TopVeg – growing veg,fruit&herbs

April 12, 2013

Broad Beans rotting off

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — TopVeg @ 8:28 pm

Several gardeners have reported that their broad beans are rotting off.

Cold,wet soils are the problem.  This is happening both when the bean has started to germinate & produced a root; as well as before the bean has started to grow.

To combat this, we are trying to keep the wet away from the broad beans.

TopVeg planted the beans:

  • into a well structured seed bed that had been covered with a plastic sheet all winter.  This kept the rain out, and the soil was just moist.
  • The soil was loosened with a small three pronged fork and then raked level.
  • The beans were pushed into the soil to about two inches,  with his finger.  The beans were pushed into moist soil.
  • A plasic sheet was laid on the top of the soil to keep the rain off, and prevent rotting off

After three weeks the broad beans are almost through and so far they are not rotting off.

March 18, 2013

Waterlogged Plot

Filed under: Chef's Plot, Uncategorized — Tags: — TopVeg @ 10:04 pm

The plot is waterlogged!  20mm of water was tipped out of the rain gauge today, and 12 mm yesterday.  Last week spring seemed to be on the way as the sun and wind had dried out the soil.  But that was a false start – it will be several weeks before the garden can be worked.  It is unlikely that the potatoes will be planted in March.

The fleece covering the potato ground will keep the frost out, but unfortunately this rain has gone right through it – resulting in a waterlogged plot.

November 20, 2012

A Patchwork Farm

Filed under: Uncategorized — TopVeg @ 9:09 pm

A patchwork farm is a brilliant way to get the community gardening.  Jane from SHORES in Withernsea is planning to link up every little gardening patch to create a patchwork farm.  Surplus produce will be shared out to locals, including those in the area who are looked after by the SHORES Care Team.

There is something energising about community gardening:

A Patchwork Farm is developing the idea further and we wish them luck!

October 31, 2012

What to do in November

Filed under: Uncategorized, calendar — Tags: , , , — TopVeg @ 8:36 pm

There are still a lot of jobs to do in the garden in November, particularly in this mild weather; there are seeds to sow, crops to harvest & there is the general tidying up of the vegetable garden.

Sow in November:

broad-bean-rows-seedlings

broad-bean-rows-seedlings

Plant in November:

November Harvest:

fresh-celery

fresh-celery

big-sprouts-below

big-sprouts-below

Other gardening jobs to be done in November:

dig

dig

  • digging, if it is not too wet, otherwise leave till the new year
  • applying well rotted farm yard manure or compost to ground where next year’s crop will be peas, beans, onions, leeks, celery or spinach
  • clear fallen leaves and put them on the compost heap
  • collect, clean and store bean supports
  • check stored crops & remove any which are starting to decay
  • keep an eye out for pigeons & slugs which may be a problem in November
http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=2283&awinaffid=86595&clickref=&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thompson-morgan.com%2Fseeds1%2Fproduct%2F138%2F2.html

October 29, 2012

All about chilli peppers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — TopVeg @ 9:08 pm

Hotter than the Sun

Visit LoveTheGarden.com for more gardening tips!

October 19, 2012

Chilli Peppers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 9:14 pm

Maria has sent us this  link to an infographic about chilli peppers:  http://www.lovethegarden.com/infographics/chillies

chilli-fower-&-fruit

chilli-fower-&-fruit

Her design “Hotter than the sun”  includes:

  • tips about how to grow your own chillies
  • how to put out the fire when a chilli turns out to be hotter than expected
  • the heat of 15 types of chilli peppers
  • answers many other questions about them

Maria is happy to answer any questions about chilli peppers:  just email us at topvegetables@gmail.com

June 17, 2012

Open Farm Sunday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — TopVeg @ 7:22 pm

We were all invited to discover life on Britain’s farms today on the annual “Open Farm Sunday“.

I visited Molescroft Grange Farm where hundreds of visitors were learning more about their food and farming. 

Wheat in Field

Wheat in Field

We saw fields growing wheat, barley and oilseed rape.  In the barn there were buckets with clumps of these growing crops.  Grains of wheat, barley and oilseed rape were also on show together with the foods made from them, including flour, bread, Weetabix and cooking oil!

