Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lazy potatoes - and less lawn

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In the interests of reducing the lawn, we decided to plant quite a lot of potatoes. However, I didn't want to dig - for any number of reasons, so I have cobbled together a combination of some techniques that I found in the net.

First I covered the are in question with Cardboard. Covered that with some (fairly fresh) manure. Rotted would be better, but didn't have any. Covered that with black plastic previously used to cover silage. Used some stones and boards to hold down the plastic. It's not particularly pretty.

In a week or so, when the black plastic has done a good job of warming things up. I'll cut some small holes in the plastic, clear away the manure, and put in a chitted potato and some clay. All going well, the potatoes will grow well under the plastic, and will also do a good job of preparing the area for further planting. And when the potatoes start to grow it won't look so ugly :-)

End of March update

Planted: Rocket, Purple carrots, Basil, Tarragon, Celery, Broccoli, sugar snap peas, Broad beans.

Sprouting:Corn, oregano, Rosemary, sunflowers, potatoes, nasturtium.

Hardened off (and not dead) Parsely, Lettuce, Spinach, Calendula, Peas,

One asparagus sprout in the ground peeping up, and one in the pot - mouth watering!

Yeah spring!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More sowing

The first batch sown has survived a week outside, and is still doing well. Teasel especially is thriving, though I thought it might be hard to germinate.

Before we left for London on the 15th (March), planted corn, oregano, rosemary, first batch of tomatoes. Some red onion sets went into my new raised bed, interspersed with calendula from saved seed. Also planted sunflowers, and potatoes in an inside out compost bag. It's amazing how quickly they grow.

Corn a bit slow to germinate, no tomatoes or rosemary up yet, but the rest are doing well.

No sign of the asparagus peeping up yet....

Spring greens

Quite a few of last autumn's experiments are working out quite well for supplying Spring salads. Lots of Corn salad overwintered well in planters. Also late planted beets are pushing out some new tasty growth at the moment. Mizuna - only have a few plants, but they are producing, and are tender. Wild garlic - contained in a pot- is doing well - I'd be tempted to have a few more plants, but then again, it does take over.

The Kale is still cropping, though about to go to seed. Purple sprouting broccoli very tasty. The rocket that came from Dublin is contained and producing - wish I could successfully save some seed from it, but hoping for seedling from Joe's neglected plot - that sems to be the secret of it's success.

100 g rocket for sale today in Tesco for 2.99 - hard to believe from a weed...

Friday, March 14, 2008


Home made Pizza with home grown kale, free range organic egg from my brothers chicken. Yum!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Purple sprouting Broccoli, Kale

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Some great colour in the garden at the minute, and great texture too. A visual feast - between the Ragged Jack Kale, and the purple sprouting Broccoli.
Speaking of feasts, we are eating the Broccoli steamed - it needs nothing else, and the kale is good either on pizza (yes!) on top of the sauce, below the cheese. Also good fred with some olive oil and garlic, and then steamed with a little stock or white wine.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Asparagus planting

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We are putting in 10 Conovers Colossus asparagus crowns. Undergardener repurposed the old fence to make me some super raised beds, and you can see some lovely organic FYM - beside, but not on top of the asparagus. Have mixed a fair bit of grit in with the soil, as we have a clayey soil, and the asparagus like it sandy. As the asparagus tips appear, we'll fill in more and more of the bed.

I guess we will have to wait till next year - at the earliest - to sample these. However, the suppliers sent twice the number of crowns we asked for, so we have planted the remainder in pots and will sample a few of these- don't mind if they don't bulk up.