Clicking on any of the pictures will open them at full size in the browser window, which means you will have to use the 'back' button to return to the main pages, whereas clicking to the left or right of any picture will open them in a new window, if you fancy a closer look at any of the piccies we've posted! We've included a Google Earth satelite picture of our plots and this years planting plan at the bottom of the page, next to each other. If you choose the Earth view on the satelite image you can rotate the image until it is lined up with the planting plan, then use the arrows in the plan to scroll from Plot 2 to Plot 1.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

First peas and french bean harvest - 22nd July 2007

Got to the plot to find glorious sunshine, which hung around until about 430pmish, when the heavens opened for a couple of hours, unfortunately just before I was ready to take some more piccies, ah well, will try and get some on wednesday!

Weeded the broad beans, peas and mange tout beds, then harvested more mange tout, another cabbage, another 5 toms, another lettuce, about another lb of rasps, another lb of blackcurrants, 4 more courgettes (2 of which where cannon ball sized!), about 1/2lb each of 2 types of french beans (first harvest from these this year!), about a lb of blackberries, 2 heads of broccolli and about 1/2 lb of victorain purple podded peas! (first pea harvest of the year!)

Came home and made tea, chops with mange tout, new tatties, french beans, peas and broccolli! Scrummy, only thing that wasnt from the plot was the chops!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The carrots are doomed, doomed I tell Ye!

Got to spend about 4 productive hours or so on the plot yesterday (dodging rain after doing other more mundane things that needed to be done first), and managed to get another bumper harvest!

The greenhouse gave us another 20 ripe cherry toms (with loads more growing), another cucumber and 8 more green peppers (most of which have now been processed and frozen), and from outside we got another 9 courgettes from the 6 plants, about another 1lb of rasps (the earlies are about done now, but lots of late rasps growing, so hopefully it wont be long before they are producing) and 2lb of blackcurrants (still loads left on the bushes to get a bit bigger before we harvest them), another 6lb of rhubarb, more spring onions and radishes, another 3lb of broad beans (still lots we've left to get bigger yet) and another 3 1/2lb of mange tout (still more of that coming on too!)

Had a good look at the sweetcorn, which is now producing cobs, and the squashes and pumpkins, which have a few fruits set, and placed some wood underneath the forming fruits to keep them off the ground as they grow! Two of our batches of peas are also now coming good, the rondo are beginning to pod and the purple podded victorian peas we got from a fellow 'grape' have loads of pods and more flowers, so I think we'll be ok for peas this year!) Our carlin peas are also now flowering, and the broccolli is going great guns, as are the cabbages! Looks like there's another 4 almost ready to harvest and the ones we planted that got munched by wabbits (that are now protected inside Fort Tesco do seem to be making a decent recovery!)

We also pulled a few carrots and a single enormous parsnip for tea, only to find that theyd been tunnelled by carrot fly, (tho we did manage to get some edible bits from them, about half of the 12" long parsnip was ok) so it looks like most of the first sowing of carrots (which were companion planted with the overwintering onions - doesnt look like that worked for us this year) and the parsnips (planted alongside some very nice and very smelly mint, in the hopes the mint would mask their smell) we've had growing for a while may be useless, but we'll leave them where they are and see what happens!

Because of the carrot fly we're going to build a second 'Fort Tesco's' on a couple of beds on plot 2 and plant them with carrots and parsnips in the hopes that the 4' high perspex walls will protect them from the attentions of the carrot fly (and the attentions of the wabbits that have been a munching the foliage) and perhaps give us some crops, even if their size is reduced by being planted late!

Thanks for reading, and I hope your carrots are fairing a bit better than ours have!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Plot 1 Update for 15th July 2007!

Once again some more piccies of our Pumpkin Patch!

Well, despite (or is it because) of all the rain we've plenty of stuff growing away nicely! Our pumpkins in the first bed seem to be going mad, standing almost 2' tall and spreading like nothing I've ever seen, we've even got some fruit setting on them, so looks like we may be ok for halloween this year!

