Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The First of Next Year’s Crops Maybe …



Thinking ahead to next year and an early crop – I sowed broad beans – which have now mostly germinated.  I will soon plant out and cloche them to help protect against the worst of winter – who knows, they may even survive.  Ever looking forward.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Multiple-root Parsnips …

Last Sunday I dug my first Parsnip.  It was pretty much perfect.  I had high hopes for the rest of the row.  This Sunday – my hopes were dashed.  Parsnip after parsnip was stunted and multi-rooted.  After several pullings I finally came upon normality.

Did you apply manure to the bed – I hear you ask – NO – is the answer.  The soil was friable – no hard pan to make the roots divide – so what went wrong – and why?




I have no idea – have you?

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Windowsill Gardening …


Behold – my indoor Herbary.  Basil, Parsley, Chives and Thyme.  Brought indoors to thrive in the warmth over winter.  A convenience – definitely – who wants to trudge to the top of the garden during a snowstorm – not me.  And they look pretty good on the window sill too.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Just a Few Last Jobs …

A Robin sat in the plum tree watching me work in the veg patch on Sunday – singing for all he was worth.  I whistled back at him, trying to mimic his song – he laughed in the face of my pathetic attempt and flew off.  Oh well you can’t win ‘em all.


I set myself the task of clearing the courgettes and planting out the cavolo nero kale.  Let me tell you – those courgette plants are vicious brutes when you are working amongst the leaves and stems – my arms were cut to ribbons.


I left one plant in as it was on the edge of the bed and not in the way.


The bed cleared of weeds, refreshed with compost and kale planted, pelleted against slugs and snails and netted against pigeons and badgers.

Job done.

Beetroot seedlings have been planted in the spare troughs and broad beans sown in the greenhouse.

Now all I have to do is wait for everything to mature and enjoy the fruits of my labours.  Maybe I’ll pull a couple of parsnips this weekend – see how they are faring.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

September Roundup …

Well, another month bites the dust – and what a month.  Best September for a long time don’t you agree.  I have been trying to get everything in order before the weather turns nasty – which it is bound to do – no matter how much we don’t want it too. But there is still a lot to do and only so many daylight hours to do it in – but I’ll get there somehow.


The cabbages that just survived the slug attacks

Trouble is, everything is still growing and producing, so there hasn’t been a chance to get the beds cleared and replanted – so I have been using the troughs as a sort of holding area.  The courgettes are still going bananas, as are the summer squash, and even though I am sick of the sight of them I haven’t the heart to pull them out when they look so healthy – I’m just going to have to wait for the first frosts.


Summer squash propped up by a crate so  I could get down the path

I have pulled up all the bean plants now, and kept the big bulgy beans for next years seed of both the runners and the French beans.  The parsnip foliage has grown so lush that it is swamping everything else – so next year I am going to have a good think about where to put them – possibly in bottomless florists buckets as they worked well last year, and keep them in the now defunct flower border, even though it is possibly a bit too shady for them – we’ll see.  It’s all a bit of a juggling act.


One psb plant dwarfing the short curly kale


More psb plants in the border that desperately needs the forget-me-nots weeded out

The psb plants weren’t touched by the cabbage whites this year for some reason so they are growing big and strong, the kale which was kept under cover looks pretty healthy too, a bit shorter than normal but that’s probably because I didn’t plant them till late.  Just waiting for space to put the black kale in once the courgettes have finished.


Parsnips, leeks, chard, spinach and spindly cabbages

The leeks are looking a bit pathetic but they were transplanted late as well, there’s always time for them to catch up.  And that’s about it – the winter onions are sprouting nicely, but the cabbages suffered from slugs, even though they were covered and pelleted, hopefully they’ll make a full recovery and begin to heart up a bit.


Cold frame with florists buckets of beetroot, carrot, chard and spinach


Troughs with winter onions, the last of the French beans and rainbow chard – the beans will be pulled  and replaced with something else, not quite sure what yet.

I still have a few outdoor Sungold to pick but they are almost over – I never thought I would be saying that it has been a great year for tomatoes!


So, that’s my September roundup – not bad considering it hasn’t rained properly for weeks.  How does your garden grow?

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