Monthly Archives: May 2011

Another Three Weeks…….

At this time of year it’s amazing how quickly the veg grows. This is how the veg plot looked 3 weeks ago (there’s also a link on that post to how it looked 6 weeks ago) and this is how it looks now!

I’m lucky to be growing in the garden so watering in such a dry Spring hasn’t been a problem. And the brassicas in particular have really shot on over the last few weeks.

The cabbages are looking good, starting to heart up now.

And the calabrese and cauliflowers are packed in and growing well.

No sign of the cauliflower heads yet but if you look closely at the calabrese they are starting to form; the girls will love eating these.

We’ve been eating the Webbs Wonderful lettuce for a while now and in the gaps I’m planting some Tom Thumb to keep the supply going.

And finally a new veg for the Two Chances plot this year – Asparagus Pea – it has a low sprawling growth with pretty crimson flowers, I’ll let you know what they taste like. Hope you all have a great Bank Holiday!

Greenhouse Sort Out

I spent the morning finally sorting out the greenhouse.

The tomatoes are moneymaker, gardener’s delight and golden peardrop in bottomless pots on a bed of gravel lined with plastic. The idea being that the gravel bed acts as a water retaining reservoir that the tomotoes longer roots can reach. And the pots themselves are watered with a liquid feed that’s taken up by the plants more fibrous roots. At the end of the greenhouse are two Carmen all-female cucumbers and around the edges of the beds are lettuce (lollo rosso, tom thumb and salad bowl), basil and french marigolds. The smell from the basil and marigolds should ward off the whitefly through the summer.

On the staging are the chillies (cayenne, cheyenne, scotch bonnet, apache), peppers (bell boy, redskin, leteus, denver, etiuda) and aubergines (bonica). I’ll take the shelves out of a couple of the mini-greenhouses and grow the spare tomatoes in end-on grow bags. I’m glad to get another job crossed off the list and everything looks a bit tidier now. Hope you’re having a good weekend!

Veg Update

This morning I managed to get the front bed planted up and finished. There’s various trailing plants dotted around the edge – marrow, crown prince, jack ‘o’ lantern and a tromba courgette – I’ll train these up the fence so they don’t take up space in the bed. The rest of the plants are a cabbage walking stick plant (for our Hort Soc competition in the Autumn), early and late PSB, cauliflowers (snowball), brussel sprouts (Bedford – now earthed up and staked) and some autumn-fruiting raspberries. Two mesh tunnels will keep the pigeons and cabbage whites off the brassicas.

I’ve also filled the bed under the living room window. A few scraps of mesh have been joined together to keep the birds off the strawberries – we’ll be picking our first ones later today! There’s loads of fruit forming on the raspberries and in between is a blackcurrant, gooseberry and courgettes – black beauty and rubesa fruilana.

Out the back the beds are filling up.

From front to back are root crops, spring onions, spinach, rocket, radish, mangetout, garlic, broad beans, and runners/french beans on the canes right at the back. We’ve eaten spinach, rocket, radish and mangetout which was all very nice and the broad beans shouldn’t be too far behind.

And the cabbages are coming on well tucked up in their mesh tunnel.

Lastly the long roots in the pipes:

The parsnips and carrots are around 8″ high now, hoping they will be good enough for the show in mid-August. Hope you’re having a good weekend.

Mangetout Rodney!

The first of my Mangetout (Oregon Sugar Pod) are developing. A first for the Two Chances Veg Plot, can’t wait to try them!!

39 Not Out!

My 39th year starts here, the last chance saloon before the big one! Well before I start on all those resolutions I’m going to have to sample some of these great ciders that Rach bought for me. I’m a fairly recent convert to cider and perry and this selection from Henney’s Frome Valley, Henry Weston’s Herefordshire and Aspall’s in Suffolk are among my favourites ranging between 5.4 and 8.2%. I feel a cider farm visit down the road to Somerset coming on!

May Flowers

A selection of flowers from the garden this morning. Peony, Aquilegia, Geranium, Chives, Rose, Cornflower, Pansies. Off to Oxford later and Newbury races tomorrow. Have a great weekend!!

Winning Form!

Craig over at Dyke’s Edge Allotments ran a photo competition a few weeks ago and, guess what, I won with my parsnip photo!! The prize – a laminated magazine mock-up of the photo and some packets of seeds.

Thanks very much Craig for a great prize. If you haven’t checked out Craig’s blog get over there, he’s made amazing progress on the plot over the last few months.

I hope my winning form continues when I visit Newbury races this Saturday!!