About Me

Monday, 31 August 2009

postheadericon Carrots

Sweet candle really was my banker after I pulled the first one I knew I was in for something special. I made two pretty near perfect sets and the left overs made a nice set for the single class as I didnt want to pull to many.

Long carrots are back and hopefully to stay after the rubbish I had last year I'm happy.

postheadericon Long carrots

Pulled two sets of long carrots and after the good germination they have proved to be a decent size this year. I have had better but with recent years problems I'm very happy with them. Not many entries this year in the carrot clases as everyone seemed to suffer from carrot fly, shame we normally see some excellent carrots.

Just over 4 foot and with lots of weight carried, I'm sure you can work out which ones are mine in this picture (and no they are not them small diddy things)

postheadericon Collection of 6

Well I finally managed to win both trays at this show, something that me nor my grandfather has done for 25 years. Infact we have never once won a trophy at this show as it is so well contested and today we picked up two.

My collection faired well and the big boys went down for once with the judges actually considering the damage on there monster leeks. I always try to enter good quality and sometimes I am disappointed to lose to larger but poor quality. Today I was happy as the judges went in my favour.

Onions points; 16 1/2
Celery; 18
Potatoes; 17 1/2
Parsnips; 18
Tomatoes; 17 1/2
Carrots; 19. Dropping only 1 point from a maxium 20, chuffed with sweet candle.

1 celery
3 onions
2 parsnips
5 Tomatoes
3 Stump carrots
5 potatoes

postheadericon Top Tray

The judges were very impressed with our top tray and actually said it was the best tray they have seen for some time only dropping 5 points out of 60 with a total of 55 points and was stated by both judges as a national standard tray. They were so impressed they personally talked to us about showing for bigger money.

points awarded
Carrots/size shape colour; 6 out of 7
Carrots/condition; 6 1/2 out of 7
Carrots/Uniformity; 5 1/2 out of 6
Total 18

Onions/size shape colour; 6 out of 7
Onions/condition; 6 1/2 out of 7
Onions/uniformity; 6 out of 6
Total 18 1/2

Tomatoes/size shape colour; 6 1/2 out of 7
Tomatoes/condition; 6 out of 7
Tomatoes/Uniformity 6 out of 6
Total 18 1/2

Total 55 out of 60.

This tray missed out on best in show by a split decision by the judges who actually had to ask someone else in to decide, there was quite a debate but I'm not worried about that.

Best in show that beat me to it;

postheadericon Taster

Quick taster of what I put in at the show today pilled on this table awaiting my freezer.

More specific updates over the next few days, but all went very well.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

postheadericon Day before the show.

Today is the day the swear pot gets full up which helps pay for seed, compost and sundries next year. With the show on Monday I need to start pulling, picking, cleaning and as always some things will be great and others a disappointment.

This is just the life of growing veg, one year you think you have cracked it and the next something will go wrong. A good example of this was my parsnips, last year they were 4-5ft long and carried a lot of weight but the pipes were not long enough resulting in stumpy ends. This year I made the pipes longer, but the compression in the pipe has stopped them gaining weight and I pretty much gave up after I got yellow fleck virus and then spider mite is mass. I still think I will have some decent long parsnips but with no weight.

I'm happy with my tomatoes, been a good year for them.

Shallots have been rubbish, just way to much rain before havest destroyed them. Leeks all got foot rot again, onions not great again but I have some.

I think my best veg will come from my carrots and I have a few decent sticks of celery.

The cauli I planted to come in for my last show in 3 weeks time are just hearting up, shame these seed companys can't tell the difference between Calabrese and cauli's
Friday, 28 August 2009

postheadericon Sweet Candle test pull

With all the rain we have over the past few weeks and then a dry week with a massive down poor I was worried about my stump carrots spliting. Today I checked them all and they seem ok, I found this one with a damaged top so decided to pull it.

