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.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Weather looked nice when we got up, so after a quick trip to pick up the piccies of Yo and Bob's wedding we went straight down to the plot! The plan was to finish the weeding on plot1, sort out the herb bed and plant it up with seedlings, dig over the 2 unused beds on plot2 and plants some more swede, turnip, carrot and parsnip!

On arriving we were approached by one of the other plot holders and asked if we'd like some cauli and cabbages that she'd got spare, so of course said yes, then found ourselves with another 40 brassicas to squeeze in! As one of the spare beds on plot 2 had kale in it when we took the plot over we decided instead to try and sort out the asparagus bed (which has done almost nothing this year, apart from 3 ferns of asparagus that are visible), sacrificing the little asparagus we have (if needs be) to plant out the brassicas!

Mr D started to dig it over, its been sadly neglected with a lot of thistle, dandelion, bindweed and couch in it, and did manage to safetly remove the asparagus, also finding another 3 crowns that hadnt grown, so then the problem of where to plant them?

We decided that as there was only the 5 crowns that we'd put them into what was going to be the herb bed, which has been covered over with weed control fabric since we transplanted the 2 foxgloves into it (after double digging) back in November. On removing the weed control fabric it was to find lots of weeds, so I started to dig it over, then as I got half way through it started to pour it down!

So, we finished digging, raking, compacting the soil and planting the brassicas out in the rain! So, a productive day, even if we got nothing that we'd planned done!

The gifted brassicas brings our total brassicas growing to about 140 now, lots of yummy cabbage, cauli and broccoli! Definitely running out of growing space again though!

I did plan on getting some more piccies done today, but when it started to rain I decided to leave it to tomorrow, so hopefully we'll have some more piccies to show you tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

27th June 07 - more planting and a squeal!

Got up to a grey, rainy and windy morning, so spent some time side shooting, feeding and watering the toms in the plastic greenhouse in the back yard, whilst Mr D did some potting on.

Rain finally stopped for about 11am, so with lunch made and a hot flask of coffee we set off for the plot, and have just this minute got back!

Between us we've dug over the 2 beds that we've harvested early spuds from, dug over another 15' by 4' bed, weeded the 9' by 30' brassica bed, fed and watered inside the greenhouse, and done some planting! A total of 12 sunflowers, 54 assorted brassica seedlings, 29 celery seedlings and 290 leek seedlings were planted out, bringing our total of leeks growing to 330 and our total of growing brassicas to about 100!

I also squealed with absolute delight today, after spotting the first two of our cauli's with edible curds! Bent the leaves over to protect them and weeded round them, one if about 4 mouthfulls big and the other about 2 mouthfulls, but hopefully they will soon be a bit bigger!

Plot1 is once again full of growing crops, and plot 2 is full apart from 2 beds, which (if the rain holds off for a bit) will be planted up this week!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Plot1 Update 26th June 07

Well, as we can see, things are definitely a growing!

Unfortunately its not only the crops, but the weeds too, so I have a feeling that the first 3 or 4 days of our holidays are going to be spent pulling up weeds, ah well, at least its better than being in a tent camping in this weather, which is what we'd normally be doing whilst on holiday!

When we arrived this morning it was to find some of our Fartichokes had been a bit battered over the past few days, so I spent some time making a make-shift support for them and circling it with string in the hopes this will give them a bit of support!
The courgettes are growing like mad, compare this with the last piccy of them, deffo visible growth!
Piccy of the onion / carrot / parsnip bed, not too weed infested, but then again we did spend all last Tuesday on it, so it should be ok!
Onion / carrot bed, after garlic and first batch of onions harvested! Carrots seem to be ok, perhaps planting them amongst the onions and garlic is going to work in preventing the carrot root fly!
And last but not least, a quick piccy of the greenhouse crops, its getting quite full in their quite quickly!

Thats all for today folks, I'll try and get some more piccies as soon as we've done some more weeding!

Thanks for looking, and hope your crops are growing a plenty!

Plot2 update 26th June07

A quick update for plot 2, here's the view from the road end, pumpkins going well in the first bed, dwarf fench beans and peas going well in the 3rd bed back, and sweetcorn / pumpkins doing well in the bed beyond that, with the maincrop spuds visible beyond that!!

The climbing beans we planted last week are now showing, some borlotti's at the base of the frame in bed 3, some of our others are planted at the base of the sweetcorn!

