December 2011

 

                                                                            

  


December 1st.

Well,December already,and still only one frost so far and that was almost a month ago.

One thing I decided to do this year was to dig up and divide my Rhubarb.

                         

It was being neglected and reverting back to wild rhubarb so I decided to dig up the whole clump.

                         

Then I just chopped it into 3 with a spade and for a change I planted two of the pieces into a giant pot to see how it gets on.

I'm going to have a go at forcing the other root in total darkness in some warmth a-la the Yorkshire Rhubarb Triangle method.

                         

I pulled up all the remaining sweet candle exhibition carrots that were never used for showing and as you can see they're a decent size and don't seem to take any harm by having been left growing until now.

Also the exhibition onions are slowly being eaten and are storing brilliantly,but considering I have over 40 at 3lb+ I don't think I'll get through them.

I've still got about 50 pounds of normal onions and red ones to eat as well.

                         

A while ago I thought I'd hack open the 50 pound marrow I grew to see if I could salvage any seed.

                         

There were literally thousands of seeds but most were just tiny immature ones,I did manage to get about 20 biggish seeds but whether or not these will be viable we'll see next year.

I did manage to get hold of some seed from this year's British Record Breaker of over 170 pounds. ( Cheers James ) so we'll see how those get on next year.

                         

And If this Winter is going to be as cold as last year's then I needed to get some heavy duty waterbutts sorted out as last year after the temperature got to -17 it split all but 2 0f my old ones.

These are ex orange juice containers and really thick.Also I'm using a couple to grow the carrots in next year hence the missing bottoms in a couple.

Anyway the Late New Potato growing experiment seems to have worked,even if the yield was small,the taste of "Proper" new potatoes at this time of the year is something else.Video below.

December 10th.

What a week of weather.

Gales,snow,hail,rain....utter shite !

I haven't been up to the plot since Tuesday so I don't know if anything is still standing.

                         

As of Tuesday all the onions had ripened and dried off well,so it was time to bring them home to store.

The Early purple sprouting broccoli in the pots the onions were growing in is enormous and looks like it might even be about to start sprouting.

                         

The growth of the overwintering onions and the garlic under the mini polytunnels has been astounding,but this isn't such a good thing as all this green growth will be pretty succeptible to any severe frosts we get later on this Winter.

                         

With the recent stupidly mild November my Poppy plants have burst into growth and even the bloody daffodils think it's spring and are all poking through...crazy !

                                      

One thing that has been a success this year has been the new Leek variety to me "Autumn Giant RAMI III"

Bonkers name but as you can see by the length of the shaft they're pretty huge beasts.

I don't think they're a really hardy variety though as they are starting to suffer a bit from the cold,but I suppose the "Autumn"in the name is a clue to their intended harvest period.

                         

The experiment of planting early spuds in the tunnel in September has been a thorough success,although only about 1-2 pounds a bag,the taste of proper new spuds this time of year is great.

                         

So I'm pretty much dug over now,just a few leeks left,some Kale and a few brussels.

I add a dusting of lime every winter just as a bit of a sweetener.

The polytunnel's all rotavated,so not much to do now 'til March.

                   

Just finish off with a pic of a double rainbow that came out after it eventually stopped raining.

Dec 17th.

Nothing happening on the plot at the moment apart from the first proper snow of the year.

                         

Thankfully I've got all my beds rough dug as the thought of having to do it in this is pretty horrendous.

                         

So It's just up to the snow and ice to do it's job and break down the clods of soil for me over Winter,and hopefully kill off a few slugs too..

                               

Anyway, I managed to snap this photo of a snowy Blackbird at home.

Don't forget to feed them well over the cold months and they'll repay you next year by eating literally thousands of slugs and snails for us in Spring.

Dec 24th.

Well,the final bit for this year.

Went up to the plot in hideous weather to try to glean some final veg of the year for Christmas Dinner.

                         

Firstly the Brussel Sprouts were too small,so they've got the chop and have now been eaten by the Sheep.

I just can't grow Brussels ?

                         

The early sprouting broccoli is doing amazingly in the tunnel and even has a few little heads forming,so that should be ready in a month or so.

                         

Dug all the remaining carrots up.

Quite a few had split but next doors horse didn't mind.

                         

So in the end I did manage to get a few carrots and the final potatoes in pots from the tunnel as something to eat tomorrow.

Anyway,that's it for 2011....roll on next year !

Merry Christmas Folks !

 


 

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