The minipop corn in the same bed is doing ok, but not as well as the sweetcorn in the top ned next to the fartichokes, which now has cobs showing (tho they've a long way to go to reach an edible size yet!)
So, the fartichoke / corn / leek bed mentioned above! The fartichokes are now at almost 8' tall, the corn is up to 4' tall and the leeks are doing ok, but unfortunately, so are all the weeds!

Methinks we desperately need some dry weather to be able to do some hoeing! With all the wet of late all the weed seeds are germinating, and its not easy to try and hoe in damp earth, so we've been having to remove them by hand, hard work and time consuming, not to mention heartbreaking when within 2 weeks it doesnt look like its ever been weeded! Ah well, at least its a good way to keep fit, or so I keep telling myself! lol!
The outdoor cucumbers we planted to grow up our 'cucumber ramp' have finally started to grow with a bit of vigour, as you can see they are beginning to climb and one even has its first set fruit! The lettuces inside the 'ramp' are also doing well, and with the netting they do seem safe from the attention of the local wabbits that have become a problem on many of our neighbours plots! (Touching wood here, we've had some carrots and brassicas nibbled, but otherwise we've not been hit too badly, yet!)
One of the upshots of all the wabbits is after planting 50+ brassicas out we came back the following day to find that many of them had been nibbled, so we errected 'Fort Tesco's' to protect them! Lee recycled a load of perspex (from the roofs of the trolley park thingies) from his work, and we used it to build the Fort, with a huge nod to Messers Heath and Robinson! Mind you, since its been up it does seem to be protecting the brassicas, and most of the seedlings seem to have recovered well, so fingers crossed that we'll have lots of cabbages and caulis later in the year!

We've had one or two comments about our 'Fort' tho, including one asking how much for admission to the pool! After all the rain we've been having we have foudn once or twice that the water had lain in pools inside the fort, especially as the ground has been copmpacted for growing brassicas in it!

Once again another piccy of our courgette plants, just so you can marvel (as do we every time we visit the plot) at how big they are getting!

Not only have we been harvesting courgettes for a few weeks now, but we had our first marrow from it yesterday, thats now stuffed and in the oven cooking ready for Lee's tea when he gets home from work!

Another panoramic view, this time looking down the mange tout netting, past the peas to the broad beans and greenhouse!

The mange tout has been really good so far, not only have we been having it with almost every meal, but we also froze about 3lb of it yesterday too! And its still flowering like mad and producing enough pods to make harvesting it a couple or 3 times a week a definite must! Heartily recommend this veg, and we will deffo be growing it again next year!

And last one for today, a quick piccy of about 2/3rds of our overwintering red onions, harvested yesterday in the rain by Lee! In total about 250 of them, ranging from about 1 1/2" size up to 5" diameter!

Unfortunately with the weather this year we had about half of them start to go to seed, so once we got them home we had to sort them out, those that hadnt started to run to seed (about 140 or so) were put out to dry on the racking in the back bedroom (only place we have thats dry enough atm, tho I have to say the smell does clear your nose when you go in there!), and the other 110 or so were peeled, sliced and frozen in the chest freezer upstairs, as we know onions that have run to seed dont store well, so rather than wasting them we thought we'd freeze them and use them after the stored onions are finished!

Anyhows, hope you liked the piccies, and thanks for looking!

Plot 2 Update for 16th July 2007!

Well, the rain stopped for long enough yesterday for me to take a few piccies of our plots, hence the updates!

First piccy is the normal panorama of plot2 from the road end, as can be seen all this rain is germinating far too many weeds and causing our paths to grow like mad! Mind you, it has saved us from needing to water daily, and has allowed the sweetcorn, pumpkins and peas on plot 2 to grow on well, all we ned now is a bit of sunshine to help everything along!