When we arrived at the plot this morning it was to be greeted with the sight of our victorian purple podded peas blown to bits, they'd fallen over with all the high winds of late, so we spent a bit of time tying them up to the framing, hopefully they will be ok!
In the bed next to them you can see the sweetcorn and pumpkins, growing away nicely!
A piccy of Lee trying to redefine the paths at the far end of plot2, the weeds on the paths seem to be growing quicker than the crops, so he's had to spend a lot of time recently sorting it out!
Maincrop spuds are growing well tho, as can be seen here, in front of Lee!
More beans and the carlin peas on this frame, with another bed of maincrop spuds in front of it!

So, things are growing well on plot2, hopefully we'll be eating purple podded peas very soon now, the pods are 2" long, cant wait!

First harvests for storage!

As can be seen here, our overwintering Thermodyne Garlic and overwintering Sturon Onion (from sets) have now reached harvesting time!

47 bulbs of garlic were pulled, ranging from about 5 that were single clove size through to some lovely large bulbs with lots of cloves within! These are now drying upside down on a rack in the back bedroom (smells wonderful!)

46 overwintered white sturon onions were also harvested, as can be seen in the smug trug their sizes range from reasonable to very large indeed! Very happy with both these harvests, which should see us through until the spring planted crops are ready!

We also harvested the First Early spuds today, Pentland Javelins, we planted 2.5kg, and have harvested almost 30kilos, almost a sack full (they are laid on a sack in this piccy, to give you an idea of sizes)!!

We've been eating new tatties from plot1 for about 2 weeks now, but the haulms of the Pentland Javelins had died back completely, so we thought it best to harvest them rather than leaving them in the earth! I have been told that the PJ spuds do store well, so again these should see us through until our main crops are ready!

We've also started to crop the courgettes, more mange tout, more bored beans, more rasps (about 3lb so far), blackcurrants (about 1 1/2 lb so far) and some more carrots, so our total harvests for this years growing is now up to a value of about £150, still a long way to go to break even with the £485 we've spent in setting up our plot, but getting there!

Now if only we could find a way to eat all the weeds that keep growing, then perhaps we'd be even closer to breaking even! lol!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Plot 1 Update 17th June 2007

Well, this brings us up to date with al our latest piccies of our plots, I hope you enjoy looking at them!

Another look at the sweetcorn minipop) and pumpkin / squash in the foreground, with the brassica bed behind, to the left just behind the pond can be seen one of our 2 Jerusalem Fartichoke beds, behind which are leeks, onions from seed and pasnips in the same bed, then the onion / garlic bed at the left far end!
A bit of a closer view of the parsnip / onion / carrot bed.

To the left ot the wooden central path at the front are spring onions, with banana shallots behind, and then parsnips behind that!

To the right of the path are the onions from seed at the front with more parsnips behind! We've been fortunate to have had good germination with the parsnips and have almost 100 growing now!
Another piccy of our overwintering onions, these are going to be pulled today, along with the garlic in the next bed!
Another look at the courgette plants, grown a lot since the last piccy was taken, only a week ago!

And finally, a piccy of the largest of our cabbages, already hearting up!

Cant wait to be able to harvest fresh cabbage, lots of coleslaw this summer methinks!

Well, thanks very much for looking at our piccies!
I'm hoping to get a few more today, along with harvesting some more crops, and of course doing some more weeding!!

Hope your fruit and veg is growing well and that you'll join us again to see the new piccies and the harvests that we acchieve!

Greenhouse - 17th June 07 update!

Last but one update for this morning, a quick tour of our plot1 unheated greenhouse!

As you can see, the toms are growing nicely, as are the chillies, peppers, aubergines and the celery planted in there!

This view shows the right hand border, looking rather full, but with only 5 tomato plants and 5 chilli plants, plus a few french marigolds to help prevent insect infestation it has to be said it feels like its getting full very quickly!

The left hand border isnt quite as well developed, which is strange when you consider that it is the southern side of the greenhouse, so gets a lot more light, but its probably good that its slower to grow, as it means the plants on the right (northern) side are getting lots of light too!
A quick piccy of our first pepper, there's about 5 peppers growing on our 6 pepper plants, plus a lot more flowers, so chances are we may get some good harvests and good eating!
Just a quick piccy of one of the chilli plants, showing the first chilli peppers, rather fun to see them all coming along, tho none of the chillies are doing anywhere near as well as our Naga Jolokia, which is in the next piccy!

