they set seed which will help both the bit you have done and the remainder.
I took over an old allotment at our previous home and if you try to do it all at once it just gets on top of you and you end up doing nothing, so be realistic and enjoy a portion of your allotment whilst planning ahead. Remember it's supposed to be enjoyable and there's always another year!
PS Whatever you do don't rotovate without weedkilling first - this is known as weed propogation.
Chinese leaves such as pak choi are actually best sown in July or later or they bolt so you have plenty of time to get some decent crops from your plot.
Hardy winter vegetables such as leeks, kale, sprouts, spring greens, purple sprouting broccoli are also best sown in June/July and you can also sow chard for an autumn crop. If the winter's not too cold, they'll stand for months and provide stems and leaves to eat.
Do keep an eye out for a rhubarb plant but be prepared to be patient as they do need to establish for a year so they can grow strong roots before you start harvesting the stems. Remember that cutting stems removes the leaves which are their food factory.
Cutting? Cutting? I do hope you pull the stalks in the approved manner!