One negative from all the rain tho is the maincrop spuds, the foliage has completely died back and gone brown, methinks its blight! We're off to the plot tomorrow, so will be digging up both of the maincrop beds and seeing whether we can salvage anything from them!

The brassicas we planted out down here have been badly munched by the bunnies, tho as yet (touching wood as I write) our leeks dont appear to have been too badly mauled (some of the other plot holders have had all their eaten!)
As you can see here our purple podded peas are going great guns, think we'll be eating them by the weekend, and still loads of flowers on them too! Strangely enough tho, we've got flowers on the french beans, but still no beans yet!

The 3 sisters beds are doing ok, the pumpkins and squashes seem to be thricing in the wet weather and the corn is doing ok, but not as tall as I'd have thougth by now, mind you we do have some small cobs showing, so perhaps we will get a harvest afterall!

This view is from about 2/3rds of the way down the plot, looking back towards the road end, in the foreground can be seem the blighted tattie haulms, not good! Beyond that are our leeks, all 290 of them (yep, we do like leeks!) and then the 3 sisters bed and peas / beans bed!

Well, thats all the piccies for plot2! Thanks for looking!

This years harvests (so far!)

Since April (from a plot and a half) we've had :-

About 35lb of rhubarb, still loads more to harvest!
About 10lb of strawberries, the early fruiting ones seem to have about finished now, but the late fruiting are starting to flower and produce fruit!
About 6lb of early fruiting rasps, tho we've only about 8 or so early fruiting canes, the other 60+ canes are all late fruiting, so still lots of time for them to fruit yet!
About 1 1/2lb of cherries from one 4 year old tree
About 3lb of blackcurrants, probably another 3 or 4 lb to harvest yet
About 45 white onions and 250 red onions, still have spring sewn sets (about 45) and onions grown from seed (about 35) plus banana shallots (about 25) to harvest!
About 6lb of new spudsAbout 30lb of first early spuds, still 2 beds (5' by 15') of maincrops to harvest
About 30 ripe toms of various varieties, lots of green toms now appearing on most of our 50 or so tomsato plants
About 80+ radish of 3 varieties, still lots more growing away nicely!
About 45 spring onions, still about 65 approaching harvest and more to sew
About 10 carrots, still about 80 or so that are being left to get a bit bigger!
About 6 parsnips, still about 100 growing away for main harvest later in the year!
About 14 cucumbers from one marketmore in the greenhouse, which has another 6 or 7 at various stages of growth, and a further 5 plants outdoors on the cucumber ramp!
About 23 courgettes from 5 plants, and more appearing all the time!
About 15 green peppers, lots more growing on the 6 plants in the greenhouse!
About 6 portions of sprouting broccolli, more growing on the 6 plants we have growing!
About 6 lettuces, a further 7 little gems are almost ready to harvest!
About 45 bulbs of garlic from the overwintering bed, with another 30 or so spring sown that are still growing nicely!
About 5lb of mange tout, which is still producing lots!
About 8lb of broad beans, still about 70% of the harvest to take from them yet!
About 1/2lb of peas, lots of pods on 2 of the varieties, which we are hopeing to start cropping soon!2 cabbages, with a further 7 white almost ready to harvest and 6 reds not far behind, plus about another 50 cabbages at various stages of growth and some more to plant out!
1 cauli, with a further 5 growing steadily
2 turnips, with another 30 or so growing.

