Happy new year to you all! Let it be full of delicious veg……..but first make two new year resolutions.
These are mine:
1. To go out and enjoy the garden this year; sit in it & chill out!
2. Not to worry so much about doing it right. Half the fun of gardening is having a go & discovering new veg. Put it in, cosset it (care for and protect in an overindulgent way!) and have fun.
Happy New Year!
The Chef has dug some more early potatoes on the plot. He sent a photo with the caption “Two roots of spuds.Not a good yield”
At least the plot has produced some potatoes – the first crop after digging up the lawn. Next year should be much more productive as the soil will be improved by the root activity in the soil and by the vegetation being returned to the soil.
The main crop potatoes look very healthy but the Chef is leaving them to grow some more & “bulk up”. The new potatoes in the photo have grown a lot in the last week and are much bigger.There are still two more roots of early potatoes to dig.
The Chef has planted leeks on the Plot following early potatoes.
The seed potatoes planted on 2nd April have produced delicious new potatoes which have been lifted from the Plot and eaten. In their place the Chef has planted some leeks.
The leek plants were grown in a seedbed by TopVeg! The plants are about the diameter of a pencil, which is the perfect size for planting out.
- the leeks are trimmed at the top (leaves) and the bottom (roots).
- leek plants trimmed
- the leeks were planted 23-25cm (9-10in) apart in the row with 45cm (18in) between rows
- the Chef used a trowel to make a hole 15cm (6in) deep at each planting station
- he then dropped the plants in the hole – but he did NOT fill the hole in with soil
- he filled the holes with water
leeks dropped in hole
For more information on how to grow leeks click this link.
These leeks planted following new potatoes will be ready for the Chef to use throughout the winter
The Chef sent an update on his Plot dated 30 June. Everything is growing well – with a good variety of vegetables in the garden.
- potatoes – another root was dug today, with six new potatoes on it. One had to be cut in half, not a bad problem, but a new potato should be just big enough to go on the fork to be eaten in one mouthful, any bigger and it is not a new potato. Today’s Maris Bard potatoes still had a great flavour and texture. The maincrop potatoes are looking good, and have more stems on than the earlies, indicating a higher yield.
- parsnips – are growing their first true leaves, they already have the seed leaves.
- beetroot - is growing rapidly. One or two of the smaller leaves cheer up salads.
- broad beans – the 2nd planting of broad beans (Meteor planted 6 weeks ago) have not got as many flowers on as the Express Broad Beans sown in March. So they will not be so productive.
- carrots & onions – are both growing well
The soil where the new potatoes are being dug is in much better condition than when the potatoes were planted. Potatoes have a reputation for being a good “soil conditioner” and are a good crop to grow in a new garden. The soil will be much easier to work next spring after this crop of potatoes.
The Chef is thinking about planting some leeks in the gap left by the early potatoes. If he can find some leek plants in a garden center they can be planted in the garden where he has dug the new potatoes, and the leeks will be ready in the winter.
The Chef dug up his lawn at the beginning of March. This update on 30 June shows that in 4 months the Chef has produced some new potatoes and has a range of other vegetables growing in his Plot.
The photo below shows how the Plot is producing.
Plot June 27th
Three months after the Chef dug up his lawn he has a fantastic, promising vegetable garden.
- The small seed leaves, (called cotyledons), seen at the front of the picture are a row of parsnips, which were sown on 1st June. The Chef said ” The parsnips were a bit late sown, but I hope they make it.”
- Behind the parsnips are the carrots. The Chef chose to plant the carrot variety called Nandor and they were sown 6 weeks ago.
- At the end of the carrot row is the bean tripod made out of bamboo canes. The climbing beans are starting to twist round the canes.
- The potatoes look very healthy but the Chef is disappointed in the yield of Maris Bard potatoes. He has decided to harvest them all now, or at least, he will dig them as fast as he can eat them. They are a good size (and very tasty) but there are not many new potatoes on each root.
- The broad beans can be seen, staked behind the potatoes. The tops of the beans have been pinched out to prevent blackfly infesting the plants.
- Right at the back of the photo of the plot are the onions. These were some of the first veg to be planted and it will soon be time to lift them.
Six different vegetables are growing well in the Plot. The Chef will have plenty of variety in the kitchen from the produce of his Plot.
These carrots from Australia are proof that they can grow carrots down under.
I am very proud of my godson who sent me this photo of the carrots that he has grown in Australia.
Today The Chef harvested the first new potatoes on The Plot. This is the first produce taken from The Plot, since The Plot was created on 16 March 2013. On that day The Chef dug up his lawn to create a veg patch. It has taken 3 months, but it has been worth waiting for!
The Maris Bard potato seed was planted on 2nd April. The biggest potatoes harvested are about the size of a duck egg. The photo has a 2 pound coin beside the new potatoes to show the actual size.
first new potatoes
The Chef said ” Poor yield but excellent flavour. The poor yield was not unexpected. The number of tubers was poor. There were only two or three on the largest potato plant. This was probably due to too much apical dominance on the chitted seed.”
A new vegetable garden takes up a lot of time and is very hard work. But now the first new potatoes have been dug on The Plot it all seems worth while!
TopVeg dug these new potatoes today.
The potatoes were the size of a medium hen’s egg. All the potatoes were from one root. This root actually had two more potatoes, which were eaten last week!
It has been a cold season and the potatoes have grown slowly, and are not very early! These new potatoes were the variety Maris Bard which were planted at the beginning of March.
The Chef planted some climbing beans in the plot on 22 May. Today the beans are now climbing up the wigwam he constructed out of bamboo canes.
The Chef has chosen to plant the variety Cobra. These french beans are stringless and have an exceptional flavour, very suitable climbing beans for the Chef to grow in his plot.
This Himalayan Poppy is growing beside the Chef’s Plot.
Will the Chef have this Himalayan Poppy on the table whilst he enjoys his gourmet meal of new potatoes grown on the Plot?