Posts Tagged ‘turnips’

A short local walk, first turnips & last tomatoes

Chester has a cycle path that runs between Connah’s Quay in Deeside to Mickle Trafford a few miles east of Chester.  It is along the route of an old railway track so is very flat and ideal for strolling along.  I have walked a couple of miles of it from the nearest access point to our house before but had never been to the Mickle Trafford end, so yesterday morning we packed the dog into the car and parked at the far end.  There is no official parking area but the owner of a nearby industrial unit allowed us to park on his forecourt as long as we didn’t break an ankle and sue him as a previous person had done!!

We walked for about half an hour along the track to where it goes under the A55, and then the skies were darkening a bit so we headed back.  Along the route were some interesting pieces of art…

This morning I had a mooch about the garden and found that the last of the tomatoes are ripening up finally, possibly because I gave them a good drenching after not watering for a good 10 days.

I picked the ripest and I think I’ll give the rest another week.

In the patio bag I noticed a couple of the turnips pushing back up through the compost I had earthed them up with a couple of weeks ago, so I investigated and pulled out these two

I don’t remember ever having eaten a turnip so this will be a new experience for me.  I’ll probably just roast them in some olive oil this evening.

My onions are coming up quite well now, there are about 20 little green shoots, but no sign of the garlic yet.  The peas are doing ok and the cabbages now have collars.

I picked some of the French bean pods that have been drying in the shed and shelled them.  I’ve got plenty of seed to attempt to grow in the spring now.

Finally I sowed a few more sweet peas in the growhouse, Tall Mixed this time, and that’s about it.

No liposuction required………

……….but I have a lovely new butt!!

This one is to go on the patio.  We have a drainpipe that collects all the water from the new extension roofs and existing rear house roof so it shouldn’t take too long to fill once it is connected.  It is a narrow “space saver” water butt, 100 litre capacity.  I ordered it from greenfingers.com in their clearance sale for £19.99 plus a stand for £7.99.  I have got a connector kit separately from this seller on ebay, so that’s a job for the weekend when we find a suitable tool for making the hole for the connecting water pipe to fit.

You get free delivery if you order over £29, so because I was a little short I ordered this (rather substantial when it arrived) dibber and a pair of very fetching knee pads!!

On Sunday morning I planted out my 7 cabbage seedlings and covered them with fleece until the cabbage collars arrive.  And I think that is now it for the sowing and planting until the spring.  I currently have onions, garlic, cabbage, peas and broad beans in the veg bed, turnips in the patio bag and the last of the tomatoes desperately fighting to ripen on the patio.  It is quite sunny (but cold) today so fingers crossed for a few more before I have to bring them in.  I cut down and hung my French beans in the shed to dry for seeds.  But I have no idea what the original plants were, (which I bought as small plants unlabelled at the local hardware store,) let alone if they are F1s so I will have to get some other seeds as well, I was thinking of Blue Lake as they look the most like the ones I had this year.

I did have a slightly amusing tomato, a siamese twin…..

I am currently reading a book called Allotted Time, an amusing account of two guys who decided on a slightly tipsy night out to get an allotment when neither of them had ever gardened before.  I’m about two thirds through so will review it when I’m done.  And I have been adventurous in my cooking with two recipes from River Cottage Veg Every Day last week and another planned for tonight.  The River Cottage TV series to accompany the book just started on Channel 4 on Sunday evening and I am very pleased to say it doesn’t clash with the Strictly results show!!

More planting

Yesterday was another planting day. I got 40 onion sets planted.  I have gone with Radar and Electric (a red onion) and have planted them in 2 blocks of 20 each.  However I have 30 of each left and have been advised by members of the UKVegGardeners Forum that they cannot be kept and planted in spring.  As I don’t want to plant any more of these, some of them are up for grabs if anyone would like them.  I’ll offer some to my neighbour too.

Also to go in were peas.  I have the 7 that I put into the pots and Jiffys but as they are starting to grow now I thought I would just get on and put some straight into the ground.  I dug over a patch and then made 4cm deep holes with a pencil and dropped one pea into each hole.  I have no idea of the spacing but I put in a total of 46 seeds in a large block.  They are Pea Meteor.

The turnips I sowed in the patio grow bag are doing well, however the roots were starting to swell above the surface.

Once more I took advice from UKVegGardeners and Flighty said they should be covered.  So a combination of thinning out, pushing down and earthing up now has them covered and on their way.  There are only about 5 or 6 in there but I don’t think I have ever eaten a turnip so I’m not sure if I will like them.  It is all experimenting at this stage!

And look…….the anemone must have been listening yesterday and has opened one of its flowers…….

Sprouting

Apart from the bumper bean crop that developed while I was away – I was in Ireland by the way – some of the seeds I planted a couple of weeks ago have germinated.

Basil "Genovese" seedlings

Chicory (left) & Pak Choi (right).

Turnips (top) & carrots (bottom)

There are a couple of carrots poking through as of today, honest!  I’ll have to thin a few of them out though.  These all came up really quick whereas my parsley is really struggling.  Also I think I may lose a couple of the lavenders but then again they were (technically) free so 4 out of 6 isn’t bad.

Late sowing

Since I harvested the potatoes, the used compost has been sitting in a big bucket because I didn’t want to throw it away.  But what to do with it?  As a newbie veg gardener I am not sure what you can sow at which times of the year but some of the magazines seem to suggest that you can sow quite a few things this time of year.

So this morning I got the potato grow bag back out of the shed, mixed half and half used compost and new peat free compost and filled it halfway up.  I folded the top over and made two drills into which I put some carrot seed and some turnip seed.  In my trough which had had mixed salad leaves and radishes, I again mixed in some new compost and sowed pak choi and chicory.

All the seeds are freebies which I have collected from various magazines so if they don’t produce much it’s no biggie.

Meanwhile I have the tiniest of shoots coming up in one of the pots I sowed with parsley about 10 days ago.  I was starting to think nothing was going to grow but looks like something is happening after all!

And, we have decided to let the guys our builder recommended loose on the garden.  They are going to come around the beginning of September to do all the manual work like ripping up and replacing the old weed membrane and gravel, taking out some shrubs and root stumps, digging me a veg patch and laying a new lawn.  Then it is up to us!! Yikes.