As promised, a view of the Naga Jolokia (purple) chillies, we did harvest a couple, but no real heat or flavour yet, having consulted with a few others we've been told to leave them for a good month or two yet, and to let them stay on the plant when it gets really hot weather, as this should ensure they gain their heat!

I cant wait to be making chillies with fresh homegrown chilies!!

Plot2 Update 17th June 07

Last lots of piccies that we've taken as yet, so this brings us up to date with plot2, at least until I've been down there later with the camera!

The first piccy is a general view, showing the excellent weeding work that Mr D has done! The dwarf french beans and purple podded peas are growing away really well, they will probably do even better now that they can see the light after the weedy paths have been sorted out!

Anothr view of plot 2, as can be seen here, we've got new neighbours, who've been working hard to sort out the weeds that were in the plot to our left, the plot to the right also has a new tennant, whos very enthusiastic, but does seem to be struggling with getting her weeds sorted out!

We have suggested she sprays and mulches, but she's trying to do it all by hand, and although she's done a great job at one end (where her pond is) she's clearing an area only for it to have grown back by the following week! I really feel for her, as I know if we hadnt got our plots sorted in the winter and stayed on top of them we too would be struggling a lot more than we are!

Contrast this piccy with the previous one of the purple podded peas, they've certainly come on in only a week! They've started to flower too, tho Mr D did have to tie them back up after all the vicious rain we've had this week!

Fortunately though, we dont seem to be too waterlogged and havent (touch wood) lost any plants to the wet and wind of late!

This piccy shows the first early spuds and the first 3 sisters bed, grown quite a bit since last weeks piccy!

Hopefully the weed free paths just may let the crops grow on even faster now, tho I have a feeling that once we've finished this seasons greowing we may well be spending a lot of time edging the beds and putting down bark chippings and weed control fabric to make things a lot easier next year! Mind you, its strange to think that plot2 was totally weed free only a few months ago, or so it appeared, personally I think they were lying in wait until we'd agreed to take the plot, then were ready to jump out at us! lol!

Last piccy for plot2, just showing the unweeded half, can you see a difference between the previous posts and this then? I think Mr D has done a fab job with the weeding!

Plot2 Update for 10th June 07

With the cooler weather and lots of rain we've been having recently we've neglected plot2 a little, so this week Lee has been spending a lot of time weeding and sorting out the grass / weed paths! Plot 2 is supposed to be just for larger and bulkier crops that we really dont have room for on plot1, such as tatties, pumpkins and beans, and we had always said that for this year we would just concentrate on the beds and not do anything with the paths or making raised beds (as has been done on plot1), but with the weeds on the paths growing faster than the crops in the beds, I have a feeling we are going to have to do something about it!

As you can see here, Lee has done a great job of weeding and sorting the paths on one half of plot2, I'm off to the plot in a bit (my day off) and he's going to join me down there after work, so I think I'll concentrate on weeding plot1 and let him carry on with plot2!

One thing that is growing faster than the weeds is the heritage victorian purple podded peas, they've just started to flower too!

Unfortunately, the blue lake beans we planted on the other size of the support dont seem to have done anything, so we've just planted some borlotti beans there, a tad late, btu with any luck we should still get a reasonable crop from them!

This bed is the first of the 3 sisters, with lark sweetcorn and Pigletwillies carnival squashes, they got off to a slow start, but wait till you see how big they are in the next piccies!!

First early spuds bed, looking ok, but the late spuds are flowering, and these arent, so Mr D is convinced we (read he) may have mixed up the labels! Ah well, we'll have a furtle once we've finished the new spuds on plot1 and see hat's underneath!

This is the second 3 sisters bed, Mars pumpkins and swift sweetcorn, we lost a few of the corn from each bed to something that had nibbled them! Miss D saw a fieldmouse the other week, 'Aw, isnt it cute!' says she, 'Er No!' says Mr D thinking about his tummy!

Tho we want to harvest as much as we can, it is only common sense to plant more than you need, so any losses are not going to leave you short of crops, I have a feeling its going to be something alonmg the lines of 1 for the wabbits, 1 for the slugs, 1 for the birds and 1 for us!

Further newer piccies to follow in the next thrilling instalement!

Update for 10th June, plot1!

So, to further update them, this is the same middle bed as shown in the last post, 5 days later! Does appear to be growing quote well doesnt it! Neither of us can wait till the corn is producing cobs, we both love sweetcorn, especially when its roasted on the barbecue! With a total of 40 minipop sweetcorn for cooking and about 70 full size sweetcorn plants we are hoping for a bumper harvest and plenty of cobs to scoff and some more to freeze!

