Tag Archives: cabbage

The garden after frost and snow

At last the snow has gone and it is time to survey the damage. The three kinds of green manure were all thriving before the cold weather but only one has survived. Both the Phacelia and Winter Mix have been reduced to pulp but the Red Clover looks the same as it did before.

In the greenhouse all of the lettuce have survived several nights of temperatures around -10C. The weeds also seemed to like the winter and have continued to grow.

In the rest of the garden the frosts finished off some late cauliflowers, broccoli and winter cabbage. There are still some sprouts, purple sprouting, parsnips and celeriac plus some Hispi cabbage in one of the solar pods.

Success and failure, another gardening year

It has been a mild and gentle autumn which means plants have been growing well including the weeds. We got the planning right this year and sowed winter salad crops in September. The result is a supply of fresh cut and come again leaves from the polytunnel. There are also over wintering hearted lettuce that look the best ever. The winter lettuce varieties we use are Erika, Valdor, Winter Density and new this year  Winter Gem (Vaila.)

As an experiment there are also a row of carrots in the tunnel. They germinated well but remain very small and I doubt they will come to much. The same happened to the spinach (Giant Winter) it is there but small.

We had looked forward to a huge crop of sweet corn this year but the warm damp weather caused most of the cobs to rot on the plants. The leeks (Musselburgh) have a lot of rust on the leaves but it does not seem to be affecting the harvest. This was yet another season of moulds and most of the autumn fruiting raspberries (Autumn Bliss) rotted on the vines.

In the rest of the garden the Brussels Sprouts are cropping well and since the first real frost they are sweet and delicious. In the same bed is purple spouting which also looks good. The bed is kept covered with enviromesh not because there are any cabbage white butterflies around to lay eggs but to keep the pheasants off as they totally destroyed the spouting earlier this year.

Talking of  cabbage whites some cabbage plants were transplanted into a bed with free space and not covered. After a few days they were attacked by caterpillars (worms in the US) and looked like they would not survive. The caterpillars were picked off and the bed covered with net. We are now eating the cabbage as the hearts are fine.

A similar thing happened with some cauliflower plants. They did not do well after transplanting and were just left in the bed but are now producing some very welcome late caulis. It just goes to show that you should never give up!

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We are picking  lettuce, leeks, parsnips, celeriac, cabbage, cauliflower and carrots as well as eating the frozen veg from earlier in the year and potatoes in store. There is a good supply of apples but some have scab. They do not look very nice but once peeled they are delicious.

Now is the time for seed catalogues to come out and plan for next year, who knows what that will bring as the weather is so unpredictable now.

Single crops in 1m square beds – first results

The trial has now produced the first harvests and the results are very good. The nine enormous lettuces (Webbs Wonderful) were lifted and replaced by cabbage. The 68 onions (Centurian) are drying and will be weighed when they go into store. Meanwhile there is a continuous harvest of runner beans and the carrots are ready to lift.

As the beds are cleared new crops will be planted to either over winter of provide some late season veg.

There is a streaming video of the first results below or you can watch a higher quality version by going direct to YouTube.