Still to harvest :-French beans (about 90 plants of 3 varieties) flowering but no beans yet!
Chillies, 11 varieties, 11 plants in the grenhouse, 13 in the house, 5 outdoors on the plot and 12 outside in the back yard, lots of fruit from the greenhouse and a few on the indoor ones, others are flowering, but not harvesting until they all get a bit riper!
Jerusalem Fartichokes, 2 beds, one of about 8' by 8' and the other 8' by 3', plants are at between 5' and 8' tall, tubers should be enough for a good harvest later in the year!
Cooking apples - approx 80 ripening for harvest off one 5 year old tree
Eating apples - approx 25 ripening off one 5 year old tree
Pickling onions - about 150 growing but still too small to harvest
Sweetcorn, about 75 plants of 3 varities just starting to show the corn cobs
Minipop Sweetcorn - about 45 plants, but no harvest as yet
Gherkins - 2 plants, just starting to show some fruit
Pumpkins - about 40 plants, flowering and fruit has begun to set
Squashes - about 30 plants, just setting fruits now
Beetroot - about 16 growing away nicely, but not harvested any yet!
Late rasps - 60 or so canes so possibilities for a good harvest!
Gooseberries - not much success with these so far, but they are ripening up, so will probably harvest in the very near future!
Celery - 2 in the greenhouse approaching edible size and a further 23 plants outdoors which seem to be doing ok.

Not too bad a haul so far, well, at least we are fairly happy with it! Just hope the weather improves sufficiently for us all to benefit from bumper harvests this autumn!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Plot1 Update for 29th June 2007!

Ok, last update for plot1 so far as our latest piccies go, weather looks good on here, but since these were taken its done nothing but rain! What a waste of my holidays, not been able to get half as much done as we'd have liked, but at least we arent flooded, and dont have to water!

First piccy shows our 2 sisters bed and behind it the brassica bed, we've caulis, broccolli and cabbages approaching harvestable size a plenty, plus another 54 or so that were planted out the other day!
Piccy 2 shows the onion and carrot bed, with the newly transplanted celery just about visible in the 2 beds either side of the carrots on the right!
A view down the plot, with the newly cleared and planted herb bed at the front with the brassicas behind, as I said, some of the brassicas are getting quite big!

The herb bed was one we werent going to touch this year, but then were given some more brassicas, and had to fins them a home, with plot2 being almost full we decided to dig over our failed asparagus bed (it was one we inherited, but only 3 plants showed above the surface this year, along with a lot of perennial weeds, so we decided to dig it over, see if we could save the asparagus and remove the weeds, then use that 10' by 9' bed for the brassicas! We were fortunate to be able to get the asparagus out and needed somewhere to put it, so the unused herb bed got dug over, the asparagus put in, (between the 2 foxgloves that we transplanted in there in November) and to save any weeds getting hold we planted some perrennial herbs above it, so making best use of space and saving on the weeding!
The top bed of Jerusalem Farticholes, now about 6'6" tall, with some more corn (the overspill from the 2 beds of 3 sisters we've got on plot2) and more leeks!

Last but not least, another piccy of the rapidly growing courgettes! We've been harvesting a couple a day for about a week now, from the 6 plants, it'll be interesting to see how many we get when the weather improves a bit! Methinks we'll be giving em away as well as eating them for breakfast, lunch and tea!

Well, thats all for this update, hope you've found it useful and interesting, thanks for reading and more to follow soon!

Update for Plot 2, 29th June 2007

Well, after a weekend away helping a friend tame her plot as a wedding prezzie, (along with a few other 'grapes' from the GYO Grapevine Forum) I've finally got a bit of spare time to post the last piccies we took of our plots from last week!

Unfortunately since these were taken the weather has been awful, rain, rain and yet more rain, so I've not been able to take any more piccies since these!
The first piccy is a panoram of plot2, still relatively tidy, tho the gods alone will know what its going to be like after all this rain!

Second piccy is of the one of the Peas & Beans Beds, with the 3 sisters bed next to it and the bed and a half of leeks next to that!

This panoramic shot shows the 3 sisters bed, the first bed of leeks and behind that the 2 beds of maincrop spuds!

Last piccy shows the leeks, we sowed 2 seed trays of leeks, one of bought musselburgh, the other of saved seeds from the seed heads that were on plot1 when we took it over last year, bot realizing that they would all grow and that we'd have over 300 leek seedlings to plant out!

Fortunately we do have room for them, so they've all been planted and if the pesky wabbits leave them alone, then we should have plenty to eat this winter, even if its only leeks! lol!