December 2013

THE SUN SHINES ON MY BRASSICAS

Winter vegetables on the allotment have been a success partly down to the butterfly netting I invested in the spring. Even though it was a bit of a fiddle cutting it to size its all been worth it. Broccoli, red cabbages Brussel-sprouts, cauliflowers, mange tout have all thrived because of it. When I put into practise the crop-rotation plan next year the nets will simply slot on to the next raised bed. Over wintering in another bed are kale, spinach carrots and parsnips, but they only need protection from the pigeons for the time being. I have munjacs, cats and rabbits to protect my crops from. But nothing so far have eaten the leeks, apart from me. Last winter they were chomped right down to the ground, and then amazingly, grew back again.

When I first created the raised beds it was always the intention to lay bark on the paths. I installed the black weed suppressant membrane by stapling the sides to the wooded borders. But never got round to buying the bark and thank goodness I didn’t. Its find it so convenient, whilst weeding or hoeing, to just drop the offending weed onto the paths then simply sweep them all up at the end of the session into one big pile instead of to-ing and fro-ing with wheelbarrows and buckets. The bark would have ended up a mess. And once swept it all looks clean again. Its not going to win any beauty prizes but this is a place that has to be practical.

The herb corner I planted up last spring has loved the summer but needed a good sorting and I even managed to harvest some fennel seeds before cutting it all back. I have mint, two thymes, sage, rosemary and bay. I hope to add to it next year and look forward to seeing the plants mature.

Jobs in the garden include pots and pots of tulips. Blue Parrot, Black Parrot, Shirley, Queen of the night, and orange flamingo, Jackpot and some Nectaroscordum for the borders too.

In the green house next years cauliflower is coming on a treat. It has been such a mild December so far they are still putting on leaf. Further winter protection is required for my potted olive tree and I’ve brought in a pot of pelagonias to see if they will survive without suffering powdery mildew this time

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A blog about my gardening exploits to inspire, even if its looking like its all about go wrong. (Which it does, alot)

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