Archive for the ‘Plot layout’ Category

23.10.11

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

plot-layout-23.10.11

Garlic & potatoes: first the bad news

Friday, July 8th, 2011
Iberian Wight garlic: 27 lifted 19.06.11; 5 discarded with white rot; from 27 planted 15.10.10. These are second generation: 27 parents lifted 02.07.10 from 24 planted Nov 09. BUT the Solent Wight, from Pennard Plants, have not fared well. MOST have white rot, only 13 out of 43 were cropped successfully. It’s looking bad and we don’t know why. Have the spores come in the compost (from Dimmer, surely incinerated?) or the manure? Or rested in the soil – we have a photo of the Pope’s garden, c. 200? showing aliums in that very spot. Charles says the spores last 6 years, others, on the Web, say 20! Paul & Jenny too, have the same problem. This is maybe a major problem: garlic we do love and had seen it as a premium crop.
Myatt’s Ashleaf Kidney (1804) potato: 3 plants lifted 19.06.11 & the same each week thereafter: av. 2 kilo per seed spud. Planted 06.03.11. A delightful early spud, tho’ floury not waxy.

Iberian Wight garlic: 27 bulbs lifted 19 June; five discarded with white rot; from 27 planted 15.10.10. These are second generation: 27 parents were lifted 02.07.10 from 24 grandparents from Pennard Plants, planted Nov 09.

But the new Solent Wight, also from Pennard Plants, planted January 2011, have not fared well. Most have white rot, with only 13 successful bulbs out of 43 planted. It’s bad and we don’t know why. Have the spores come in the compost (from Dimmer, surely incinerated?) or the manure? Or has it rested in the soil – we have a photo of the Pope’s garden, c.2003, showing flowering aliums in that very spot . . . Charles says the spores can last in the soil 6 years; others, on the web, say 20! Paul & Jenny too, have the same problem. This is a major problem: garlic we love and had hopes for it as an ongoing premium crop.

The good news: Myatt’s Ashleaf Kidney (1804) potatoes: three plants lifted 19 June & the same each week thereafter: av. 2 kilo per seed potato. Thankfully those fruits (see Blighters, 15 June) seem not to have caused problems. Planted 06.03.11. A delightful early spud, tho’ floury not waxy.

plot-layout-08.07.11

Weather report 1

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

weather report april 2011plot-layout-07.05.11

Nineteenth-century spring

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Fresh from Pennard Plants’ recent Potato Day, we now have installed 20 Myatt’s Ashleaf Kidney seed potatoes. ‘First Earlies’, they were developed in 1804 by a man known as ‘J E’, employed by Arthur H Savory, author of Grain and Chaff from an English Manor. He sold the rights to the variety to a Mr Myatt. They are kidney-shaped, with light-buff skin and yellow flesh, floury, with blue-violet flowers. Not resistant to late blight, but hopefully that’s why they’re ‘Earlies’. Have given them a whole lower bed, following on from beans.

spud-bank

Also in, parsnip seeds, again from Pennard’s: Guernsey Demi-Long. “French, 19th century, medium length roots (8 to 10 in), broad shouldered, gradually tapering, white skin smooth & delicate. Considered to be the best and most productive, very sweet & delicate. May be used any time once big enough, but a frost improves the flavour.” That’s a frost presumably to the root, rather than to the seed: however, inbetween three days of full sun, these infants have had a frosty awakening two mornings running. Apparently minus 6º this morning. Other suppliers recommend a later sowing: we shall see. Even Pennard say germination is very slow and irregular.

first-mownFirst mowing today, and edging. All spruced up: a waiting stage.garlicky
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Roots are wriggling

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

The Iberian Wight garlic has survived the winter! It’s taken since mid-October to show; a combination of harsh temperatures and perhaps planting too deep has delayed them. I noticed today, in planting 46 cloves of Solent Wight, that I was tending to plant too deep. It looks like we’re going to major in garlic this year: those 46 were from 2 bulbs, and we have another yet. The Solents and the 27 Iberians are from Pennard Plants, the latter via our crop last July.

Otherwise, the clearout continues: cardoon, gone; brussel sprouts, gone; chard, gone. Of the cabbage and pak choi seeds planted in September, only 10% are flourishing, though the pak choi is starting to look as if it really means to flourish. I’ll have to count the spring onions to see if the same percentage applies: if so, we can look forward to a mere 15! Disappointing, but really, what could we expect with no protection from weather or marauders? No announcement yet from the raspberries as to their hardiness. But, hey, the rhubarb is waking up and the now naturalised sorrel and rocket are wriggling their roots.

We hear with pleasure that two more pairs of gardeners are in discussion with Hugh about establishing more plots.

plot-layout-06.02.11

Out with the old, in with the new

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

about-to-become-roasties

The triumph of the season has to be the Golden Wonder potatoes. These six beauties in the sink are the first to be transformed into the best ever roasties. After sorting, we have about four wine boxes full. If the mice at the plot didn’t like them so much, we’d probably have five boxes!

In a sense, Autumn feels like a beginning: the beds are being stripped, fed with manure, and replanted – 27 cloves of garlic went in yesterday, from 2 bulbs of July’s crop of Iberian Wight. At the end of September we planted seeds from More Veg: 150 spring onion seeds, 60 pak choi, 30 spring cabbages went in. But so far, only a handful of greenery begins to show . . .

harvest-1harvest-2plot-layout-16.10.10

Allium sativum

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Planted last November in the old beds, these beauties have thrived in the most wintriest winter and summerly summer of recent years, to be cropped on 2 July. Sourced from Pennard Plants, 24 Iberian Wight yielded 27 bulbs, and 3 Elephants bore 3, plus natural baby pearls. While they dry, the kitchen is pervaded by a delicious aroma. Although I’ve probably tied them up too tight, they look a bit garotted.

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The state of May

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

24.05.10
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Bound down

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

Between extreme bouts of April showers, three Egremont Russets are bound to the earth in the first stage of becoming Apple Stepovers. Tense moments stretching the poor sticks horizontal. They’ve been in the ground for two weeks and their buds are showing life; we’ll see what results . . . Meanwhile, two Fortunes, planted at 45º against the iron hurdles, have yet to sprout. Mm.

1-of-3-steps
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No irksome trench

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

A decent session at the plot today; for the first time this year it was warm enough to stay for more than 40 minutes. So, 20 asparagus were planted following advice from Victoriana Nursery: ‘the traditional method is to plant the spider-like roots in a trench. Our experience directs that there is no need for such irksome work.’ I suspect Charles D. would agree. Plus 2 rhubarb. And still more compost shifting.

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