Sunday, October 19, 2008
With that in mind the beds are topped up with a mix of vintage manure
and plenty of well rotted leafmould
and are then covered with membrane. Over the winter, worms will draw down the manure and leafmould mix and the cover will prevent weeds from growing. A welcome bonus is that the soil will be a few degrees warmer come spring than that which is exposed to the air. This will allow me to plant some crops out a little earlier than I could do in traditional beds.
We use lots of celeriac. Its grand mashed with spuds or added to stews. Ours are bulking up fabulously now.
These tomatiloes are not a winter veg but as they are in the tunnel they will be harvested for another few weeks or until the frosts finally come. We have used them to make a proper Mexican salsa today and mighty fine it tastes too. A good job as we now have 6lb in jars to last through till next year with a lot more to come.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
They have grown exceptionally well and as they are not a permanent bed where good practice states they are not really harvested till the third year, they will be brought into the tunnel after Christmas to be brought on to give an exceptionally early crop of English asparagus.
Trying to push the boundaries is one of the great gardening challenges.
It does not take long for the birds to make the most of the feast, as the above "cleared out" head shows.
Our spinach bed has produced and produced all summer long. We have even resported to steaming it, squeezing the water out of it and freezing it ready for use in the kitchen. Hopefully this will stand over the winter.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
These "Aromel" everbearer strawberries just keep on giving us fruit, 60 plants yield 4-8lb a week and are most welcome in autumn. The first frosts will put a stop to them but we are making the most of them whilst we can.
These are the French Black tomatoes we grew from saved seeds, the tomatoes were originally bought at a French market. They are sweet with a nice acid bite, prolific and versatile. We will definitely grow them next year.
An important job is to weed out growing or overwintering crops to help prevent disease and allow as much light into them as possible during the short days. These are leeks (Bleu de Solaise) getting weeded out ready for winter.
Another type of bean we are growing this year, this time as seed guardians for the HSL are Madeira Maroon (below) which lok like jeweled sweets. These have been very productive and will be grown again next year.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Normally I work in a quarry and work 4 days and then get 4 off. Unfortunately due to the credit crunch I have been redeployed and now work Mon-Fri and can be anywhere in the country. This has obviously had a huge impact on my free time and taken some adjustment.
I fully intent to start regular updates very soon as lots has happened on our plots, not least our coming second in the best Leicester allotment this year, we came third last year so we are still improving.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Its been a long time since I updated my blog but a change in work circumstances means instead of working 4 days on and 4 off I am now working Monday to Friday and very often away from home giving me much less free time than before.
Anyway, the grapes in our tunnels are now ripening up, so much so that we have picked the first bunches. They taste superb. Very sweet and just gorgeous striaght off the vine. The variety is "Cardinal" and came from a nursery in Normandy (France). We now have 3 in the tunnels and 2 outside and we may stretch to a row or two in an attempt to grow enough for some wine although that will be a very hit and miss affair knowing our weather.
Monday, April 28, 2008
The red salad bowl (above) above will soon be ready to have leaves harvested, the devils tongue cut and come again variety has already matured to a size where we can pick leaves.
The last two rows of "Marfona" potato went in late last week. They had chitted nicely and will romp away now they are planted. Whilst they are a second early, we grow them as an early maincrop and they really do make a good all round potoato.
The second tunnel is now planted up with tomatoes and all of the canes are tied in. This year we have Bloody butcher, Shirley, Sungold, French Black,Rio grande and Mountain pride. All have set the flowers on the first truss and hopefully we will be picking the first ripe fruit in Late June.
Monday, April 14, 2008
The asparagus bed is just about to come alive with tasty spears, and with this being the beds third year we can cut for the whole six week season. As an experiment I started to plant crowns in barrels a few weeks ago and now have thirteen planted and lined up on the path adjoining the asparagus bed. Hopefully they will establish this year, being in barrels with handles means I can bring them undercover to force a few early spears next year.
Both the asparagus bed and the rhubarb bed get top dressed with about 4" of well rotted manure in the winter.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
The path is 2' wide leaving 4' wide beds.
The nearly finished article, just a few bits of glass to clean and we now have far more growing space on the same sized area. In addition, 2 other plots have been given my old 8 x 6 greenhouses so happy faces all around.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Today I planted out a batch of purple podded peas, a quality heritage variety. They were sown in standard 4" pots, three seeds to a pot.
As you can see from the fabulous root structure, there is absolutely no need to sow them in root trainers, toilet rolls, guttering or any other vertibule, a bog standard pot will do the job as well as anything. Of course, our maincrop peas, due to the large amount of seed involved, are sown direct into the ground making things even easier, but for small, or early sowings, pots will do fine.
This is one of the tunnels preped and awaiting the planting of tomatoes next week. As the lettuce will mature and be cut well before the ground is covered by the much larger tomato plants we have planted a catch crop of lettuce at the front of the bed. The added heat and protection of the tunnel will mean we are cuting these a week or so earlier than the plants outdoors.