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Saturday, 14 May 2011

Good things come in small packages.

This year I have grown some beetroot in modules. I've not yet planted it out, but when I do, I'm not going to thin it out. I'm growing it in little clusters. I think small beetroot is more tasty (gold ball size), so I'm happy for it to grow together.

Beetroot packed tightly together

I think its lovely how you can already see the redness of the beetroot through the leaves, even though its still only v small.

I also like to grow onions close together - in clusters of five or six. Again, when you eat them small, they are lovely.

In the next two weeks (when all danger of frost has passed), I am going to plant out my veggies that are all safely tucked up in the greenhouse at the moment. These are:

  • Beetroot
  • Leeks
  • Courgettes
  • Red Cabbage
  • Sprouts
  • Runner Beans
I can't wait!

Thanks for reading x

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Dracula is not welcome here!

The potatoes are coming up well. I have earthed them up a few times & it seems there's no stopping them!

I have also planted marigolds (shown on last post) in with the potatoes . Marigolds smell strongly & so deter pests. Also, I have heard that their roots help to kill eelworm & other baddies in the soil. Potatoes are a brillinant crop to grow, because they are so easy. You just stick them in the ground, earth them up a bit, water them & then reap the benefit in round about 12 weeks. New potatoes (about the size of a golf ball) taste wonderful. You just rinse them under the tap & boil / steam for a few mins. Add a bit of butter & mint to them when cooked and mmm mmm yummy!

If you don't have room, think again - you can plant these in containers very easily - large plant pots, buckets, bags you name it. You can then just pick them as & when you need them. They grow in just about any soil & will actualy help to break up & improve the soil, so you can't go wrong!

Another favourite of mine to grow is garlic. I planted mine in October last year into the raised beds. It's great when they suddenly appear (you can easily forget you planted them). This is how they are looking now:

I can't wait till Summertime to pick these. They store ever so well; I still have some from last year. To store them I get old pairs of tights and put the garlic in then make a knot in between each one. I then hang all the tights up in the garage. When I want a garlic, I just go cut off the one at the bottom of the tights. I also store onions in this way.

Garlic is also good to use on companion planting. It smells strong & so deters the pests. An old wives tale used to be to plant a row of garlic as a border, so that rabbits would not pass the border. It deters Dracula, so who knows?

If you boil the leaves of garlic you can use it as a spray to deter aphids & I have also heard it can help to prevent tomato blight & mildew in cucumbers. It is so good for us humans, no wonder it's good for the plants too!

Still no rain here, so the watering is a major priority. I am also getting desperate to plant more things outside, but know from experience it's still too early. Only a couple of weeks to go & then I can start filling the outside garden up, rather then just the greenhouse.

Thanks for reading x