Neighbouring farmers were exhibiting their animals, and the pig seemed particularly popular!  I was amused to see a piece of carpet by the lambs, as well as a fleece, which cleverly demonstrated how farming sheep helps us all.

Yorkshire Wildlife  Trust had a stand and were busy explaining the work the farmer does to look after this wonderful Yorkshire countryside.  The food we buy & choose to eat does actually influence the way our countryside looks.

Molescroft Grange Farm opened their farm gates to showcase what they do to produce our food and care for the countryside.  Open Farm Sunday has enabled the public to see that this modern, commercial farm  uses the best environmental methods to produce safe, affordable food.

June 4, 2012

How to Grow Leeks

Filed under: Uncategorized — TopVeg @ 4:40 am

It is worth discovering how to grow leeks as the provide vegetables over a long period from late autumn to early spring.

Leek seed is usually sown in a bed, and the small seedlings are transplanted out into their growing patch, when they are pencil size.

sowing-leek-seed-ap27

sowing-leek-seed-ap27

Soil for Leeks should be:

  • well-drained
  • rich – well manured ( can follow runner beans!)
  • in full sun
sow-leek-seed

sow-leek-seed

Sow Seeds:

  • under glass from February to March
  • outside in  April
  • thinly
  • 1cm (½in) deep in rows 30cm (12in) apart
  • in soil which has been raked to a fine tilth
leek-bed

leek-bed

Transplant Leeks:

  • from June onwards
  • by carefully lifting when plants are large enough to handle (pencil thickness)
  • trim the tops of the leaves
  • plant  23-25cm (9-10in) apart in the row with 45cm (18in) between rows
  • use a trowel or dibber to make a hole 15cm (6in) deep
  • drop the plants in the hole – but DO NOT cover with soil
  • fill the holes with water
leeks-dropped-in-hole

leeks-dropped-in-hole

To look after the leeks:

  • water well during dry weather
hoeing-leeks

hoeing-leeks

  • keep weed free
earthing-up-leeks

earthing-up-leeks

  • stems can be earthed up (soil dragged up to the stem) during the growing season to increase the length of white stem

Leeks are hardy enough to stay in the soil throughout the winter.

Leeks-February

Leeks-February

How to harvest leeks depends on which end of the season they are at.

  • Early season  leeks are lifted by placing a fork under the roots. The roots hold on tightly and the stem easily snaps off, if a fork is not used to loosen the roots.
lifted-leek

lifted-leek

  • Late leeks have a stronger stem and can be pulled, giving a slight twist to break the roots, so most of the root clump & soil stay in the ground.

Mini leeks are grown closer together and harvested earlier.  Click this link for more information on how to grow mini leeks.

May 18, 2012

Growbag Giveaway

Filed under: Uncategorized — TopVeg @ 5:26 pm

Rolawn Direct are giving away 2 free Growbags worth £6.98 with every bag of Vegetable & Fruit Topsoil ordered online. Offer ends 5pm Monday 18/6/12, whilst stocks last. Free product will automatically be added to the order at despatch.

This is a great filler for raised beds. Once the beds are filled, the soil will last for several years.

May 15, 2012

Cucumber features in NeverSeconds

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — TopVeg @ 8:07 pm

Cucumber is the only redeeming feature in the NeverSeconds blog

Martha, the 9 year old author of NeverSeconds, has shocked the world with photos of her sparse, unappetising school dinners.  She has only posted 7 reports so far, and cucumber is one of the few healthy items to be seen on the plate.

cucumber-cut

cucumber-cut

Cucumber is easy for the school as it:

  • is not cooked
  • requires little preparation – just slicing
  • makes up one of the 5-a-day
  • is a good source of fibre if the peel is left on
  • is high in potassium
  • contains anti-oxidants such as ß-carotene and α-carotene, vitamin-C, vitamin-A, zea-xanthin and lutein
  • is rich in vitamin K

In 2005 TV launched  a series on Jamie Oliver’s School Dinners which highlighted the importance of nutritional school meals.  The NeverSeconds blog reminds us that more needs to be done and an increased effort is required to ensure that other fresh vegetables feature along with cucumber.

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