Sunday 21 October 2012

3 days weeding, digging, preparing & planting Onions

I started this task on Friday, by pulling up all the weeds which included Dock, Nettles, Bindweed, Mares Tales, Comfrey and various other unmentionables.
But as you can see by Saturday it was much clearer. The 1st early Potatoes 'Rocket' were growing here and it wasn't until I had cleared all the weeds I realised there was a full row I had over looked along with 2 part rows that we had started to harvest from.
So I dug up all the 'Rocket' Potatoes, turned over the soil to get all the weed roots out, well as many as I could!

Then tidied up the edges that were overgrown with grass from the path, I also pulled up some self seeded Artichokes that were growing very tall by the fence. We have a well established Blackberry growing along the fence, so I trimmed that by cutting out all the old wood too.

So from the area cleared I dug up all these 'Rocket' Potatoes.
As I said we had started to harvest these since about June/July and only dug up what we needed, so these are the last.
What you can see here is about 18lb, so I estimate the total yield this year to be about 36-40lbs. The row I had missed along the edge nearest the path didn't yield very many, I suppose they were suppressed by the grass from the path.  
So this morning, using a rake I leveled off the soil, walked all over it to firm it, because digging it over yesterday made it very light and fluffy. 

I then measured the area to calculate how many Onions I could fit into this space, knowing they need to be 4"- 6" apart.
So my calculations allowed me to plant 10 rows, 12" apart, with 10 Onions per row 6" apart. The variety I have planted this year is 'Red Cross' a red Onion.

I should be lifting them around May next year.

Another job done this weekend I put my Potato order in for next year. But I have been warned that due to the bad weather there will be a shortage of seed Potatoes, so I might not get all I ordered. 

So here's what I requested:
Anya (salad) 
Foremost (1st early)
Charlotte (2nd early)
Picasso & Valour (main) 

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian

Sunday 14 October 2012

Another lovely sunny Autumn day

As it was so nice today, first we cleared one of the raised beds,  topped it up with home made compost, mixed well in and leveled.

Then stopped for a Coffee & Cake break.
After Coffee & Cake we planted a row of Alliums each end of the raised bed, then three varieties of Garlic, two rows of each. 
Then put a net frame over to stop the birds pecking them out.
Next job: To dig over part of the patch where the Cara Spuds were dug from, remove all the roots from weeds etc. 
Tamp it down by walking all over it, then raking it level.
I then planted six rows of over winter white Onions 'Radar' 15 in each row. Should lift them about May next year.
I might clear another patch soon and plant the Red Onions too.
Another good harvest today:
and a few Cara Spuds found when digging over the Onion bed! 

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Lovely sunny autumn day

As the weather forecast said it would be dry today I decided it would be a good opportunity to do some much needed weeding.

Believe it or not there should be Leeks here I planted them out in August and are competing with the weeds, so I must release them.
As I know some of you like before & after shots, this Blog contains 2 for your delight.
And a hour or so later and the Leeks are now out on their own, making full use of the remaining sun and the plentiful rain, more is due on Thursday!

Incidentally they are 'Musselburgh' Leeks, I found the label too :) 
Another patch that was desperate for a bit of weeding and clearing is this one. 

You can just see the Parsnips, I harvested some last week and they were lovely roasted. There are also Peas and Mange Tout, no more pods but the frames and dead foliage are still there.  
And here is the after shot. 
It took me a few hours, but I had a much larger area to clear of weeds and I dismantled the pea frames and Mange Tout netting and canes.

But it looks a lot better, next year this area will be used for the Potatoes, so will be covered in manure soon ready to dig in.

Of course I had to have a bonfire to burn all the weeds and a good bonfire it was too.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian. 

Thursday 4 October 2012

The Autumn Harvest continues

 Lovely day today, especially after a wet day & night yesterday. Rain forecast for tomorrow too!
Anyway back to the autumn harvest. Here you can see Sarpo Mira Spuds, Parsnips & Carrots. There is about 5lb of the Sarpo Mira, so I estimate the yield from the 3 rows I planted to be 40lb, far better than the Cara. The Parsnips are quite impressive too, long & straight, the Carrots are a mixed bunch small & large all in the same row.

The Tomatoes are almost finished, very few are left now on the plants, but I have left them as they aren't ripe yet.
And yet more Raspberries, the Autumn fruiting 'Joan J' & 'Autumn Bliss' are still fruiting  but as daytime temp is getting colder it wont be long before the last harvest.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian