About Me

Thursday, 31 July 2008

postheadericon Stump carrots

Pulled one of the carrots today to see how they are getting on, we have plenty growing so I'm not to fussed about sneak previews of them. It does help to pull at least one at this time of year so you can judge watering from now on, but so far they are looking pretty good and should grow at least another inch around before the first show in a few weeks time.

To put carrots back to seed for next year you can re-select your best carrots. Cut the top foliage off to about 3 inches and cut about two inches off the bottom (In half for long carrots) and plant in a large tub. I normally plant 6 carrots in one large tub and thin the seed head down to one main stem.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

postheadericon Shallots finally

Well the shallots are nearlly fully dry now and I have been selecting a few sets to keep back for the shows. Its important at this stage that no more skins are removed even if they crack to ensure the skins underneath have a chance to dry even. I will skin these back to the skin i will show on about 2 days from the show. For now I will just keep selecting shallots that have dried well and put them to one side and the rest are stored for planting next year.

Pickling shallots

postheadericon Some onions lifted

Here you can see some of the onions I have lifted. Normally i would not lift this early but because of problems this year with the onions I have lifted all my largest bulbs in the hope the smallier ones will catch. One bulb has already gone soft on me so i throw it away, a shame but I still hope to get at least 3 decent onions and I will be happy.

Publish Post
Tuesday, 8 July 2008

postheadericon Cauliflowers planted

My first sowing of cauliflowers have now been planted out inside one of the tunnels. At every potting stage I ensure I transplant them deep covering the entire stem each time and firming in. I do the same when planting out and firm well in. All brassicas like to be planted deep and firm to prevent them rocking and moving about, this also helps to avoid long leggy stems.

I plant in a well manured soil based ground with added lime and plant on top of some black and white sheeting, white side up to reflect the sunlight onto the leaves. Some may say this doesnt make much difference but i tested this out last year and it made a hugh difference. I also plant quite close which helps keep the cauliflowers stay compact and shade the heart once big enougth.

Cauliflowers like plenty of water so under the soil i have a auto leaky hose system, the same as i use for my onions which gives the roots direct water and avoids the surface getting wet (saves on slugs pellets aswell as they stay dry)

My second sowing is now also ready to plant out this weekend, with 3 more sowings being planted out over the next few weeks in the hope they dont come all at once and I have some on show days...pretty rare.

Monday, 7 July 2008

postheadericon So far...

A few updates of everything else:

Beetroot: Medwyns seed, poor germination from 5 sowings, 7 beetroot came up and about 20 chard????????????? hmm I dont remember ordering a mixed bag. Over 100 beetroot growing away nicely in the allotment.

Runner beans: Beans at the top of the poles but Blackfly every week despite spraying. Flowers dropping off from the attacks and bees extinct in my area due to farmers. Small beans appearing, hope they pick up. All non show runner bean varieties doing amazing.

Carrots: Long carrots starting to really grow now despite constant aphid attacks that just would not die. Stump carrots looking great, just hope they dont come to early.

Potatoes: Looking good despite me never looking after them as I find them boring.

Tomatoes: All looking good, except the odd blossom rot on the tomatoes in the bags.

Cabbage: Again I dont look after them but they seem to be growing away nicely despite a baby rabbit who lives in between them but doesnt eat them.

postheadericon Parsnips

Well I have stopped watering my parsnips except the small ones which are not down enougth to fully stop. I have been watering from the bottom as these roots should be near the bottom of the pipe by now. I must say some are looking massive and by far the biggest Ive seen for this time of year since I started growing them. A good sign to look out for is that you cant find the top of the parsnip as it has pulled itself down so far. Mine are a good 8 inches down under the mix which hopefully means they are looking for the water and going downwards. A parsnip or carrot on top of the surface is a bad sign and normally you find the root has forked and forced itself upwards.

postheadericon Welsh seedling leeks

Most of the leeks outside now measure 7 to 7 1/2 inches around and 12-13 inches to the button. I'm still waiting for a few flags to come off before i can really see how much length these have on them in the hope they will reach at least 15 inches.

These leeks will hopefully be used for my main show in September where competition is fiece and I know they need to be good to win. My main target is to win the main board, which is won by the same person every year rightly so with amazing pot leeks in the collection.

postheadericon Celery looking good!

The celery growing in pots are comming along very nicely and I have managed to keep them clean despite having numerous invaders in the garden. I have had aphids which i caught early and have had slight leaf minor on two plants which is now clear.

The celery in the raised bed are also looking clean and healthy which is my later sowing (2-3 weeks behind these for later shows)

postheadericon Onions putting on weight

I have a few onions that are just over 17 inches now, a few being the word.. infact i can say I have 5 with one being 19 inches. I have lots that are between 17-20 inches around but are no good for showing due to double necks or out of shape. Next year I'm going to really concentrate of onions as I have had two bad seasons in a row with them.

postheadericon Shallots drying

The large shallots are certainly taking there time this year to dry. Even tho they are under cover all the wet damp mornings and rain have slowed the drying process down, still there is lots of time before my first show and they will be ready and fully dry.

Most of the largest shallots went out of shape which is to be expected. When pulled them I had at least 90 perfect round large shallots, but this soon becomes 20 or so decent ones.

The shallots that are 5 inches around are looking pretty good. The necks will soon shrink down and I will show you later how to tie them the correct way to ensure they are only a few millimeters thick.