Sunday, 29 June 2008

Its harvest time

We decided that the garlic and shallots were ready to pull up... and my what a bountiful harvest. I think we've definately enough to last us all year (and we've still got a bed of onions to harvest later too!!).
I'm glad our nextdoor neighbours are garlic fans like us as the smell that wafted from our backyard would have seen off lurking vampires within at least a 10 mile radius.

2009 Year of the Brassica?

(picture to follow soon)
We took the decision to pull up the shallots and garlic yesterday as we didn't want them rotting in the soil (its been quite wet of late). So in their absence we planted the volunteer PSB (I found more so they've now increased to 7), 5 PSB plants, 5 Romanesco cauliflower plants and the other 5 red cabbage plants (although they went in next to the 15 other red cabbage) we bought off t'internet.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Almost there...

Took a quick peek at things on my way home from work as I've not been up since Sunday and it is lookin good. The recent rains have helped and some things (the lettuce) have doubled in size.So grabbed a couple of big handfuls to take round to friends (along with some potatoes and garlic) to say thanks for looking after the kittens the other weekend. The courgettes are starting to flower so not long to wait until the fruit start swelling. I'll give it a week until we pick our first one. The shallots have all flopped over so I don't think they're far off harvesting.
And the blackcurrants ave turned a lovely shade of purply black so I'll do a first pick at the weekend. Ooh will have to peruse some cookbooks...

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Batten down the hatches

We went to the allotment today for a couple hours weeding and tending as it was dry, and made sure everything was securely tied down (especially the tomato shelter) and wouldn't blow away in the gale force winds that are battering us at the moment. Not very mid-summer like is it?!? Hmmmm....

Friday, 20 June 2008

Disappointment to elation

Some of the garlic plants got lightly damaged by MJC's strimming the other night so to satisfy my overwhelming curiosity at whether they were ready yet, I dug a couple of them up..... Oh! Initial negative thoughts were " it hasn't worked" and "all that money for nothing!" (Note: Decided this year to get cloves from the Garlic Farm as last year's supermarket ones went mouldy due to all the rain).
However when I decided to dig up just one more to check (from the other side of the bed, different variety) I got this little beauty...obviously the one on the left, but the other one was very tasty in the salsa verde we made to accompany the fish for dinner.
Now I'm going to be patient and wait just a wee bit longer to harvest all the other 89 and even if I only get a couple more like the one on the left I'll be a happy girl indeed.

Monday, 9 June 2008

June view

Don't want to replace the title photo just yet as its so pretty with the blossom and bluebells. So here is the almost mid-June view of Plot 86a.

Not long now...

Until we'll be reaping some of the rewards of all our hard slog over the last few months.
The first early potatoes are starting to flower and this is supposed to be a sign that they're ready. Although when I dug one up I only found 3! I'll probably have to step up the watering and wait until more flowers have opened.
The peas have started to flower, can't wait for my first pod eaten, there and then! The broad bean flowers are now giving way to tiny little beans, so they'll need more watering too...sigh!
At the weekend we planted 20 replacements for the celeriac seedlings that got munched (an Ebay purchase) and 12 red cabbage plants that I couldn't resist buying at the garden centre the other day. The cabbage plants have been netted against the pigeons and butterflies and plenty of slug pellets put round all of them.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

The Tomato Shelter

As all the varieties of tomatoes I'm growing this year are vine, then I need to rig up some proper support and the ones I grew outside last year took ages to produce fruit and ripen. So I've 'designed' a combined support and shelter arrangement to try to give them the best growing conditions without resorting to having to get a greenhouse/poly tunnel and especially if this summer turns out like last year's.... and here it is, TAA-DAA!!!!!
Yes it's a hybrid polytunnnel/bike shelter arrangement, customised from the original Tunnel de Forcage components and only time (and high winds) will tell if it works.....I'll cram as many of the other tomato plants in gro-bags at home, some more on the plots and give away the leftovers.

Monday, 2 June 2008


So far this year I've had a few undocumented casualties and thought I'd best come clean about my not 100% successful record.

Some have been mysterious failures - a few squash, bean, sweetcorn, pea and cucumber seeds failing to germinate. Then there's been the unlucky, such as the other cucumber, a few tomatoes and all the kohl rabi seedlings caught out by damping off (even though I was very careful about not overwatering). Others have been due to my laziness/late timing, the poor beetroot seedlings grew as much as they could in their tiny pots....

And then there's the massacre of the slug army....grr! Checked on the plots at the weekend and realised that out of the 36 celeriac seedlings we planted out only 7 remain intact. Plus they've had a right go at the promising carrot seedlings. So out came the slug pellets and liberally dowsed all small defenceless seedlings.