Gee they are massive, I planted them as advised and I have looked after them well keeping them moist at all times. I thought at first it was a long carrot as it came up.

Picture really doesnt show you how big this thing got, see If i can get a better one.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

postheadericon Flowers

I don't really show flowers as I don't have the time to prepare and stage them. I do like to grow them tho, and today I went through and picked everything with an open center or that looked like it may well be going over to keep them flowering. I still have about 60 plants to do so my mum will be getting a lot of flowers this week.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

postheadericon sweet candle carrot

My sweet candle stump rooted carrots have looked good from day one and apart from the odd one suffering from aphid attacks they have grown very even. Uncovered a few and they are looking pretty big, these are the batch that were grown with nutrimate in the mix and they have grown better than my other bed for sure, time will tell when I pull them.

Monday, 17 August 2009

postheadericon weeding

Well I have a few weeks off so I spent 9 hours weeding today, it was hard going as most of it had to be done by hand as I decided to do the Asters, which to most people would be the equivalent of there entire allotment.

Picked off all my runners beans aswell, a few large sack fulls which I will give away and freeze. I'm getting around 2 hessian potatoe sized sacks a week of runner beans and if i tried I'm sure I could fill plenty more. With 2 weeks left to the first show I'm leaving all the small ones on and they should be about right.

I'm down to my last 6 rows of carrots, good job they are 30ft long and next on my list is to get the remaining 12 rows of potatoes in and stored.

Removed all the peas today aswell after I had the last crop. My show perfection pea again did not germinate enough to warrant to leave it in the ground, so I won't be showingg peas. Not to worry they only cost £5 a packet and the cheap crap I buy in bulk all came up. All the show perfection peas that were decent plants with peas on I pulled up and have them hanging in the greenhouse so I can get my own seed from them, the pods were massive.
Sunday, 16 August 2009

postheadericon aubergine, peppers, chillies

Again all much better than last year, and it looks like I will be getting a pretty big crop from this lot.

postheadericon potatoes

Potaotes have been much better this year, well my kestrel are great and I have plenty. My winston being over sized I will probably only be able to stage 2-3 sets. Had a test clean on a dodgy one today and it came up really nice.

Potatoes stored in dry peat in boxes

postheadericon Tomatoes

My show tomatoes are comming on nicely and I have plenty of decent sized tomatoes further up the plants so hopefully they will last. Yes they have been sprayed which is why they look blue, don't worry it comes off and if I didnt spray you wouldnt be seeing these tomatoes today as everyone round here got blight.

postheadericon Celery

Haven't spent as much time as I would like on my celery this year but I never really had the energy ever since the poor germination of the seed making my celery at least 3 weeks late. Still its looking ok and I should be able to show it at a few shows.

postheadericon Onions

Mixed results from my onions; Had a real good set of large 6, two of them split 3 days before I lifted them, and one went soft of me while drying.

I think I will be able to make a couple of decent sets from the medium ones, but would have been nice to stage just 3 large on a board but now I only have two =(. Pretty sure if the ground was ready on time I would have had more even growth, these grow on no manure at all.

I also have my smaller onions for the under 250g class, 6 inch ring class etc.

postheadericon pumpkin

Pumpkins doing well this year, last year they were rubbish as it was just to wet for them.

postheadericon Marrows

Here' my marrow construction, every year it gets bigger and I change certain things to improve how they hang, lots of idea for next time but it does the job with what little time I had to make it.

As you can see this is a white marrow, but you can also see it is prodcuing green marrows which it shouldn't.

