Dec 21, 2011

Who said this gardening lark would be easy?

Reading back my last update, an astonishing 69 days ago!!! It’s hard to believe the difference the weather makes to us all. We’re having a comparatively mild winter, especially compared to the last couple of years yet I still lost the urge to go out in to the garden and get my hands dirty. Many a veg grower will tell you it’s a 12 month-a-year job, and I knew this when I started out yet the short hours of daylight meaning it would be dark when I leave for work and dark when I return apart from the odd day each week has stopped me in my tracks. Bizarrely it has transcended over to my blog here even though I’m spending more time on the PC during these darker months.
A Chef at work who asks how my growing is getting on every now and again responded to an answer I gave of “not much” when she asked me last month with an “ahh so you’re one of these summer gardeners then?” and then laughed. It was true. The lure of getting out in the fresh air wasn’t as appealing to me as it is when it’s 27c. Thankfully not much has needed doing in my veg patch over the last couple of months but even if it did, I fear I may not have gone out to get it done. Not a very dedicated view I know but I didn’t think the colder weather would put me off so much.

On the odd days that I have gone out and done something, I managed to spend a couple of hours turning over the compost heap containing this year’s waste in to the second section and covered it up. The third section of last years waste has been spread over the old beds that were emptied of carrots, beans, lettuces, and onions. I then laid on top of this some weed suppressant membrane. A method being used by many now and is known as the no dig method. Come spring, the worms would have dragged down all the goodness from the top layer of compost and I should be able to lift off the membrane and reveal lovely crumbly soil ready for sowing. That’s the theory anyway.

In my last couple of updates, I spoke of growing Turnips, KohlRabi, and Beetroot. They all grew well albeit smaller than ideal but still edible, BUT, turnips and KohlRabi will not be grown again by me lol. Their taste is somewhat of the acquired taste variety shall we say.

Yesterday saw me pulling out the Brussels Sprouts and hoping for a blinding miracle that some would be edible. Sadly none of them were. Whilst some had finally closed up in to sprouts. Upon peeling one, there were hundreds of bugs living between the folds. Whilst these could have been washed out, it just simply was the final straw and they have all now been added to the bin. Some old MPC has gone over the soil and this has been covered up until next Spring.

The Parsnips were also lifted and to my amazement, some were perfect specimens. I had lost all hope for them early on yet somehow they have grown, and a few have really grown to a much thicker and longer size than anything you can buy in the shops so I am really pleased with them and shall grow more next year. Again, the soil has been covered with old MPC and is now under cover for 4 months.

So all I have left in the ground that is edible are the remaining Leeks, a couple of lettuces, and beetroot although I don’t think they will grow any more. The greenhouse was looking after my Christmas carrots in the potato growbag, which have now been lifted. They are quite small except for one perfect one so I’m unsure if this was due to the growing conditions or late timing. I also picked the last yellow Bell Peppers and now only have a couple of green ones left. I’ll not wait so late next year for when I grow them.

Finally, as you can see my blog has taken a new design. The old one hadn’t survived the new update in the back end of blogger and rather than endlessly try to fix the template, I’ve switched to a newer one. I hope you like the simpler design of it. It seems to be the “in thing” right now. With only a few sleeps to go until the 25th I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a superb new year. This time next month I will be starting to sow 2012’s first seeds and if that doesn’t get me back in the mood, then nothing will J Take Care and thanks for reading.