TopVeg – growing veg,fruit&herbs

May 24, 2013

The Plot Beetroot Emerging Day 14

Filed under: Chef's Plot, root veg, salad — Tags: — TopVeg @ 7:13 pm

The beetroot that was sown in the Plot 14 days ago is just emerging.  The variety sown was Bulls Blood.  The leaves of this variety are as valuable as the beet.  The leaves can be eaten in salads, and are very colourful.  The leaves can also be steamed and eaten hot.

The temperatures have been unusually cold so it took 14 days for the beetroot to emerge in the Plot.

May 19, 2013

TopVeg Garden this weekend

Filed under: potato, vegetable gardening — Tags: , , , — TopVeg @ 9:09 pm

These photos are from the TopVeg garden this weekend.

The beetroot that was sown 5 weeks ago has come through & is looking healthy.

6wk-beetroot-seedling

6wk-beetroot-seedling

The leeks were sown at the same time but took a long time to germinate.  They are now a couple of inches high.

leeks-5wks-old

leeks-5wks-old

The brussel sprouts have two true leaves.

sprout-plant-5-weeks

sprout-plant-5-weeks

The pigeons and rabbits have been kept off the sprouts with netting.

protect-sprout-plants

protect-sprout-plants

The potatoes have grown really well.

7wk-potatoes

7wk-potatoes

The potatoes were earthed up in the TopVeg garden this weekend.

Vivaldi Potatoes Emerge

Filed under: Chef's Plot, potato — Tags: — TopVeg @ 7:33 pm

The Vivaldi Potatoes that were planted on 30 April have emerged in the Plot.

vivaldi-row-19may

vivaldi-row-19may

vivaldi-emerging

vivaldi-emerging

The stems will grow and the new leaves will get bigger, producing what is known as the haulm.

The Chef planted the Maris Bard earlier because it is an early variety.  They are getting a bit leggy, and this often happens when plants are covered up.  The Chef did cover the Maris Bard with fleece for a while to protect against the frost.

MarisBard-19may

MarisBard-19may

The Vivaldi potatoes have emerged as the weather is warming up so we hope they grow well.

May 15, 2013

Frost threatens Plot

Filed under: Chef's Plot, potato — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 9:27 pm

Frost is forecast and threatens to spoil the potatoes in the plot.

So the Chef covered his potatoes with fleece tonight.  This will trap the warm air that is around the potatoes and act as a barrier against the frost.  If the frosty air hit the potato leaves it will kill them

potato-plant-day-40

potato-plant-day-40

which would be a pity after all the tender loving care they have received to get them this far.

The Chef listens to the weather forecast every day so that he can take action to protect his crops if frost threatens the plot.

May 12, 2013

Chef plants Carrots

Filed under: Chef's Plot, root veg — Tags: — TopVeg @ 8:22 pm

The Chef has planted one row of Nandor carrots in the Plot.

Nandor is a first class F1 carrot variety which produces high quality carrots.

Nandor  carrots are:

  • very uniform and stumpy
  • with a clean, smooth skin
  • a deep orange colour
  • cylindrical roots 15 – 18 cm long and 2.5 – 4 cm in diameter
  • strong in the top
  • easy to pull out of the ground
  • resistant to carrot fly
nandor-carrots
nandor-carrots

Nandor carrots taste sweet and have a wonderful flavour. They are very good cooked or eaten raw in salads.

carrot-Nandor
carrot-Nandor

The latin name of carrot is Daucus carota. Nandor is a popular variety of carrot.

Potatoes Ridged Up / Earthed Up

Filed under: Chef's Plot, potato — Tags: — TopVeg @ 7:32 pm

The Chef has ridged up (or earthed up) the first lot of potatoes that he planted in the plot.

potatoes ridged up

potatoes ridged up

These Maris Bard potatoes were planted on 2nd April, 40 days ago.  The tops were 9 inches above the surface of the ground.  They were planted quite shallow.

It is important to get a good depth of soil over the seed potato, as the root ball will grow around this and push out stolons which form potatoes on the ends.  These new potatoes must have a good covering of soil to protect them from daylight.  If the new potatoes are exposed to light they go green, which renders them poisonous.

For more information on the reasons we ridge up potatoes click the link.  Ridging up potatoes must be done at the right time & carefully.

These Maris Bard potatoes will probably be ridged or ‘earthed’ up a little more in a couple of weeks by drawing more soil up the ridge.

Broad Beans Day 62

Filed under: Chef's Plot, pea&beans — Tags: — TopVeg @ 7:10 pm

These broad beans planted in The Plot 62 days ago are looking healthy.

broad-beans-day62

broad-beans-day62

The Express Broad Beans were planted at the start of March.  Some of them rotted off but most of the broad bean seedlings are growing well after 62 days.

May 11, 2013

Meteor Broad Beans Planted

Filed under: Chef's Plot, pea&beans — Tags: — TopVeg @ 9:34 pm

The Chef planted a row of Meteor broad bean seed today.

Following the disastrous progress of the Express broad beans, the Chef planted another row of broad bean seed.  But this time he used the variety called Meteor.

The Express broad beans were planted 9 weeks ago.  Another sowing now will give  a spread of harvesting, so that he can enjoy cooking fresh beans over several weeks.

Lets hope the Meteor Broad Beans planted today get off to a good start and have some sun, so that they do not rot off like the Express broad beans did.

Beetroot

Filed under: Chef's Plot, root veg, unusual veg — Tags: — TopVeg @ 8:42 pm

One row of beetroot was sown in the Plot this morning.

The seeds were sown:

  • in a shallow row
  • 1cm deep
  • 15cm apart

The seeds were covered lightly with soil and watered in.

The variety of beetroot was Bulls Blood, a heritage variety introduced in 1840 which has:

  • vivid burgundy leaves
  • baby leaves which add colour to salads
  • fat round purple beetroots

Bulls Blood beetroot seeds are available from the Telegraph Garden Shop.

Planting beetroot now will ensure a supply of beet for summer salads

May 8, 2013

Broad Bean Disaster Day 58

Filed under: pea&beans — TopVeg @ 8:12 pm

The Chef has had a disaster – some broad beans in The Plot are dying 58 days after planting.

He dug one up and found that the root was black.

broad bean seedling with black root

broad bean seedling with black root

This is a sign of fusarium, a fungus which causes bean foot rot.  Fusarium tends to take over when the soil is cold and wet, and broad bean seedlings start to rot off.  Bad drainage leads to cold, wet soil.

The last two days have been warm and sunny.  So lets hope the Chef’s plot warms up and that the broad beans start to grow away from the disaster that appeared on day 53!

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