Table dainty, always a mass producer, handy to plant this variety incase your other marrows don't come on fast enough.

postheadericon sweet corn

Sweet corn has been good this year and I suppose Im averaging 2-3 per plant, some have 5-6 which I have never had before. so I'm pretty happy with it. May even use some as any other veg in a show.

postheadericon Runner beans

As you can see I have a few runner beans yet come show day I will be lucky to make a set of 9 I bet you. Mind you, they are not all Stenner, some are just bog standard eating runner beans that just taste better so I grow them.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

postheadericon Marrows

Few weeks back I went through all my marrows and picked off anything that felt would be to big for my first show by the time they were ready. It really is a shame that you get so many decent marrows and yet come show time you have a job to find a pair. I picked this one tonight to hopefully bring on some more, its just under 12 inches in length which is required for all my shows. I have have 6 others like this and they taste pretty good aswell.

Some I picked off 3 weeks ago and have since been eaten. I would imagine it will be my table dainty that produce a set as I have plenty on them. I think something has gone wrong with one table dainty plant as it is also producing the same marrows as above with also the normal table dainty stripe marrow. Then again all my my marrows are producing some strange things and it will be intersting to see what I get.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

postheadericon potatoes

Emptied my bags out tonight and gee I have a lot of potoatoes. Unbelievable amount of potatoes in each bag, after I finished I had filled 5 big hessian bags of potatoes and they were just the ones not worth keeping for show. I kept over 70 that I felt were ok for showing, but light was getting bad so I have not finished.

My winston were a bit disapointing as every bag I emptied were just to big, I'm talking every one over a pound in weight. One bag had 8 potatoes over a pound and still had 8 medium in it lol. Great for eating but as far as showing they were just massive. It is strange, I did a test bag 2 weeks before lifting and they were tiny, and now I have 2 bags of some monster potatoes.

My Kestrel were perfect and every bag produced some nice speciums, I'm not talking anything major national standard here but better than anything I have ever grown, good size, shape and colour.

I'm pretty happy with my potatoes this year and I have improved on last year, some of the bags did have some scab, 3 bags I think so I hope they all keep ok. Scab can be hard to see if its only slight but worthless for showing after cleaning.
Wednesday, 5 August 2009

postheadericon Where I'm at

I will upload some pictures when I get my camera back later.

My onions are now all lifted, some of my large onions were lifted 2 weeks ago as they were getting to big to make a set. I have a variety of sizes and if they stay solid and he skins dry nicely I will be pretty happy.

My celery is on its last collar and I have 14 really nice sticks and 8 not so good, so mixed results.

My long carrots are looking really good as are my sweet candle which look ready. I pulled one of my sweet candle about 3 weeks ago and it was an amazing site, it came out so easy, dead straight and looked just like a short long carrot with a massive tail, they have 5 more weeks to stump up, plenty of time and I think they may well be the best veg I have this year...Fingers crossed.

With all the rain it was a hard choice on whether to lift my potatoe bags or not, after a forecast of another 2 weeks of rain I lifted mine last Friday and they are sitting still inside the bags in the polytunnel. The tubers are poking out of every bag all over the place so I hope I have something decent in them.

Beetroot, runner beans, marrows, peas, - been picking them for a good 3 weeks now and I have had loads. Very impressed with my marrows and the construction I made for them, I have a few varietys and I'm pretty excited to see what I will get for the show. The marrows I have been picking have been amazing, especially the white ones.

Parsnips; mixed results here, some have yellow felck virus and are small, some are ok and some are way to big so I prosume they have forked.

Tomatoes; excellent size, looking very healthy, some large tomatoes ready; others look spot on time for the shows. Cherry tomatoes have been comming thick and fast and I have picked rather a lot, I have a variety that is producing like 200 tomatoes on one truss alone.

Aubergine's have been exceptional this year, I have 6 plants so I hope they keep prodcing for the shows. My peppers also have just been so productive and I have chillies comming out my ears.

Leeks - given up on them.. end of story.

Cabbage again has been great, I don't grow any cabbage for show.. I like to grow them so I can get them in and havest them before the caterpillars have them. Never worth all the hassle of covering, spraying, blah blah, get them in early and enjoy them while you can.

Thats about it, will see if I can get some pictures tomorrow.