Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Is it Winter Yet?

I was thrilled to see that my early purple sprouting broccoli has its first head showing! This is the first time I have grown the variety 'Rudolph' supposed to be an ultra early crop. Perhaps I will be enjoying some festive Rudolph on Christmas Day? I mentioned a couple of blogs ago that my broccoli plants are more than 5ft tall this year and I don't know why. A couple of things have occurred to me - 1. I have grown pumpkins on this patch for the last couple of years so it has had plenty of manure. 2. This Spring I grew my broad beans on this spot, I deliberately left the root system, complete with nitrogen nodules in place in the soil. This seems to be a likely reason. My leeks have not done so well this year. It has been a wet Summer but I would have thought that leeks might have enjoyed that. I would describe my leeks as 'satisfactory' this year, no more. I usually blanch up the stems by using toilet roll tubes, but didn't bother this year. I have seen an interesting leek variety in the Dobies catalogue for 2009. I thought I might try the Bulgarian Giant Leek. Very long stems, about 2ft long and early maturing. Has anyone tried them?
Beetroots have been bad too! For the first time I tried a long slicing variety, 'Cylindra'. The first sowing in March did not germinate at all. A second sowing in June resulted in about 4 germinations from several hundred. This third planting I sowed in modules in the greenhouse in August and pricked them out in place. The main problem in this spot is that all the neighbourhood cats use the lovely soil as a toilet and most of these little plants were dug up or buried. Grrrrrrrr!
Yesterday, after warnings of a really cold weather front moving in - I wrapped up my Japanese banana 'Musa Basjoo'. The main stem had been cut back to about 4ft and I wrapped it in fleece, then a thick layer of dry straw, more fleece and a loosely tied plastic bag over the top so that it can breathe. See you next year, my friend!


At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Rudolphs had a brainstorm and produced heads in August - all the plants then went into a sulk and have produced almost nothing since. Perhaps the cold weather will liven them up!

At 7:10 PM, Blogger Dan said...

Looks like your veggies are doing very well still.

I wrapped my fall broccoli in row cover to protect them from the cold snap we have here in Southern Ontario. It didn't work, they are now flat on the ground with an inch of snow on them. Good lesson for me to plant at the recommend date next season.

Your broccoli looks great, You must have a much milder climate then I have.

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Gary and Jen, and Ruby and Peter said...

Matron, your leeks look to be fairing better than mine.


At 4:34 PM, Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

We don't have leeks this year, got our plot(s) too late to sow any, but they are the opera divas of the plant world, that's a fact. Our Rudolphs have their first heads too, but they are only three feet tall. I feel inadequate!

At 8:56 AM, Blogger Joe said...

It's a good thing you are saving the stalk of the banana plant. From what I've heard, the plants will only produce bananas if the stalk survives. Of course, Musa basjoo does not produce edible bananas, but it produces them nonetheless.


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