Vegmonkey and the Mrs.

Vegetable growing in a very small space in Cheltenham

Planting on Sat 1st March March 2, 2008

Filed under: growing — vegmonkey @ 3:30 pm
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feltham first macro                   ULSTER SCEPTRE PLANTED      

As last year we didn’t get anything planted until about the middle of April, we thought we’d start nice and early this year with a few things going into the ground, a few into outdoor pots and a few into seed trays in the mini greenhouse.

In the Brassica bed, i’ve put a row of turnip seeds straight into the ground and planted 8 Brussel Sprout seeds and some ‘All Year Round’ cauliflower in pots in the mini greenhouse. The seedlings should grow nicely if i remember to water them, ready for planting out around mid-April time. I am conscious the Sprouts will take up the space for a long time so have decided to put them out the way at the back. I’ll only be putting in 5 plants, but it’s nice to be able to choose the healthiest.

The Legumes bed had nothing new in it, but as the picture at the top shows, the Feltham First Peas are slowly coming through. Interestingly, the same variety i planted under cover at the same time have come on better, so that shows my cold frame is actually working. The picture is meant to look like that by the way, i spent a little while out in the garden this morning experimenting with the aperture settings on my camera. A nice effect i think.

In the Cucurbits bed, we still have the overwintering onions, which to be honest, i’m not sure will come to much, but nothing needs to go in the space so i may as well leave them alone. We planted the chitted ‘Ulster Sceptre’ Potatoes in here too. There are three rows, each with 4 tubers. 3 tubers have also gone into each of the 2 ‘potato buckets,’ shown top, as an experiment to see which produces more and bigger potatoes. In the third potato bucket, i planted 3 ‘Wilja’ tubers that i picked up at Dundry Nurseries at the weekend. These are a maincrop, so will be ready a lot later than the First Earlies.  The plan is that the potatoes and onions are harvested, and the squashes and courgettes go in. This makes the most of the space and allows us to grow more.

In the Roots bed, i have planted a row of purple carrots, a row of orange ones, two rows of parsnips and about 60 onions sets (30 Setton, 30 Red Baron). I have not covered any of them, so am going to keep my eye on the weather forecast to avoid a frost. I’m fed up with the faff of removing and replacing fleece covers morning and evening! The Purple Sprouting is still sitting proudly in the middle of this bed, so when that comes out mid-April, i’ll successionally plant the rest of the onions and another couple of rows of each carrot. I think 150 onions in total will be enough for us, so that is what’s going in! We have decided against Leeks this year as i think carrots and onions are much more fun to grow and we use them more!

Finally, some sweetcorn went into pots to see how it germinates, and a lot of lettucy bits, but that’s a post for another day when we start seeing the first signs of a few leaves.

Rhubarb is something i really wanted to grow this year, but that will have to wait until i have more space. I know the garden centres have some plug plants for sale already but what’s everyone else got in?


October update! October 12, 2007

Filed under: vegetable — vegmonkey @ 6:58 pm
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We have officially been up and running in the veg garden for 6 months now. It’s amazing the amount of things we’ve grown and lessons we’ve learnt.

Roots bed – Carrots and parsnips harvested and stored in moist sand in wooden boxes from the local wine shop (it’s amazing what a free bag of veg can bring!), onions hung in shed from wire – but mostly eaten. The leeks have grown a lot of leaf but i dug one up and it wasn’t very long.  So i’ve put a load of compost in between the rows to encourage more to go white. Next year they get planted deeper!

In the space where the carrots and parsnips were, we’ve planted a hundred japanese onion sets (covered with a homemade cloche to encourage growth). These will start producing onions big enough to eat about April time, and will be all done by June/July so the leeks can go in in their place. On the left of the roots bed are the carrots that will hopefully be ready by December!

Brassica bed  The height is purple sprouting broccoli. Very tall, covered in annoying whitefly (although it aparently doesn’t damage the plants too much), wants to fall over. I hope it actually produces! There are a few caulis in there growing nicely, as are the 4 brussel sprout plants. If only we could grow Christmas Puddings too, we’ve almost have a whole Christmas dinner!

Legumes bed – The runner beans are coming to an end now – we have more than we know what to do with! The 5 sweetcorn plants look nice but it is way too late for them to produce. Everything will be coming out next weekend, and  green manure going in.  This’ll keep the ground used through winter and i’ll dig it in in March ish time. I’ve chosen winter field bean as it doesn’t grow too tall

Cucurbits bed – About 6 courgettes, nothing much else. Next year we are going to plant a lot less plants in here to give them more space.

It really has been a learning curve this year, i’m looking forward to watching all the winter veg grow and clearing the mess to the compost bin, so that we can give the garden a bit of a rest.