Posts Tagged ‘potatoes’

Whoops!

Oh dear, poor neglected blog.  I got so caught up in the harvesting and eating of the things I’d grown that the blogging got left by the wayside.  Must…..try…….harder…….

So far this year I only have garlic in the ground.  They went in over Christmas before the snow so I hope they are ok.  Last year I put them in around October and they were already poking through when the colder weather came.  I’ve gone for a French variety this year called Cristo, which I picked up at the garden centre.  Also last year I got rust on the leaves but it doesn’t seem to have affected the bulbs at all which we are still eating now.  I probably got about 25 bulbs from last year’s efforts.  I’ve given a few away and some were quite small but they all divided into cloves and taste great.

DSCN1230

I can’t believe it is February tomorrow!!  Must get some seed potatoes and start chitting.  I only had a small crop of 4 different varieties last year, and unfortunately, as with most people whose blogs I’ve read, they went mushy on boiling.  Some of the Desirees were huge when I dug them up.

Well, back to it I guess – need to find a good blight free tomato for this year, any suggestions?

 

Advertisements

Bursting out all over

Cripes, where did the time go?  Over a month since my last garden update and everything has gone bananas!  And these are almost the size of bananas……….

…….and growing at a rate of knots!!  These are the broad beans that I direct sowed last October.  They survived the winter and are about 4ft tall.  The larger pods are almost ready to pick, I tried one a week ago but the beans inside were still quite small.

This morning I have finally got around to planting my tomatoes into their growing bag.  It is a two sided patio bag and I have filled it with part homemade compost and part New Horizon organic peat-free.

In each half I have put 3 plants, one each of Gardener’s Delight, Moneymaker and a cherry plum called San Marzano 2.  All grown from seed, I’m happy with them at the moment, we’ll see how they produce!  The Tumbling Tom Yellow, I have also grown from seed and have put two plants in each of two large pots.  One of them already has a couple of flowers on it…

A couple of weeks ago  gave my step-dad one of each of the above 4 varieties and he is growing his in conventional grow bags so we shall see how his compare to mine as the weeks go by.

A few days ago i caught sparrows eating the leaves of my peas so we had to rig up a Heath Robinson style net using some canes, “BuildaBalls” and netting. There was much frustration from me as it kept falling over but in the end a bit of parcel tape and some clothes pegs were employed and at the moment it is still standing – just!

Thise are Meteor peas but I also sowed some Feltham First in a pot just outside the patio doors.  They aren’t growing as fast but there is already a flower.

The square foot patio bag is going great guns, and I’ve been cutting salad leaves from the front left square for over a week now.  The rainbow chard has really taken off too and everything else is catching up.  I have two types of kale, leeks, carrots, kai-lan, chard, asparagus peas and salad in there

I think there were some tomato seeds in the homemade compost I added as there are two rogue tomato plants coming up in the back right square amongst the kale!

The potatoes are doing well and were earthed up on Saturday, and the onions and garlic are swelling nicely.  One of the onions produced a tall flower spike but on advice from UK Veg Gardeners I cut it off as apparently onions that flower don’t store as well.

I am really pleased with the amount of blueberries on my two plants, but will need to net them soon to keep the birds (and dog!) off them

And finally the two non-veg beds.  In this one I just scattered some wildflower, cosmos, echinacea, and poppy seeds back in March.  I don’t know if anything is a flower or a weed at this point!!

And this one I call the Purple Patch because by pure coincidence I realise I have planted (mostly apart from the snowdrops and a white-ish lavender) all purple flowering plants – lavender, allium (which I seem to have cut out of the photo!) and a Japanese anenome.

Last but not least I bought a strawberry pot from Morrisons a couple of months back and a pack of 6 very tiny herb plants.  Since I planted them in the pot they are starting to get going

So that’s my garden round up for the beginning of June.  Hopefully the next post will be of my broad bean harvest!!

Kitchen table nursery

This is the state of my kitchen table, covered with all my little seedlings growing away.

I have patio doors there so it is the place with the most light.  On there I have 4 types of tomato, 4 types of bean, rainbow chard, sweet peppers, 2 types of leek, 2 types of lettuce, butternut squash, peas, sweet peas, sunflowers, basil and cress.  The beans are way too early and will probably get chucked except the dwarf ones which are actually starting to flower!  The tomatoes got a little bit scorched when I put them out in the sun but have made a stirling recovery and I think they are going to be ok.  I’m a bit scared to put them out into the mini plastic greenhouse as they might all die and I’d be left with nothing.

