Transplanting trickery

This is the time of year for planning what’s going to grow where in the vegetable garden.  With the principles of companion planting firmly in mind, I took the opportunity of a dry day this week to move the shallots away from the area where I plan to grow peas this year.  Alliums and peas definitely don’t make good neighbours.

Young shallots lifted for transplanting

Young shallots lifted for transplanting

The shallots were easy to dig out, although some had been ripped out by pigeons lately.  In no time they were in their new bed at the other end of the garden, now alongside some rhubarb crowns. Alliums and rhubarb do make good companions.

Shallots in their new position

Shallots in their new position

Meanwhile, the rest of that larger bed where I plan to grow peas was still occupied by saffron crocuses.  My head was saying move them and use the space for a productive crop you can eat. My heart was saying leave them there and enjoy the fabulous colourful saffron crop late in the year.

Saffron bed, taking up valuable space

Saffron bed, taking up valuable space

In the end I went for a compromise, deciding to vacate the bed and replant as many of the crocuses as possible into a large pot.

Best saffron plants, ready for replanting

Best saffron plants, ready for replanting

It was interesting to expose the finger-like tubers which grow beneath the crocus plant.  I’d never seen that before.

Carrot-like saffron roots

Carrot-like saffron roots

While digging them out it was difficult to avoid breaking some of the roots, but I’m hopeful that in their new pot of fresh compost they’ll take well and grow strongly.

Saffron in its new home

Saffron in its new home

This way I’ve regained some valuable space for food growing and hopefully have a delightful sunny saffron pot for picking the elusive red strands later in the autumn.

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