Thursday, 29 December 2011

Last Onions

When we took up the onions there were many more than we have produced before, many of them large and all lovely. I laid them out on the greenhouse shelves to dry and it became the store for them. Yesterday we gathered the last of them and brought them home where they are stored in the bottom of a cool dark cupboard. A few had become soft or mouldy (and were discarded), but most are still firm and delicious.

I hung the garlic in the roof of the shed and we brought the rest of that home too. When I hung it up I didn't wash all of the mud off the bulbs and that was a mistake that I'll try to not make again.

We dug some more leeks too. They continue to be crisp and delicious. We have always dug the biggest stems and until now the smaller ones left in the ground continued to grow, but it seems that now the days are very short they are not growing any more. So the ones we take are a bit smaller than earlier ones and so we need to harvest more for each use. They are still much bigger and better than last year's leeks that needed more water than we gave them.

We are just outside the declared drought area which extends to the Humber in Lincolnshire. That seems to have more to do with the way the water companies have managed the shortage rather than the fact that East Yorkshire got more rain than Lincolnshire - it didn't. Our plot only did well because we watered much more than last year.

Still need to think about what to grow next year ...

Saturday, 10 December 2011

No mud and a moveable fence

I like to stay off the plot across the winter as much as possible. The soil structure can take a real pounding if it gets walked on too much when the ground is wet. With nothing much growing none of the moisture in the soil gets lifted by the plants so it is easy to turn it into mud. We went up to dig some leeks, so you have no choice but to walk on the plot, but I need not have worried, the ground is still not wet enough to churn up easily.

I dismantled the carrot fence that supported the fleece to keep carrot fly out - I should have done it weeks ago. Part of the fence was an old shelf pressed into service to support the fleece. Now I know it works well I'll now make the missing sections to use next year.

People have suggested that we make a carrot bed but I like to rotate as much as possible. Having fruit bushes, rhubarb and asparagus in fixed sites means I want to move as much else around as easily as possible. Having a simple movable fence to protect crops from carrot flies, partridges, pigeons and the like works really well, I just need to make it a bit more sturdy and easy to use.

We are beginning to plan next year's crops, so I'm fishing for suggestions of plants or varieties.

Thursday, 1 December 2011


A new hasp made our shed safe from the weather, if not the intruders.