The first of the overwintering onions are approaching ripeness, the stems have collapsed, and the bulbs on some are almost 5" diameter! I have a felling I am going to be harvesting them this week!!!!

This is our braod beans, we harvested a few early ones the other day, but are going to wait a little longer for them to grow a bit more! They were successionally planted, so we should be cropping for a long time, with any luck!

The same courrgette plants as in the last post, but look how they've grown! Definitely a contender for the Audrey Too awards! 'Feed Me, Feed Me Now Seymour!'

Here you can see the Mange Tout, none of which ahs made it home yet, we've been harvesting a few pods a day, and scoffing them on the spot! Delish! To the right can also be seen some of the little gem lettuces, coming on a treat! We also had a lovely big iceberg from plot1 the other day! Delish, and lasts soo much longer than shop bought too!

Plot2 update for the same date to follow!

5th June Update

Whew! Trying to keep up to date with all the weeds that the wet weather has been germinating, working full time, looking after Lee after his recent op AND trying to post on this blog is proving to be a bit difficukt, but as I've a few minutes spare I thought I'd get up to date by posting some of the piccies from the plot so far this month!

This first batch were taken on 5th June, and as you'll see from the next couple of posts, everything seems to be growing like crazy, which unfortunately also includes the weeds!

The First piccy is of the central bed on plot1, in the foreground are the minipop sweetcorn and butternut / pumpkins, and behind is the brassica bed, which is filling up nicely!

This second piccy is of the aliums bed, interplanted with carrots (5 varieties), which we did suffer some problems of having had the tops of their foliage nibbled by the local wabbits, but they seem to have come on well since then and we harvested the first couple last week, delish!

As you can see in this bed is also our fist batch of overwintering garlic, here going nicely yellow, and which will probably be pulled later on today!

Behind the garlic is the tops of the first sowing of parsnips, a lot of folks on the Grapevine forum have been having lots of problems with parsnip germination, but the first batch we sowed into loo rolls are going great guns, and the second batch sowed direct are also germinating nicely, I guess we must just have a nice fresh batch of seeds and a bit of luck, currently we've about 94 parsnips growing aweay nicely!

This piccy shows the courgette plants in the center, the peas on the netting behind, the turnips sowed in the center of the netting, some of the bunching overwintering onions at the front, some of the outdoor toms and just planted in the bottom left corner some of our outdoor cuces!

The courgettes seem to be groeing everytime you look at them, in fact we had our first flowers about a week ago, and I'm hoping for lots of fruit in the next few days!

Bunching onions are also now at an edible size, so some of them will also be harvested today!

Other things we've been harvesting include about 6 1/2lb of ripe strawberries so far (about a lb every 3 days or so), 3 meals worth of new tatties from the ones we planted in September on plot1 (they were supposed to be xmas spuds, but died back in october, then came back in March and we didnt have the heart to pull them!) Must say, freshly dug new tatties, washed, boiled gently in their skins with a knob of butter and a little salt is one of those tastes that is definitely worth waiting for! We've still another 15 new tattie plants to harvest yet, so I have a feeling that new spuds will be on the menu again for a few days yet!

In the greenhouse things did seem to have stalled with the cooler weather we've been having of late, but this week they do seem to be growing on apace again!

We've had 6 lovely fresh and sooo crisp and tasty cucumbers now from the one marketmore thats inside the greenhouse, as you can see here it had 3 cuces at once on it!

The small plastic greenhouse at home has given us about 8 or 9 rips toms so far, and there's quite a few growing nicely in there too, along with a few in the greenhouse on the plot!

The peppers, chillies and aubergines in the greenhouse have also been flowering away nicely, and we've now lots of chillies, quite a few peppers and toms growing, but as yet no aubergines have set, ah well, plenty of time yet!

Its not all been good tho, we've entered into the Chileman Big Jim Chilli Challenge, to see who can grow the largest Big Jim chilli pepper, we started off really good, with the 3 early chillies on the Big Jim growing away well, until they hit 13.5 cm, and then we started to get some problems, as can be seen in the piccy here! It was almost as tho the skin had split and gone soft, but above that the chilli was fine, so we took the decision to harvest them and Lee used them in a lovely mince dish he did the other night!

Thankfully we've now got another 2 larger Big Jims on the plant, which last time I checked were 15cm long, good, but not yet good enough!

Anyhows, another more recent set of piccys to follow! Hope you enjoy them all!