Wednesday 25 August 2010

Keep On Running - and Plumming

You may recall I was saving six satellites from each of three strawberry plants this year? Well they just wouldn't stop running. When I cleared the surplus brassicas seedlings I found the strwbs had been making a bid for freedom.

So I potted up the extra rooted runners and here's the result for my late season "Florence". That's 18 seedlings from one plant! How vigorous is that? The "Judibell" and "Cambridge Favourite" produced a dozen each as well. They get planted out at the plot in a few weeks time.

The other surprise is that our 1 plum tree looks like producing a bumber crop for the second year in a row. This proves my drastic pruning last winter has been positively beneficial.

The only worry is whether they ripen before the end of summer. (The same problem as with the tomatoes) It's been a horrible week for sun and temperature. The beans have noticed and the courgettes have just about been stopped in their tracks. Still, from this one there is hope...

Monday 23 August 2010

All choked up

They're about 6 feet tall and ready for a fall. I got half a dozen jerusalem artichokes from the greengrocers and slung them in the ground at the end of the plot. (I'd left rather too much space when I transplanted the rhubarb). Then I forgot about them. I think I lost a couple but the rest will provide gallons of soup this autumn. I'll chop them back at some point as the wind will blow them over, but I can't pluck up the courage to do it yet. Probably they'll blow down before I do. So, tell you what, I'll chop every second one down to 3 ft this weekend and see how they get on.

Here's the stack of climbing beans now. There's runners at each end and Barlotti beans for drying in the middle.

Here's how they started off:

And yes, Izzy, these are the beans from the experiment!

Glut on the table:

Thursday 19 August 2010

The house of sticks

This little piggy decided to build a greenhouse

This little piggy bought a kit from Pundstretcher

This little dog helped

The little piggy filled greenhouse with tomato plants...

... and the wind came and shook the grenhouse to pieces.

even after he'd reinforced it with bamboo canes

So the little piggy taped it up as best he could and hoped he'd still get some ripe tomatoes, far he hasn't

He should have realised when he read the notice on the carton of his "WALK IN GREENHOUSE":

Boy does he regret wasting £20 now!

Saturday 14 August 2010

The Good the Bad and the Ugly Carrots

Today I dug up some of the carrots from my second patch of carrots.

There were good


and ugly

Also pulled today

But they're not carrots, they're radishes.

Sunday 8 August 2010

Anyone for Fennel

Today I dug up the last of my first batch of fennel. These were grown in peat pots at home and then planted out. I grew half a dozen of the usual "Florence" and half a dozen "Rudy" because the speil said they were slow to bolt. The usual advice is to crop them when they "about the size of a tennis ball" This one qualifies

and so do these:

Both lots did well but the Rudy were rudy good indeed. I won't beleive the advice to leave sowing until the days start getting shorter, after 21st June, anymore.

Friday 6 August 2010

Carrot & Stick

This was to be the year of the carrot. So what's wrong with this:

Yes, you've got it - Where's the carrot?

It started off with optimism:

My major investment (£26 if I recall correctly) in nets and supports were going to defeat the dreaded carrot fly. But then I had the bright idea of sowing parsnips along each side of the tunnel and carrots in the middle to be plucked out well before the parsnips matured. The results (above) speak for themselves.

My second net (with only one stray parsnip) is doing better.

But all in all carrots are a lot more fussy, and slower to grow, than I realised. Germination has been sporadic and returns have not been spectacular.

Next year I'll crack it!

Sunday 1 August 2010

Fritillary the best

Here's a pic from my holiday.

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