Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The GreenHouse affect.......

Thought I would give you a update on my greenhouse activity’s thus far for 2012, I am growing 5 different varieties of tomato this year, yes yes I know I said I was only going to grow 3 but when confronted with a stall selling seeds for 25p who can resist right?
the early sowing of gardeners delight I sowed in February to try to achieve an early crop has flat out failed probably down to this fluctuating weather were having (there’s always next year)
But 4 of the 5 varieties have developed flowers so hopefully a few weeks from now I will be eating the first tomato of the season.

The 5 varieties that I am growing are:
·         Gardeners delight (cherry)
·         Golden Pear (pear shaped yellow cherry)
·         Alice Craig (normal)
·         San Mirzano 3 (plum)
·         Alicante (normal)

The anticipation of the first tomato of the year only builds once they have set and start to fatten and ripen and there truly is nothing like the first tomato picked from the vine, the warmth when you pop it into your mouth then then it bursts like a firework of flavour……Mmmmmmm.

I am also growing sweet peppers and aubergines too, the aubergines are coming along nicely but we need more sun please! The peppers have started to set some fruit so I have given them a feed today. Hopefully the peppers will be as good as last year. So over all the greenhouse is looking healthy and hopefully won’t be long before some things are ready to pick..

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Monday, 25 June 2012

My First Garlic Havest

this year I had real high hopes for my garlic I had grown it before but only on a small scale and didn’t really know what I was doing and the outcome were small bulbs of not really a lot! But I am a little wiser now and did my research last year so I was prepared from the start. My regular readers will know that I got my garlic going in November in a well prepared bed of compost and fertilizer, and it really came on well throughout the winter months I did worry a little when we had the snow in February, but if anything this made it stronger.

But a few weeks ago because of all this wet weather and low temperatures my garlic started to develop rust only in small patches at first but then soon engulfed the whole crop (see last week’s blog post) so I asked about to my fellow bloggers and most told me to lift it to prevent further damage.

Today was the day like I said at the beginning I had put a lot of hope into this crop this year as I do love garlic. The results were great, all the bulbs had formed cloves and most of them were fat and juicy. Once I peeled of a few layers of the damaged foliage I discovered they were still very healthy underneath so I do hope they store well. I have found a grand spot in the garage at home and hope they dry off well.

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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Potato trial: The First Earlies

What a hectic week, SO busy at work right now not much time for the plot so yesterday on my day off I made the most of the fantastic weather and spent the whole day on the plot.

So much weeding to do its depressing, so the first job of the day was to weed over the bed to plant the aubergines and the fennel and celeriac. I am very impressed with myself this year as almost all my vegetables have been grown from seed and not brought from a nursery (which I admit I did last year a bit) and I am particularly proud of my fennel and celeriac’s both look very healthy and strong young plants so a good crop is forecast. And my aubergines I have planted some outside and some in my green house at home. The weather is normally quite good down here in East Anglia so I planted the aubergines out, but with this summer I don’t hold my breath.

I also weeded over the carrot patch as the weeds had gone mutant! Unbelievable the size they reached in 10 days! I also set about sowing a few more rows of carrots ready for September.

I gave my onions and Garlic a quick hoeing over too and I noticed that my garlic had what looked like rust over it, can anyone tell me what this is?? And I hope they are still ok to eat as they really look like a good crop this year!

One of the tasks I was really looking forward to was the potatoes and my first part of my potato trial for 2012. Today was the day for the first earlies………. The excitement I had turning the pot out onto the wheelbarrow I was like a kid in a sweet shop! But the excitement soon turned to disappointment my first tub which was Ulster Classic really didn’t crop much at all 520g to be exact. But I still had hope for the Winston and British Queen but upon turning out the Winston I was disappointed yet again this time only 390g total. I have decided to leave the British Queen a few more weeks in the hope of a bigger crop. I never really grow first earlies as I have always have a poor crop but I thought this year would be different………….I was wrong.

But on a good note, we ate them that evening with salad and a piece of poached salmon and they were absolutely beautiful they tasted so creamy especially the Ulster Classic I would go as far as to say one of the creamiest new potatoes I have eaten if all my potatoes taste a good as this I am in for a real treat this year…..
 Have a cracking week folks…

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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Sacre bleu...its a French Invasion!

Today is Bean day. The wife and I made good use of the halt in the rain to get 2 hours down the allotment, so we got the bean frames up and the beans in.

The past Sunday we dug the bed over ready for the beans and put loads of manure on plus it got a good load in the autumn too. The ground wasn’t ideal as it was very muddy but today is the only day we could get down the plot so we had to make do.

This year I haven’t grown any runner beans from seed I am simply going to pop the seed in when the bamboo structure is erected, not sure what the results will be like but that’s part of the fun of the allotment isn’t it?

I have put in 3 rows of French Beans in Blue Lake, Daneile and one don’t know the name of, and I have also put in a row of Borlotti beans which I really enjoyed last year.  I have never grown Blue Lake before but have read that it’s a good cropper and very good for eating so fingers crossed it will be tasty I will keep you posted

Last year when I erected the bamboo structures I didn’t put any side braces on and when it got windy they decided to fold in on them self’s so this year after watching GW I saw Monty put side supports on his structures so I have done the same and it really has made the whole structure very secure. Something I shall do from now on with any structure I erect.
An update on the potatoes after using the hay to earth up they have shot up and are looking really healthy (although I think this weather has had a hand in that) won’t be long now till the first earlies will be ready for digging up.

Happy gardening everyone…

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