My second attempt at growing parsnips and these have to be the best yet. No sign of disease, over wintered well, and very tasty. The variety is Gladiator and I bought the seeds from Suttons.
I am very impressed with the size of them too which is just incredible, particularly because my other attempt (different variety and position on the plot) were just OK by comparison. I lifted some for yesterdays Sunday dinner and I still have some left. I just wish I’d photographed some of the biggest ones!
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on January 31, 2011
The mangetout seedlings were reaching for the stars in the mini greenhouse so I began to leave the protective cover off them during the day to harden them off. I planted a row yesterday and they have curled their tendrils round the chicken wire to support themselves already, clever little things.
I grew Reuzensuiker mangetout last season and did very well with this variety, so fingers crossed for a bumper crop soon. I am popping fleece over the young plants at night just in case a late frost threatens although they should be OK, I have a second batch of seedlings tucked away in the greenhouse just in case. Anything that doesn’t get used here goes to my son’s school for their vegetable patch. I gave them quite a few seedlings last year which were planted by the children during the vegetable gardening afternoon club.
Which pea variety is your absolute favourite?
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on May 6, 2010
The courgettes have been a bit hit and miss really, but I would say more of a hit as we are harvesting them so its all good. Despite hand pollinating as many female flowers as possible, some of the baby courgettes rotted off. On the other hand, perhaps this is natures way of helping the plants cope with their ‘brood’, the female flowers were plentiful after all. To be honest I have stopped hand pollinating now, I am interested to see how the baby courgettes fair without my interference.
As you can see from the photo the courgette in the middle nearly went on to be a marrow, it was overlooked growing away happily and should have been picked a few days prior. Its amazing how fast a courgette develops actually.
I fried some last night in a little butter…….heaven.
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on July 14, 2009
We are harvesting young carrots at the moment and very pleased with the results, no forked or odd shaped carrots to be found. Yet! We are growing Autumn King this year and decided to leave the job of thinning the seedlings until the carrots were a decent size. This way we can munch our way through young tender carrot thinnings whilst leaving the rest in the ground to mature until autumn time. No waste!
How are your carrots coming along, which variety are you growing and do you also eat the thinnings rather than throwing them away?
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on July 13, 2009
We harvested some Charlotte potatoes on Friday, our first potato harvest of the year and wow they were scrummy! We harvested two plants which produced more than enough potatoes to feed a hungry family of four, with some to spare too. This was our first time growing salad potatoes and they have definately earned their plot for next year.
The main crop are flowering away nicely, although they got a bit battered and bruised by recent strong winds but they seem to be holding their own. Which varieties are you growing and do you have any favourites? I have been making plenty of potato salad with the Charlotte’s, look out for the simple Karen proof recipe coming soon!
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on June 22, 2009
I’m simply sharing my recent findings for anyone, who like me, thought that wilting courgette flowers dropping off the plants was a problem. You see, it’s not. They are meant to do that. The first few weeks of flowers are the males, they open, look pretty, wilt and then drop off. No need to panic like I did.
The male flowers are found on the longer thinner stems, the females (that produce the courgette) are on the shorter and fatter stems lower down the plant. You may even notice a very small courgette begin to form behind an unopened female flower. If a female flower isn’t pollinated the baby courgette may grow slightly but then rot off. Male flowers do not produce, they are there purely for pollination purposes.
There are self fertile varieties to grow too!
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on June 18, 2009
It’s that time again. Time to plunge my well nurtured tomato plants into their final growing position – or should that be resting place? I get nervous now because I don’t seem to have much luck with tomatoes once they leave the safety of my sunny window. My young plants have been hardening off, dodging the rain and need to be planted out. I don’t have the luxury of a greenhouse so I chose outdoor varieties and cross my fingers tightly.
Last year our tomatoes did OK, I wasn’t over the moon with the taste and then blight got them. They were in pots and managed to do a little better than the plants grown in grow bags the year before that. I have never tried growing them amongst other vegetables in the ground. I’m wondering as I nervously tip my lovely specimens out of their pots – which method should I choose this year?
Where do you grow your outdoor tomatoes? Any tips?
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on June 12, 2009
This is the first year that we have grown radishes, they will not be left off our list again. What a useful little crop they have proved to be. They grow amazingly fast so you can sow them between rows of slow growing crops, making the best use of the available space. We are about to harvest our first sowing of globe radish already.
Sow them every 2 weeks or so to ensure a succession of crops rather than all at once. They really do grow so fast that too many at once could be easily wasted. Which varieties do you like to grow?
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on May 22, 2009