Sunday, 18 November 2007

Salvage Time 18.11.07

Welcome to my weekly update at Reads Retreat "Grow your own veg in raised beds".

The frosts arrived with a vengeance this week, wreaking havoc around the garden, with my christmas spuds (v. Maris Piper)being the most affected. The plantings in 2 out of 3 of the beds are all but ruined, and only a week or so of prolonged mildness can now save the day.
This little spud is the only one to have fully survived the frost attack - due mainly to it's sheltered position.
Despite gentle watering of the other 2 raised beds, the fact that the daytime temperatures remained so cold did little to help. With the other affected plants, I have removed the affected foliage down to the mulch layer, but have left the stout stems in the hope that they will survive. Of course, I'll keep you all posted on this.

The Curly leaf Kale (v.Frosty) is starting to pick up a bit. I'm guessing the current cold snap is somewhat deterring the cabbage caterpillars, and the crops are starting on their growth. This is really good news, although the plants have a lot of growth to put on before I can harvest the little gems. They currently stand about 6" tall - thats about a third of their expected growth height. It's a real treat to see crops growing at this time of year, and very rewarding for your efforts.

Elsewhere in the garden, it's hard to believe that winter really is just around the corner. The Silver Birch at the end of the garden is fighting hard to retain it's leaves, although I can assure you it's slowly losing the fight.

The grass; I expect to mow maybe once more this year, before adding some weed and feed fertilizer to help it through the winter months. What I'm after now though is a better mower with a grass box, as I don't think raking the lawn is really that effective.

Later today I shall be planting out some Broad Bean (v. Bunyard Exhibition) seeds. I have been assured that the dreaded blackfly have little / no effect on overwintered plantings - that will surely be a blessing following the blackfly problems I encountered earlier in the year, when I had to totally abandon the crop that I had planted.

The Garlic (v. Fokyhama) are not showing yet, but equally there is no evidence of any bird activity or disturbance to the soil, so it's fingers crossed on this little lot.

My Leeks (v. Musselborough) are doing well, and despite the odd plant bolting, I will harvest these soon and see how they are!

My Parsnips (v. Hollow Crown) , have sprung into a new lease of life, with fresh green foliage adorning the row. Maybe I upset the neighboring roots when I pulled out the 2' monster last sunday? Either way, I'll be digging up another today to compliment the sunday roast. I'm surprised how nice it was last week - considering i have no taste for the shop bought variety.

Thats about it for this week. If I think of anything else that I missed, I will add it later on!

Hope you continue to enjoy your gardens as much as I do mine.

Take care


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