Winter Cabbages

The sun is shining but its time to think ahead as all good gardeners do!

Think about your winter veg, its now time to sow your winter cabbages, we’ve got ours already germinating in our lovely sunny green house. These young plants will then be potted on and ready for planting out mid to late August.

They will benefit from the late summer sun (if available) and establish their root structure in good time.

Happy growing!!

Rhubarb Update

Done some research on our random flowering rhubarb, apparently it’s because the plant is old. Which makes sense as we found the plant on the plot when we took it over when it popped up out of one of our paths.

I’ve now removed the flower stem as all the plants energy will go into the flower and so limit the yield from the leaves/stalks.

Made some rhubarb jam the other night which is great, recommend it on fresh bread or thick cut toast with butter!!

Flowering Rhubarb?!?

Our Flowering Rhubarb!

Our Flowering Rhubarb!

I’ve never really heard of a flowering rhubarb before but it appears thats what is happening to ours! We discovered the plant in our first spring which popped up out of the ground from a previous holder of the allotment.

We didn’t take any of the stalks off last growing season to give it a chance to develop. So far this year it has started early and is growing really well…

A little too well though as it has now sprouted a 3 foot stem with what appear to be flower buds at the top as you can see from the pic.

Seeds and Digging

We’re getting ready for the coming season at the plot, the first broad beans are now up and potted on. We have a second batch seeded now and we have several other lots of seeds starting off.

It’s also been a busy month with digging, we have extended the beds and gone from six to eight beds which are slightly narrower at 5 feet wide.

Will post up a photo of how the plot looks now to show you the new layout of the beds.

Compost Bins

Our New Compost Bins

Our New Compost Bins

Finally got the horse manure packed away into compost bins that we have made from old wooden pallets. We’ve made four and just completed the work before the weather really turned nasty!

Will post some photos of the new composts once the rain eases off.

Its been a good growing year, we hope that you’ve enjoyed it and we look forward to letting you know about life and times on our allotment in the coming year.

Happy growing in 2014!

Fresh Manure

A good friend of ours turned up with a trailer full of fresh horse sh1//!t at our plot. Luckily I had managed to procure a free builders wheelbarrow from a free online forum.

We borrowed another barrow from a fellow plot holder and heaped the manure up into a mound at the end of the plot. We then covered the heap with tarp to keep out the rain.

We can’t use it until it rots down so we have been making pallet composts and adding in the fresh stuff with layers of greenery and grass cuttings (to add nitrogen).

It should be good to go in a year or two, you have to be patient in this game…

Netting Cages

To net or not to net – that is the question.

The cabbages and broccoli are doing well, we grew them from seed and planted them in with some good compost. We decided to build a netting cage over them to protect them for butterfly eggs and a hoard of caterpillars!

It was a good move as they are now thriving in their cage. Strangely one or two are showing signs of being eaten but the its only the outer leaves that have been attacked whilst the heart is doing well.

Thats what I like to see!!

Fruit Trees

We’re thinking about putting in a few fruit bushes in on the plot. These will good for a fairly low maintenance fruit crop for a few years, all we’ll need to do is to feed and care for them. Isn’t nature great! Now that’s what I call food for free!!

Courgettes

We’ve had a bumper crop of courgettes over the last few months, we got so many that we couldn’t give them away in the end. All the stops came out with creative courgette recipes to use them up, “Courgette Surprise” was my favourite dish!

But we’ve also managed to process and freeze loads which can be used for cooking over the winter period. They go well with a nice Sunday roast, just throw them into the roasting tray, still frozen, when you put your Yorkshire puds in.