Monday, 8 February 2016

Harvest Monday - some late potatoes and a peek on the allotment

Phewee, it's howling with wind and rain out there but we've got it lightly over in the east compared with the south west of Britain being battered by Storm Imogen. So I'm sitting with a rug round my shoulders thinking how lucky we are to be safe indoors.
Yesterday (Sunday) was looking like a bright day so I headed down the plot for a few hours....it turned out rather blustery but I was pleased to be outside.
Now, this might just look like a patch of weeds but I knew there were some Anya potatoes under there. I'd left them because the chard had self seeded on top. But as it's been so mild I figured they probably would start sprouting in the ground and decided to have a root around.
It also meant the spot got weeded at the same time and I managed to avoid disturbing the chard which should produce some more leaves
Not too bad, I think this was just from 4 seed potatoes. They did have a few shoots but I broke them off as I was uncovering them.
I roasted some of them later, yummy
On the plot I also spied the purple sprouting broccoli has started sprouting, yippee. This was from a two year old plant that I cut back to the main stem last spring and simply left in the ground. So not much effort involved there, bonus.
It went nicely with the roast potatoes - the leaves are tasty too (The pale leaves are from a bought organic cabbage from the veg stall on Norwich market)
Earlier in the week Jan made this baked egg dish with a chilli from the lean to and onion etc
Back on the plot, this is one of my 'u' or 'n' shaped beds which I'm converting into 3 individual rectangular ones. It was 3 pallets wide all the way round, with a gap left in the middle for accessing the inside of the 'u' (Autumn broad beans in the background, probably blown away by the wind now)
You might think those are all weeds but most of the plants are actually the self-sown corn salad, growing away nicely, more free food!
You can see the U shape a bit better on the other bed that I've yet to start on. They've been quite successful, especially as they helped me to even out a slope across the plot, but the wood is now rotting and the couch grass gets in from the edges too. You can also see the large PSB plant in the top right of the bed. And the prolific blackberry hedge along the right too.
From the other side. Doesn't look much at the moment! I'll end up with 6 beds eventually
Back at home, some Rosemary I'd snipped off and put in a jar for easy access has unexpectedly produced roots
I don't need any more Rosemary plants so maybe I'll pot these on and give them away. But it shows how easily they can be propagated
And my second batch of cress on the windowsill has done well. Next time I'll use a shallower container to make it easier to snip off the cress. And also fold down the edges of the piece of kitchen roll before sowing the seeds so that doesn't get in the way either.

And finally, some dwarf curly kale I picked from the plot earlier in the week. This is again from a two year old plant that I pruned back last spring which produced more leaves again. No effort involved, hurrah (except the tiny baby snails seem to like it)

Oh, a bit off-topic but I was very pleased with myself on Saturday as I managed to replace the washer on a dripping tap - the tap valve was really stiff but with a mixture of leverage, rubber glove for a bit of grip and a spot of lubricant it eventually gave way...just call me plumber Lou.

 

Okay, that's enough from me for the week, thanks for reading. Linking in with Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres

 

 

13 comments:

  1. We have a dripping tap, do you fancy a day out? :-)
    Your soil looks a lot more manageable than ours at the moment ours is more like mud.

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    1. Haha, I'll bring my adjustable spanner sue.
      Our soil is very sandy so it drains and dries quickly...good in winter, not so good in summer!

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  2. Lovely potatoes - especially in February! Some of my corn salad self sowed too, and it's amazing to me the 'volunteers' always seem to grow even better than ones I sow. We love rosemary here. I have several plants I got by propagating like you did.

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    1. Thanks Dave. Yes definitely, the self sown plants are always stronger and more healthy! I originally sowed some corn salad but it bolted and I left it to flower and seed, and haven't really sown any since. Each year just leaving a few plants again to flower and seed.

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  3. Always a bonus when you find some spuds that have been overwintering themselves in a quiet corner. Great-looking roasties, too :)

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    1. Thanks Darren. Mmm they were tasty roasties :)

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  4. Look at all those potatoes - that's an amazing harvest from only 4 seed potatoes! Can't wait to see what you do with that U bed area. I love seeing befores and afters, especially when it comes to the garden - they always inspire me to get going on one project or another.

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    1. Thanks Margaret, the potatoes look bigger than they really were but it wasn't too bad a harvest.

      Yes I will definitely take some after photos! Some of the new beds will have spring crops in (like onion sets) so I need to get them sorted soon.

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  5. Easy and Rosemary are not two words I would normally put together ... I might have to try the water trick as I almost always end up buying rosemary starters. And what a great variety you already have. Ooh, the potatoes, I can't wait!

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    1. Your winters are much worse than ours Susie, so over here the Rosemary usually makes it through without a problem. When I first had the allotment there was a huge old Rosemary bush that had collapsed outwards and was taking up loads of space so before I removed it I took a few softwood cuttings and did the thing where you strip off the lower leaves, stick the cuttings in a pot of moist compost and put a clear plastic bag over the top to keep the moisture in etc. Amazingly they all survived, produced roots and have been replanted out on the plot, and are now starting to get in the way themselves, ah the cycle continues!

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  6. Your post demonstrates clearly that it is not always good or necessary to be in a hurry to harvest! I'm particularly impressed with the Corn Salad. I almost wish I had a corner I could devote to it, letting it self-seed like yours.

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    1. Thanks Mark, yep it's quite interesting to see what'll happen if you just leave things in situ. Other times if I've had brassica plants still producing but I need the space to plant the next thing I'll lift the old brassica plants (with as much root and soil as possible) and pop them somewhere else for a few weeks for them to finish cropping. It's quite good that the allotment doesn't have to look too tidy!

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