Wednesday, 30 October 2013

gluebands, winter onions and potatoes

It is starting to get a bit colder now, it got down to 5C last night, but it is quite pleasant today, sunny, bright and quite breezy.

I put some glue bands on the apple trees.  Dear me! what a mess I was in!  I had to wait until some dust had stuck to the glue on my hands before I could take pictures!

I saw that there was a few weeds under the fleece over the winter onions, so I lifted it off and found that quite a few onion sets had been pulled out of their places.  That is what the fleece was there to stop!  I don't think that birds could get under the fleece so it must be mice, but the onion sets didn't look nibbled, just moved.  Its a mystery. So I left off the fleece as it didn't seem to be making a difference.

But they are looking quite healthy so far, apart from the tops being bent over by the fleece.

I turned over the two phacelia beds, and the soil in the lasagne type bed (old strawberry) is lovely and crumbly, with lots of worms.  Unfortunately it also has lots of weeds from the home-made compost. 
The soil in the other one, the old onion bed, was a lot more solid.  I left the soil in big lumps for the frost to get at, that is the theory anyway.  It usually means the lumps have to broken up with the flat of the spade in the spring.

I planted the pot-grown loganberry, but forgot to learn the planting instructions. I think I can recall that I have to cut everything down to 9 inches, but before I do this I had better check, as I can't put it back if my memory is faulty.

Pulled some more leeks for soup and a potato and leek frittata for dinner. 

I'm using shop-bought potatoes though, I have just finished the last home-grown "kestrel" potatoes. I have ordered my next year's potatoes, maincrop "Desiree" and early "Lady Christl".  I liked the Kestrel as a new potato, just scrubbed and microwaved, but as it got older it didn't mash very well and was quite a dry potato when baked or roasted.  Desiree is supposed to be a good all-rounder and Lady Christl is defo the fashionable choice, supposed to have a lovely flavour.  We'll see!

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