New polytunnel

When we renovated the kitchen garden last year, we lost our large polytunnel. We had to take it down as the new fence was going to go through it. We could not then find a sensible position for it in the new layout – it was either too wide or not wide enough to suit… Continue reading New polytunnel

Early potato harvest

For many years now we have grown our first potato crop in 15 litre pots in the greenhouses. The warm, more or less south facing, wall provides reasonable protection from the cold, and fleece keeps frost at bay on especially cold nights. We often try to secure our first harvest by the end of April,… Continue reading Early potato harvest

Maintaining a peach fan

Spring brings three important tasks involving the peach fans. The first is hand pollinating and protecting the blossom – this was covered in a recent post. Then comes the first, and arguably the most important, stage in pruning and training – the pinching out of young shoots. These start to emerge with blossom, and the… Continue reading Maintaining a peach fan

Grafting tomato plants

Grafted plants appear to be increasingly common, particularly tomatoes, but also peppers, chillies, aubergines, cucumbers, and so on. They offer two potential advantages – vigour and disease resistance. Depending on the sort of rootstock used, a grafted plant may be much more vigorous than a non grafted plant. This vigour may be directed towards increase… Continue reading Grafting tomato plants

Running out of space

The extensive renovations of the kitchen garden last year left the garden much smaller than before. This was quite deliberate, as the larger version had become rather more to manage than we wanted. The new layout may be smaller, but it is, in most ways, I think, better. There is still more than enough space… Continue reading Running out of space

Planting onion sets

I have planted far too many alliums. Last autumn I set out a ridiculous number of shallots, lots of garlic, and overwintering onions. In late winter I sowed onions from seed, and I have leeks growing in a container to be transplanted later in the year. I really do not need any more onions, but,… Continue reading Planting onion sets

Frost damage

Like many gardeners, I suppose, I am always tempted to make early sowings, hoping for mild spring conditions. This often results in early harvests but can go wrong when the weather turns nasty. This year has been particularly challenging. Winter storms battered our overwintered peas and broad beans. Their fleece covers were ripped away and… Continue reading Frost damage