Tag Archives: brassicas

Sowing and planting this week

I have been a bit lazy in updating the blog with the latest sowing and planting. Over the last few weeks, sowing has been a bit neglected too, but there has been a lot to plant out. We did manage to sow another three lengths of gutter with peas, the reliable Hurst Greenshaft and the magnificent mangetout Carouby de Maussane, and more pots of broad bean Masterpiece Green Longpod. These are ready to plant out now, so will be one of the first tasks to attend to at the weekend. Continue reading

Sowing this week

This week we finished planting the first of our outdoor potato beds, laying out 18 tubers of second early Wilja. This is, for us, a fairly modern variety, bred in Holland in the 1970s. It crops and stores well and can be treated as an early main crop. Mid way between floury and waxy, Wilja is a versatile potato and a good choice if growing only one sort. We had already prepared the bed for the first earlies that went in a few weeks ago, so it was just a matter of digging holes with the trowel, dropping in the tubers, and covering over. We also took the last of the seed potatoes, which we had stored in the fridge to retard them, and put them to chit; these will go in the second potato bed in a few weeks’ time. Continue reading

Crops in the ground

As much fun as it is to sow seed and dream about the crops to come, there is something special about getting those first crops in the ground; it is the moment when all of that bare soil suddenly starts to look productive. We recently planted out the first rows of peas and the broad bean plants. This weekend we planted out the first lettuces and endive, chard and spinach, and a variety of brassicas. Continue reading

Recent sowing and planting

The blog has been rather slow lately, with nearly one month since my last post. Partly, at least, one must blame this lazy blogger. In my defence, we have been busy with various other things, and the garden has reached that maintenance phase where the mad rush of propagating and planting out slows down to a more modest workload. Most of the beds are now full, with crops for summer and autumn use as well as many to go through the winter or put into storage. It has also been hot lately, and the partly walled vegetable plot can become unbearably hot to work in the summer, not to mention the glasshouses and polytunnel, so we tend to reduce our activities at this time of year. Continue reading

Sowing this week

This week we started sowing more of the tender crops. We started with French bean Beurre de Rocquencourt, a dwarf wax bean bearing pale yellow pods. Whilst the outdoor crop of climbing French and runner beans will provide a heavy crop over a long period, they take some time to develop. A dwarf bean will produce a crop rather more quickly as they do not need to put on so much vegetative growth before they bear. I am hoping to find some space in the polytunnel for our first crop, which might also help a little. I could, perhaps, have sown a couple of weeks ago, but beans are tender and there is still a possibility of a frost, even in the polytunnel. I sowed in pots, several seeds to each, rather than direct, as I sometimes do with beans later in the year. In pots they are easier to protect from the cold and from pests. Continue reading

Seed list 2014 – part 3 – brassicas

This third article in the series on our seed list looks at brassicas, a family that I am generally not quite so keen on, which is a little unfortunate as this family offers a wide range of vegetables that are very nutritious and often available in late winter and early spring when little else is cropping. I do not really like swede, and grow them mainly for the Finnish Christmas dish of kålrotslåda, although other members of family like them. Turnips find some limited use in our kitchen, and we prefer them raw to cooked. I do not really like broccoli, but grow it for CT because she really enjoys it. I sometimes grow some sprouts for the same reason. I quite enjoy raw cauliflower, but do not like it cooked at all. CT enjoys it though, so I usually grow a few. Radish are also brassicas, but in this case CT does not like them much, whilst I quite enjoy their crisp texture and peppery flavour. So all of these I grow in limited quantities. I find much more use for kale and cabbages, and especially like braised red cabbage and coleslaw, which I most often make in the continental style with vinegar and oil rather than mayonnaise. Continue reading

A few chores on the hottest day of the year so far

Today was the hottest of the year so far, so not the ideal time to be working on the paths. However, CT and Riitta had weeded the paths in the fruit cage and covered all of the short runs with weed suppressing membrane, leaving the two long runs to finish. If left for too long, these would be full of weed growth once again, so getting these covered was a priority. Continue reading

A day for the brassicas

The swede sown earlier in modules have been ready for planting out for a few weeks now, but like everything else in the garden, planting out is behind – this time without the excuse of bad weather. June is, however, a good time to be planting out these small, but sturdy, young plants. They all had a decent root ball, although another week or two in the modules and they would have been quite potbound. Swede are often sown direct in May or June, as, in common with root crops such as carrots, beetroot, and parsnip, they do not like to have their roots disturbed. However, I have had better results sowing these first in modules. Thirty six were planted out in one of the main beds reserved for brassicas in this rotation, 4 per row, spaced at about 25cm each way. A handful of spares will be kept for a couple of weeks, just in case any of those planted out today fail for some reason. Continue reading