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Showing posts from August, 2012

Thursdays Top 10 Tryouts (Or Show Us Yer Tips 27)!!

1. Lutein is a hydroxy-carotenoid constituting the macular pigment of the human retina. Increasing lutein intake from foods could increase the density of this pigment and decrease the risk of developing macular degeneration. Yellow carrots are a novel food source that could increase lutein consumption. (N.L.M.)

2. At the moment this coming September is expected to bring some good weather in U.K., but if you intend to sow Broad beans, Lettuce, Radish, Spinach, Peas, Endive or Spring Cabbages it might be advisable to give them some protection from the elements.

3. This may be time consuming but its money saving. Those lengths of rope with 3 or 4 strands can be unraveled and cut to various lengths to give you a multitude of plant ties for the price of 1.

4. If you intend to grow Alpine plants remember the following tips. Most Alpines must have free draining soil. Moisture retention is necessary so add gravel or similar around the plants. Only water around the plants not over them. K…

Not Another Bank Holiday Post

Well !! how many excuses can I make for another fortnight of not posting anything on my blog. About as many as the amount of times I've heard the phrase "typical bank holiday weather again". Well if you believe that phrase then global warming etc doesn't exist. Actually since my last post I've enjoyed most of the past two weeks working down the plot doing a multitude of things, the main one this time of the year being harvesting of course. Prepping the various vegetables for freezing has taken up many hours and my freezer is almost full at the moment.
  With several family members visiting and staying over, 2 different repairs carried out to my car, a couple of days spent organizing and attending a car boot sale, and of course avoiding the wind, frequent rain showers and thunderous downpours, I have still managed not to lose the plot.

 Incidentally, just to emphasize the state of the British Summer weather conditions here in Somerset, a recent t.v. news item (10…

Thursdays Top 10 Tryouts (Or Show Us Yer Tips 26)!!

1.  2 good varieties of Cabbage for Autumn sowing are Kilaton and Wheelers Imperial.

2.  Save your 1 and 2 Liter plastic ice cream cartons, they are ideal for using to pack your frozen vegetables into and they stack well in most freezers. Saves money buying containers too.

3.  Ensure that all parts of your Potato plants are burnt or bagged and disposed of, if they have any traces of blight on them. Don't be tempted to compost them or dig/rotavate them back into the ground.

4.  Gooseberry bushes are easy to propagate. From about July onwards, lay one of the lower branches along the ground and peg it down. Cover the branch with soil, leaving the tip uncovered. When the branch has rooted, (test by pulling it gently), it can be lifted, with as much soil attached as possible, potted and severed from the main (parent) plant.

5.  Cabbage White fly  (Aleyrodes proletella), is a well known pest in southern England, affecting brassicas. It can be combated by using Pyrethrums and natural fa…

Thursdays Top 10 Tryouts (Or Show Us Yer Tips 25)!!

1. Your Tomato plants may have adequate supports as they grow, but don't forget to support the trusses to prevent them from snapping/bending from the extra weight of the developing Tomatoes.

2. August may be your last chance, this season, to sow Welsh onions. This perennial Alium grows with thicker stems than Chives and is a useful addition to salads.

3. If you have a taste for Garlic and have a very shaded and damp area of ground to spare, try planting some perennial Wild Garlic (Ramsons).

4. Certain herb leaves such as chopped Chives, Mint & Parsley can be easily frozen in ice cubes.

5. Nettles are said to be a good indicator of a nitrogen rich soil, some fruit bushes may benefit from having Nettles planted near to them.

6. Cut the legs from old tights and use them to protect developing Cabbage heads from attacks by Catterpillars, Earwigs etc. Old nylon socks can also be used for the same purpose.

7. Pruning of Wisterias should be done in July or August and again in January…

Weeds Bees and Harvesting

Since my post of  6 days ago, when I was demoralised by yet more rain, the weather has come good with oodles of sunshine every day, enabling me to spend far too much time down the plot, if that's possible. I've harvested more main crop Potatoes, 4 more picks of Runner beans, Parsnips of various sizes, some of them almost large enough to use as baseball bats, numerous heads of Lettuce to make several salads this week, Climbing French Beans, Carrots, Autumn Raspberries, my first ridge Cucumber and the last of the White currants. In fact I have been so busy harvesting and preparing fruit & veg, for meals and the freezer, I didn't find the time to weigh the produce this time.  Oh and my 1 and only Plum was picked this afternoon, but was inedible due to being attacked by an unknown insect. I ruled out Foxes, Deer, Badgers, Rabbits and Moles due to their lack of tree climbing abilities and the possibility that they don't like Plums anyway.
 After the wet weather of las…

Thursdays Top 10 Tryouts (Or Show Us Yer Tips 24)!!

1. Parsnips are said to taste better when cooked and eaten after a heavy frost before they have been lifted. Try the following, lift your Parsnips, clean & cut them to "cookable" sizes. Put the cut pieces into freezer bags and leave them in the freezer for 1 week before cooking them. If they don't taste as good as after a frost, blame the cook/chef.

2. Thinking of harvesting your Carrots but not sure wether they are ready to be picked. The tops of the Carrots should be just showing at soil level and not green. If the width of the top looks a good size in line with the variety sown, then the length of the Carrot is probably o.k. Carrots can be left in the ground after maturity as long as they are not standing in waterlogged soil.

3. August & September is a good time to check sheds and other outside buildings to ensure that they are watertight before the Winter weather sets in.

4. Try adding some freshly picked Nettle tips to your pasta sauce. The taste is excelle…

Nuff Said

Another uneventful week down the plot. What can I say. 3 more days of rain great. Think I will leave the rest of the fruit and veg in the ground now for green manure.

Thursdays Top 10 Tryouts (Or Show Us Yer Tips 23)!!

1. If you are troubled with deer eating their way through your garden or plot, try planting Rosemary plants or sprinkling Rosemary oil around your planted areas.

2. This is an addition to a previously posted tip. If you are putting runners from Strawberries into pots, for later planting out, when you peg the runner down, use pegs that are longer than the depth of your pot. Push the peg through a hole in the base of the pot. This will anchor the pot down as well as the runner.

3. If you are growing greenhouse Tomatoes, remove some of the lower leaves from the plants. This allows more air circulation, more light to the plant which aids ripening and lessens the chance of soil borne diseases being splashed onto the plants whilst watering.

4. If your legumes bed will lie empty over the winter prior to using it for brassicas, try sowing  Winter tares as a green manure. ( sow July to September). Winter tares will fix nitrogen into the soil. Work the Tares into the soil about 4 weeks before …