Thursday, 20 November 2008

Vegetables 2009

This is one of my favourite jobs - sitting down with my seed packets and notes as it gets dark in the afternoon to decide what to grow next year, perusing seed catalogues and dreaming of next year's sunny days.

So yesterday afternoon I plonked myself on the sofa with a cup of tea, laptop and reviewed this year's winners and losers.  After that I placed my online order for seeds, onions, garlic and potatoes.

The winners - Pentland Javelin and Cosmos potatoes, which produced record crops and kept us in potatoes for 5 months.  Also Alderman peas, Egyptian turnip rooted beetroot and Jetset onions.

The losers - the broad beans struggled with poor germination, so have changed to a hardier variety - Super aquadulce.  Pumpkins, cucumber and courgettes also did poorly, but that was due to the weather.  

After making my list, I set about planning the crop rotation for next year.  Here is the plan of my vegetable plot.  Not strictly accurate and to scale, but you get the idea.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Digging in the Sunshine

Today I got out to do some digging in the bright sunshine, but the wind was strong and chilly so I didn't spend too long at it.  The soil is a little drier than it was a few weeks ago, but still quite wet.   I wanted to dig some over so the frost can get at it.

Also put out some new fat balls for the greedy birds - they get through almost one a day!

No pictures of digging as that's boring, instead here's the sprouts we are going to eat at Christmas.  They're organic, as you can tell by all the slug and snail holes in the leaves!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Anarchic Raspberries

Today was a sunny day, and got quite warm - about 9C in the sunshine, so I managed to get out to do some gardening.  The sun goes down early now, and was already sinking behind the houses when I got out soon after 1pm.
Today's task was to deal with the raspberries.  They've been moving out of their allotted space for a couple of years now, and are taking over a vegetable plot which I will need next year, so they had to move.  It's also easy at this time of year to see the difference between the summer and autumn fruiting varieties, so I can get them in the right place.

Here is a "before" picture of the raspberries - note the anarchic ones which have moved out of the row - up to 2 metres.

And now they are all back in place again, I have regained 2 metres of growing space for my beans and peas next year.  I have another batch of raspberries to move, elsewhere, and then I need to prune and manure all of them.
Finally, a picture of my shed to show how tidy it is!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Shed Tidying Time

At this time of year, there's not much to be done except tidy up.  This applies especially to the shed:

As you can see, there is only enough floor space for a pair of wellies, and you could get seriously lost in there. I don't have many tools - a 40 year old spade, fork and trowel, so most of the space is taken up with canes, plastic cloches and netting.  What a mess!

So I decided the shed had to be tidied - nets and cloches folded up and stored neatly, canes against the back wall and a good sweep out of the mud and rubbish.  I even managed to fit back in the plastic chairs we sit on in summer.

Tidy sheds are great - somewhere to get out of the rain and make a cup of tea on the camping stove in the bad weather to come.

I was going to post a picture of the tidied shed, but the batteries in my camera died.  You'll just have to believe me when I say it is now pristine.