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!
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.
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.
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!
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:
Plant in November:
Other gardening jobs to be done in November:
- 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
Visit LoveTheGarden.com for more gardening tips!
Maria has sent us this link to an infographic about chilli peppers: http://www.lovethegarden.com/infographics/chillies
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
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.
Soil for Leeks should be:
- rich – well manured ( can follow runner beans!)
- in full sun
- under glass from February to March
- outside in April
- 1cm (½in) deep in rows 30cm (12in) apart
- in soil which has been raked to a fine tilth
- 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
To look after the leeks:
- water well during dry weather
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.