I bought the packet of cress seeds in Morrisons, but it doesn’t look like the cress I’m used to…..these are like little umbrellas

I tasted some and it was quite peppery.

A lovely member of my local knititng group very kindly gave me some terracotta pots last week as she is moving away and can’t take everything with her.  I got quite a haul and am very grateful….thanks Sarah!

I ordered a few more seeds yesterday from MoreVeg who sell small quantities for 50p, cos I don’t need many.  I’ve got a couple of different squashes coming, some alpine strawberries and asparagus peas (and a few others, ahem!).  My veg patch is going to be absolutely heaving in the height of the growing season!!

In the next few days I shall be sowing some nasturtiums and pot marigold seeds which Flighty kindly sent me to use as companion plants and attract insects, and hopefully getting the rest of my seed potatoes into the ground as their chits are getting rather long now.  Looks like it is going to be warming up a bit again at the weekend although it could be a bit damp.

I shall also be going to The Chester Food & Drink Festival this weekend.  We go every year and my favourite bit is the lunchtime hog roast,  yum!  On Sunday, Eaton Hall is open to the public for the day so depending on the weather we may go along to that.  We went at the end of the summer last year so it will be interesting to see the difference at this time of year.

Chitting

I received some seed potatoes last Saturday and was going to hold onto them for a while before putting them out to chit.  However, I checked them this morning and there were some “eyes” starting to sprout so I bit the bullet and decided that as they had taken it upon themselves to get going, who was I to stop them!!

I only bought 6 each of Desiree, International Kidney and Arran Pilot as I only have a small plot or growing bags.

I have put them into egg boxes and put them on the windowsill of my downstairs loo which is bright but cool.

Potatoes starting to chit

Bottom row – International Kidney (also known as Jersey Royals but you aren;t allowed to call them that unless they are grown in Jersey!) and Desiree.

Top row – on the right are the Arran Pilot and on the left are some spuds that were bought for eating but started to sprout so I’ll bung them in and see what happens!!

We have heavy frosts at night at the moment and my broad beans are collapsing and then recovering during the day only to collapse again at night!!  Hope they’ll be ok, they seem quite resilient.  But I’m not sure if I need to give them some support so they don’t flop over so much?

Today’s humble harvest

A few little things I picked today……..

I am totally converted to this “grow your own” thing, because of the taste.  Everything I have grown and eaten so far has been delicious.  The strawberries are sweet, the tomatoes are gorgeous and I don;t usually like eating raw tomatoes, and the one bean each we had the other day was lovely too.  Here are some of the spuds cooked ………

They went a bit fluffy when boiled but again the flavour was so much better than shop bought.

Spuds!!!

I have just harvested my patio potato bag.  I got 4 lbs of spuds from 5 seed potatoes.  I’m well pleased with that, just hope I can keep them ok for a couple of weeks.  I’ve put them in jute bags under the stairs in the dark but I’ll check them every couple of days.  Actually I think we are going to try a few tomorrow for dinner.

I got the patio growing bag and the five tubers free from a magazine called Grow Your Own – (just had to pay the postage) and I used normal multi purpose compost.  At the beginning of May I half filled the bag then put the tubers in and covered them with a layer of compost.  When the plants started to pop through the surface I covered them with more compost and kept doing that each time they came through until the bag was full.  Then apart from watering, they just did their own thing.  So these have grown in about 10 weeks.

I’m definitely doing spuds again next year when I have my proper veg patch, and will stagger the planting too so I have them ready at different times as I’m not totally confident in the storage side of things.

I’m thinking of putting something else in the bag now, seems a waste not to use the compost further.  But what???

Mini spud!

Ok, so I’m impatient!  I just couldn’t resist a little rummage around in the potato sack yesterday.  I was just poking about when this little fella popped up…….

Cute eh?  I was really chuffed cos I’d imagined all that I’d get would be the shrivelled remains of the five seed potatoes I’d put in there in the first place.  Curiosity got the better of me this morning and this time I pulled out one about 4 times the size of that one, again not far down into the bag.  I’m going to leave the rest alone now for a couple of weeks.