Sunday, 15 August 2010

All Wight for Garlic

For our summer holiday this year we went to the Isle of Wight, and as previously blogged decided to visit the famous Garlic Farm there and purchase some garlic for growing at the allotment.

The farm itself is down quite a long narrow winding road, but when you arrive there it is certainly worth the bumpy road. There is a wonderful shop selling, as well as garlic, all sorts of produce, home made cakes, juices, jams etc. It really is well worth a visit.

I bought 2 varieties of garlic (purple wight and albisign wight - not the correct spelling I think!). I chose 1 bulb of each that was firm to the touch and not too much papery skin on the outsides.

All I need to do now is to store the garlic in a cool place for a few months and then plant it out when the time is right. I read somewhere that garlic likes a bit of a cold snap to kick start it into growth, so may end of October/beginning of November will see me on my knees planting it out.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Survive and Thrive

Great news! I am thrilled that in all of the bad weather we have had at the beginning of this year that my winter onions and garlic have not only survived but positively thrived. I have dug up about 60 onions of good size and about 40 garlic which are just as big, if not bigger, than the onions. Although the tops of the garlic have a green tinge to them, this doesn't matter as the tops are cut off anyway when preparing in cooking.

It is the first time I have ever grown garlic like this, and without a doubt we now have a full winter, or even year's supply hanging up in the greenhouse. We are going on holiday to the Isle of Wight this year so I think a visit to the Garlic Farm is on the itinerary so that I can choose some more garlic to plant this autumn.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Nature's Way

Nature seems to have a way of catching up on itself. In my January post I was getting a bit frustrated as seeds were taking an absolute age to germinate because of very cold wet weather. However most of them have now started to sprout, and some of them are definitely making up for lost time. The courgettes, although I only have 3 left out of 8, are about 4" high and look healthy and glossy. The tomatoes are too numerous to mention and are at present about 4" high, and leeks, squash and cucumbers all seem to be growing by the hour. The runner beans are also doing well and will be planted out next week (weather permitting). Let's hope that even though I am slightly later than usual with the planting out that there is plenty of produce throughout the summer, and who knows I might still be picking runner beans and courgettes in October. Let's see.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Running Around

Slightly warmer weather and more able to get to the allotment without getting absolutely saturated. One of the first things I have noticed is that my strawberry plants have increased themselves in a big way. I first bought 9 plants 2 years ago, last year they had increased themselves to 11, and now I can count at least 29! How about that for a surprise increase.

I decided that as I had so many I needed to move some to a larger spot. I prepared a suitable bed for them and manured it and left it for about 3-4 weeks.

Today I moved 20 plants to their new resting place (for the next 3 years) and the other 9 plants I have given away. They all look so healthy and some of them even have very small strawberries on them, so let's see if they produce another bumper crop this year and then increase some more.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Snow Joke

The snow has been playing havoc with my planting of seeds. My greenhouse is unheated at the moment and nothing seems to want to grow. I have loads of seeds that are ready and waiting to be planted, but to be quite honest until the weather perks up a bit I think it is a bit pointless planting them. I don't want them to rot so that they are wasted, so I'm playing the waiting game at the moment. I don't think I'm going to be too adventurous this year, I'm just going to grow some old favourites - potatoes, onions (red & white), courgette, runner beans, peas, sweetcorn, sprouts, parsnips, beetroot, carrot, leek, tomato and cucumber. Add to that the strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, rhubarb and Bramley apples I don't think I'm doing too badly!

Let's hope the temperature increases a bit soon.