Monday, 31 December 2012

White cap button mushrooms

I'm having a go at mushrooms.  Unfortunately, I didn't read the blurb properly when I bought the mushroom spawn, so I'm making do with multi-purpose compost as a growing medium instead of composted straw or horse manure, neither of which I have, nor do I have time to make, before the spawn is past its "best by" date.  I thought I was buying a kit....
So, in the garage, two deep trays of damp compost, sprinkle on the spawn (50g), mix in a bit and cover with damp newspaper. Wait for a few days...

Sunday, 30 December 2012

mystery squash

This was a random seed I found, in October, sprouting from the home made compost I used to fill the carrot growing bag.  So I potted it up and brought it in because I knew it was a squash of some kind and wouldn't survive the winter outside.  No reason really, just thought it would be interesting to see if it survives and what sort of squash it might be.
I'm guessing a butter-nut.

And an update on the overwintering peppers.  There were some tiny flower buds on, but they dropped off.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

last vegetables of 2012

Finished off planting out the garlic.  Only one looked as if it wasn't going to grow, all the rest looked pretty healthy.

Nothing more to do as there was more rain overnight and the pools have been topped up, so I fished out the last two celeriac from the water, popped back a couple of winter onions which had been pulled out by the birds, and left.

There is now no usable produce left from 2012.  (There are still some very sorry-for-themselves leeks and some tiny psb and some tiny cabbages, but I don't count them.) So I can safely leave the plot to its own devices until spring.  I don't suppose I will, as I seem to be addicted.  And anyway, where else will I go on fine afternoons?

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

planting out the garlic

Boxing Day, I'm at a loose end, stuck in the house by the weather, cooking and cleaning over for the moment.  Leftover Christmas dinner tonight, so nothing much to prepare, I can't go out for a run as my hip joints are complaining and I'm trying to rest them for a while.

So as it wasn't actually raining, I had a walk to the plot.  There is nothing much to do because there is so much water and its too cold to start anything yet, so I decided to do some woodchip runs.  There is a great big muddy patch on the path outside my plot so I put a couple of barrow loads on that, it makes it less slippery if nothing else. Topped up some of the paths around the raised beds where the wood chippings had been washed away.

It has been dryish for the past couple of days, still raining occasionally but just drizzle, so the plot is draining a bit.


I forked over one of the raised beds (archive pic above), just to see what it was like compared to the rest of the plot, and it is not bad at all.  All the nasturtiums in the picture are dead now and I've been dumping spent compost on it.  It was dry enough to start planting out the garlic that I put in pots in November.

 I didn't get finished though as it was getting dark, so I will go back tomorrow, weather permitting. All the garlic I have taken out so far have had very little top growth, but have nice healthy roots growing out the bottom of the pots.

Even though there is no particular reason to go the plot, I always seem to find something to do, providing its not tossing it down or freezing, that is.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

still raining

Two days of incessant rain, and we are into the third.

And the forecast not looking good, it might fair up for a while tomorrow, then back to rain again until Christmas Day.

Perhaps the end of the world isn't going to be a sudden thing, we are just going to get wetter and wetter like Noah and his world in a previous millennium.

Thursday, 20 December 2012


Surprise, surprise it rained again and guess what, the wet end is under water again.  This is getting very boring!
Two little diddy celeriac harvested from the waters.  There are small but flavour packed, I absolutely love them in soup. The difference in taste between these and shop-bought ones is amazing.   I'm told the leaves are very tasty, but there hasn't been any big enough to serve as a vegetable. Definitely worth growing again and worth plodging about for them.
They don't seem to mind the water, but I don't know what they would be like in an ordinary year.They might be as big as shop bought ones if they hadn't been under water most of the time. But, saying that, I planted some at the dry end at the same time as these ones and they didn't do all that well.
If the world ends tomorrow morning as predicted by the Mayans (allegedly), this might be my last diary entry.  It will solve the problem of my waterlogged plot anyway.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Heavy, man..

Two more scaffolding boards dragged up the hill to my plot, that's four so far.  They are blimmin' heavy! I'm thinking of getting the boys' old skateboard out of the loft; if I could think of a way of attaching it to the trailing end of the plank it would make transportation a lot smoother.

The plot is drying out a little, but still a fair bit of standing water.  From the look of THIS I'm doing the right thing in making raised beds.  I've been looking at hugelkultur beds but I think the difficulty will be acquiring the materials necessary all at once. Its a shame I didn't think of this earlier because I've just burnt all my woody stuff, so will have to scrounge.

Sunday, 16 December 2012


The brassica tunnel has been surrounded by water for the past few weeks and I could see a couple of likely candidates for dinner in there, so I bit the bullet today and plodged through the moat to harvest these two Lilliputian lovelies.
They looked bigger from a distance.

I dug up one of the celeriac yesterday, it has been smelling the kitchen out since then, I love that smell! By the time I peeled it and cut off all the roots it was tiny, the size of a golfball, but wow, what a flavour it packs!  Much more than bought celeriac.
I put it in soup with all the other usual vegetables and the celeriac flavour cuts through all of them.  
Mmmm, tastes absolutely gorgeous.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

The snow had to go somewhere...

...all  over the garden again.
I was going to mark out some more beds, but my measuring plank sank into the water.

But I did get an idea of how many planks I will need if I make raised beds for the wet end.  I think smaller 4 x 4 beds might be better to allow drainage between them, so 4 of those at £3 per plank, that's 64 feet.  That's just single height, It might be best to make the ones at the deep end double height, so that is another 32 feet. By my calculations that means 8 planks = £24 that is if prices stay the same by the time I get around to it.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Saturday, 1 December 2012


The water receded and left a thin layer of ice with strange tide marks.