December 2014

Remember I said back in June that I experimented for the first time this year with sweet peppers?  Well that was when they started developing in grow bags in the greenhouse.  We had a terrific crop, far more than I expected.  I picked some of them when they were green and left the rest to redden up as they ripened.  There are still some in the fridge in December! So that was a big success.

I’ve cut back all the rhubarb leaves so the plants are ready for a good coating of manure for the winter. Then they’ll hopefully be ready to produce good fruit in the early spring….

Have a great Christmas and I’m looking forward to updating you every month in 2015!

November 2014

It’s getting quiet in the vegetable garden now.  I’m thinking about digging it over but so far only thinking!

Our leeks are still doing well, just sitting in the ground till we want them.  The same with the parsnips; they’re quite happy in the ground.

My swedes are coming along and I’ve sown a late row of spinach.

The onions I grew this year are all bagged up for storage.  I left them as long as I could on shelving to dry out; the drier they are, the better they’ll keep.  I’ve got white onions for general use and some red for salads as well.

 

October 2014

We’ve had lots of courgettes from the garden this year and now we’re getting the last of them – so I can clear the plants and tidy up where they were.

All the apples are picked and stored indoors on shelves.  The horse will get a lot of them!

I’ve harvested the red cabbages.  We didn’t grow many of them but they were great; really tight, firm heads which will keep for quite a while, at least a month, till we want to eat or pickle them.

 

September 2014

This is the month to cut and clear the asparagus bed for the compost heap – and to pick more of our autumn raspberries, which are really good this year.  We only have one blackberry plant but it has produced a huge amount of lovely fruit.

I’ve pulled up the last of the beetroot.  We don’t like to let them get too large, because they get woody.  So I pull them now and store them in a skip covered in sand till we want to use them.

My Flower of Spring cabbages are now ready to plant outside (netted against the pigeons, of course).

We are eating the last of this year’s lettuces, and I’ve taken off the last tomato trusses to ripen on their own and cleared all the plants for composting.

And of course I keep going with the hoe.  Whenever anything in the garden is quiet, I get the hoe out to keep unwanted weeds at bay.

 

August 2014

I’ve used  SeedSava to sow a row of spinach.  This will take us into winter using the “cut and come again” technique.

The leeks which I planted out earlier are also well established now.  These will also keep going through the winter as will the parsnips which are left in the ground until needed.

July 2014

Use SeedSava to plant cabbage seeds (Flower of Spring).  These will be planted out to overwinter, and will be ready early spring.  Flower of Spring cabbages have a nice firm conical shape.

June 2014

I’ve removed my lettuce plants from the greenhouse and planted them outside.

I then used the SeedSava to plant another 1 meter row which will provide more than enough plants for ourselves.  I used varieties Valdor and Saladin.

I’ve thinned out the parsnips, carrots and beetroot, using SeedSava when I sowed them earlier in the year makes the job of thinning them much easier.

Used SeedSava again to plant some more carrots and spring onions (I still have plenty of seeds left in my packets).

I also sow another short row of mixed salad leaves.  There are not many seeds in the packet but SeedSava enables the sowing to be extended to over 2 meters.

I’m hardening off the sweet corn plants from the greenhouse, planting them out in the garden, providing them with suitable supports to protect them as they grow.

I transfer the sweet peppers into grow bags in the greenhouse, 5 plants is more than enough for us.

Cucumbers are yielding well in the greenhouse, they are also in grow bags and have reached the roof.  To check them, cut the tips off.

Time to finish cutting the asparagus, which has been excellent this year, and allow the ferns to develop from now onwards.

My strawberries are yielding very well, I place felt mats under the fruits rather than using a straw mulch because it is much easier.

May 2014

Time to mulch the strawberries with manure, carefully – to make sure it is close to the plant under the leaves, to keep the forming fruit off the soil.  I then place wire cages over the top to protect the fruit from birds.

At the end of the month dwarf beans can be taken out of the greenhouse as they should be large enough to plant.  Although they will need to be protected with netting.

I also used SeedSava to sow a short row of red cabbage (Rodeo Fi).  This will get me just enough – I don’t want to be overwhelmed with cabbages!

April 2014

Time to plant potatoes (varieties rocket and Winston) by digging out a trench & lining with well-rotted manure.  Pull back some of the soil on top of the manure, before placing potatoes in position, then back-fill.

Sow leeks, parsnips, carrots, lettuce, spring onions, beetroot, calabrese.  I planted all these using the SeedSava so I’m left with plenty of seeds to use later in the season!

I have also sown sweetcorn (Nugget), courgettes (Defender) and cucumber (Burpless) in fibre pots in the greenhouse.

I am also trying to grow a few pots with sweet peppers for the first time – I will keep you updated with their progress!

March 2014

Time to get to work with the ground starting to warm up a bit.  I’m sowing onion sets, Baron and Stuttgart.

And I’m sowing a row of peas (Hurst Green Shaft) using a new prototype SeedSava which I have modified especially for peas. It seems to work very nicely!

I’m plant broad beans – Aqua Dulce this year, and dwarf beans (Speedy) in fibre pots that I will leave inside the greenhouse for the moment.