Saturday, 28 December 2013

It's started!

First sowings of the new season....onions!
And 2 amaryllis bulbs given their first watering...
I visited the plot, not to work as everything is a bit too soggy, but to check everything is still where it ought to be after the high winds.  The only thing that happened is that the tub of canes had fallen over again, I left them till later till I can think of a better way of storing them.

But everything is looking remarkably well, wet but otherwise okay.  The daisies were flowering bravely in the cut flower bed,



and the snapdragons haven't given up yet...


 The peas which I sowed as green manure, chopped back and and then dug in, won't take the hint and are still struggling through among the garlic shoots.

Some plants just don't know when to give up.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

winter solstice

I haven't been to the plot since last Sunday!  I do miss it, although the weather helps to not miss it quite so much.  It isn't exactly warm, but its not freezing either, I think there has only been a couple of frosts this winter so far (or should I say autumn, as it is the first day of winter today, according to Google). There has been a fair bit of rain in the past day or so, and although the plot hasn't flooded yet, it is pretty squelchy at the bottom end around the raised beds.

I dug up some leeks and picked some kale for sunday dinner.

I have left a lot of the smaller apples on the tree for the birds and it looks as if they have been enjoying them now they are a lot sweeter.


They look like baubles on the Christmas tree.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Billie's turn came today


He was sliced down from pole to pole and half went in the oven to roast for soup...
 
and was then peeled, chopped, cooked with onion and spices and then blended into thick soup.

And the other half was peeled and chunked raw,

 then mixed with leeks from the garden, rice and smoked bacon  and microwaved into submission. Very nice it was too, well done Billie.  (There was more, but we ate it)


And meanwhile, I toasted the seeds with garlic salt and made a snack.  I wasn't blown away by the flavour I will admit, its the kind of thing that if you were stood by a bowlful at a party, you would eat them, but only until some bombay mix came along.


Thursday, 12 December 2013

Thoughts on crop rotation

It was a no-weather day today.  It wasn't wet or dry, it wasn't sunny or dull, wasn't hot and wasn't cold. There was just nothing there. 

Managed to keep a fire going for over an hour! In fact, it was still going when I left, that's a first! I got rid of most of the raspberry roots except the very wet ones at the bottom of the tub.(I just wish I had taken my camera and my phone hadn't run out of juice.)  I also got rid of the old wicker chair which went up a treat once it got going.


I forked over the runner bean bed.  I can't decide whether to use the same bed again next year and start another bean trench, they did very well in that spot, or to use a different bed.  I suppose for garden hygene it is best to rotate everything as much as possible to reduce the chances of pests and diseases taking hold in one place.
I will consult my trusty and very dog-eared copy of Dig For Victory



And it tells me that I should be putting in my brassica where the legumes were.   Mmm...


But I have pretty much decided not to grow any brassica next year, and even if I was, it wouldn't be in that bed as there was club root there the winter before last.  So perhaps I could put cucurbits there instead, and rotate the rest.  The leaflet doesn't mention cucumbers or pumpkins, I don't think they were invented for growing outside in the 1940s

GrowVeg.com has a useful article on crop rotation. Damn! just found out I have planted my winter onions in the wrong place! Oh well...




Thursday, 5 December 2013

Brr, its a bit windy...

The temperature has gone from 7C this morning to 3C this afternoon.
I was foolish enough to go to the plot today to dig up some leeks.  The minute I opened the door I was assaulted by weather, halfway there I'm wondering why haven't I attached the hood to my jacket?
Very windy and sunny alternating with squalls of rain this morning, this afternoon it is colder, not so windy but still pretty violent, with hailstones thrown into the mix.  Thrown down the back of my neck I might add.

However, Anne bravely trudges on through the snow....


and with frozen fingers....


and then two minutes later it is like this....


Across the region rivers have broken their banks, HGVs have been blown over on top of cars, trees uprooted, stations and bridges closed, but here on my little plot the sum total of devastation is my tub of canes has been blown over and the incinerator lid has blown off.
So far...  Don't laugh, be grateful.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

more soil improver

More soil improver put on today, three barrows on the celeriac plot. I owe the hut £1.

It gets dark too early nowadays, no time to do much.  I will have to start going in the morning more.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

more manure

Hauled three barrow loads of manure up the hill to the plot.

I spread two of them on the old strawberry bed which I have designated the new asparagus bed.  It needs to be quite deep and quite rich apparently. 
That bed is the raised bed that I first I sowed green manure in, it has been turned over and now has a couple of inches of manure, so it hopefully will be good enough to plant asparagus in the spring.

Most of the other load went on the end bed where the celeriac did so poorly, and where I have put the cardboard down and any organic matter I could find.  I then covered the whole bed with a piece of tarpaulin-type fabric which was on the plot when I took it over. I might put some of the half-rotted compost heap on, but I am not sure if I would not be wasting good compost as it is very wet and claggy.  It stayed quite damp even through the long dry spell of last summer. Maybe I should invest in some more planks to raise the bed properly. I will have to put an order in with the trading hut

Picked the two remaining red cabbages (the rest rotted in the wet)because I wanted to cover that section.  When I stripped off the manky outer leaves, they are small but have nice, firm hearts.



I also dolloped a couple of shovelfulls of manure on the rhubarb.