What's happening in the vegetable garden?RSS feed

Posted: Sunday 20 April, 2008

by Rosemary at 8:26pm in Growing 5 comments Comments closed

Well, quite a lot, really. The weather has been really dry - cold and sunny and very windy.

We've got all our potatoes in - Red Duke of York and Desiree, and Mayan Gold, because I'm a sucker for marketing. We've a few seed potatoes left, but we might find a home for them yet.

Garlic, shallots (Longor and Mikor) and onions (Hercules) are all in, along with a couple of rows of spring onions (White Lisbon) that Dan found lurking in the shed. Leeks (Bandit and Hannibal) are outside in a tray and will be planted out when they are pencil sized. It's a rotten tray (an old cat litter tray) that they are in with no drainage (but it's nice and deep) so we have to keep an eye out for both drought and waterlogging, which is what happened last year and we had no leeks at all.

We've sown beetroot - Forono, which is a cylindrical beet, in one sowing for pickling and two rows of Boltardy for eating fresh. We'll sow another two rows at the start of May, June and July too.

Peas (Greenshaft) are started in guttering in the greenhouse to spite the weevils! Three sowings of two lengths of guttering have been made at two weekly intervals and will be planted out shortly. We'll hoe the soil this week and hopefully, the hens will make short work of any overwintering bugs.

Also in the greenhouse is one gutter of green sprouting calabrese. My record with brassicas is shameful. I've never tried it like this before, so it's about ready to go out now. We'll have to get the fleece ready, or the hens and insects will have a field day. The other brassicas are due to be direct sown in a couple of weeks at the start of May. We prepared half the seedbed this weekend and sowed swedes (Marion) - best keep the sheep off them this year!! Actually, we've sown a few more than usual, for the sheep.

Dan's been busy in the greenhouse - there are four varieties of tomato (Sungella, Gardener's Delight, Sungold and Tamina) doing well. There are 12 of each variety, so we'll probably sell a few. Cucumber (La Diva F1) is up; courgettes (Costa Romanesque) and sweetcorn (Sweet Nugget) are in pots but not showing yet. I have one gutter of cauliflower (Igloo) that I'm growing as mini cauliflower, sown 12th April, but not showing yet. I'm going to do a gutter every couple of weeks - about 8 seeds to each gutter - to avoid a glut. Actually, 4 cauliflowers a week is quite a lot, isn't it?

We've prepared the seedbed for the carrots (Resistafly F1 and Flyaway F1) and should get them sown this week. I would have done them today but poultry plucking took precedence. Again, we're going to sow carrots successionally, under fleece and with coriander to fool the carrot fly!

Finally, there's salad ready in the greenhouse and some herbs (parsley, basil). The outside herbs are coming away fine on the patio, along with some strawberry plants I found discarded but hanging on to life, so they deserved a chance. Hope they show their appreciation appropriately!

The May weekend is a big one for planting and sowing, so hopefully the weather will be kind.



Sunday 20 April, 2008 at 11:05pm

Wow, you have been busy. I have just one question: why do you plant some of your seeds in gutters? I am sure that this is a silly question, but hey I don't have a garden. So why should I know?


Monday 21 April, 2008 at 12:07am

Hi, Serena

the guttering was something that we saw Sarah Raven do; it's cut to the same length as our raised beds, so when you come to plant out, you just make a trench the depth of the guttering in the soil then slide the whole shebang into the trench without disturbing the plant's roots.

We use it for peas and beans because we have a problem with pea and bean weevil eating the young plants - if we start them in the greenhouse, it seems to get them past the problem - although they still get nibbled, they're big enough to survive.

Hope this explains it.


Monday 21 April, 2008 at 8:47am

bags the spare potatoes please?


Monday 21 April, 2008 at 11:10am

Thanks for the explanation. It makes sense and is firmly logged for the time I get a garden!


Monday 21 April, 2008 at 3:52pm

Claire, they're yours, it would be lovely to see you if they tempt you over. :-)

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