Saturday, 23 January 2010

The Last Harvest

I had my first trip of the year to the allotment today and what a sight awaited me. In my last post I mentioned that the drainage on the allotment is bad, but this being the first year that I have had the allotment at this time of year I wasn't prepared for just how bad. The previous tenant dug out a drainage channel along the middle of the allotment which we haven't yet got around to sorting out, and this was completely filled with water. Some parts of the soil were like bogs, and it has just made us more aware that we need to get the drainage pipe installed as soon as possible.

What I did manage to do was to dig up the last of the leeks, which never did manage to plump up, and also the last couple of parsnips which are very stumpy. The Brussel sprouts weren't very good so they have been composted and I haven't yet decided whether I will bother to grow them again this year as there's only me in our house who likes them anyway.

One thing I have decided to have a go at this year is swede. I have never grown swede before, and although it is the root which is eaten, it is in fact a brassica so could take the place of the Brussel sprouts in the brassica bed.

I have had a trip to Wilkinson's today and purchased a fleece cloche. My hubby bought me a three metre plastic cloche for Christmas, so I am all ready now to start warming up the beds ready for planting out. I just need some warmer and dryer weather to get the beds ready first though.


  1. You certainly had a lot of moisture this winter! For us, it is snowless and mild. Climate is changing, for sure. Good luck with preparing beds!

  2. That is a nice harvest, leeks look great!
    I am also counting the days until some warmer weather comes; the ground is still frozen here.

  3. my brussels aren't great either and I have to confess to still not having been to the is looking good for tomorrow though so maybe I will check it out. I think your leeks look good...this is just the way I like them!!!

  4. My original plot 11 had poor drainage problems, so I can sympathise with you, a boggy ground is not good at all. There was nothing we could rally do about it, as we were on the bottom slope. So it was one of many reasons we gave it up last year.

    Sorry to read about your sprouts, but I wouldn't give up on them entirely, just grow about 6 plants for yourself, you'll be glad you did. Also, if it makes you feel better, my leeks aren't that plump either and i am sure when I harvest some parsnips tomorrow they will be forked or stumped.

  5. Since I left England I forgot about swedes. I haven't seen any here and I wonder if they are called something else in USA? I must research this as I would love to grow some. We had some drainage problems and put in dry creeks and raised beds.Good luck with yours. Pamela x

  6. Good luck. The ground is just so wet at the moment it is not condusive to growing much at all. The only thing in my garden at present is some garlic, I am sure that the very cold weather will have helped them but I am not so sure about the boggy conditions they are dealing with now. If they don't do anything, I might seek some help sorting some drainage myself.

  7. Hope that you manage to get the drainage issues sorted out Jo. Our allotment suffers too. I imagine that you will enjoy those leeks despite them not being as big as you would have liked. They will still be tasty. I am making pumpkin soup at the moment - the pumpkin had started to go over :)

  8. Hi Jo! I grew brussels 2 years ago, and mine ended up on the compost bin. Don't think I fed them enough, but they were tiny and rock hard, and eaten by some green fly things.

    I grew suede in my first year, and then pulled them up in about September classing them a failure as they hadn't bulked up! DOH!!!

  9. To my eye, those are some funky looking parsnips. The thin end is the bit with least parsnip, so be happy; imagine if they'd only been the weedy root bits!!!

  10. I can't remember the last time we had as much snow as this year, Tatyana. My son is 14 and he's never seen it so bad. I hope after the winter we've had we'll get a really good summer.

    The leeks tasted great, Vrtlarica, I was just a little disappointed with the size of them. I'm going to try a different variety this year and hope they grow a little bigger.

    I'm still debating whether to grow Brussel sprouts again this year, Tanya. I'm the only one in our house who like them so I might do a few just for me.

    The boggy ground isn't good, Mangocheeks. I want to get this drainage pipe in and see what difference it makes. The other plots around us which have already had the pipe laid don't look so bad so fingers crossed.

    I've had a look on Google and I think swede is called rutabaga in the USA, Pamela. If the drainage pipe doesn't work I suppose raised beds would be another option.

    I haven't planted any garlic, Natalie, it's not something that we use alot of. The freezing weather will have certainly helped your's along, but you'll have to see if the wet has hampered it in any way.

    The leeks were delicious, Anna, though because they are small I have to use alot of them just for one meal. I've never cooked with pumpkin, the ones we grew this year were carved for Halloween.

    I've heard so many people say that their sprouts were a disaster, Cat. It's good to know that we're not alone. I might give them another go.

    The parsnips were delicious just the same, The Idiot Gardener. I can never grow enough parsnips though, my daughter would eat a plate of them at a time if I let her.

  11. I was going to ask what variety your celeriac was, because it seemed less knobbly than mine, and then I re-read your post and saw that it was parsnips! I might try them for the first time this year.

  12. They do look a bit like celeriac, Linda. They're a bit stumpy but they tasted good. Definitely give them a try this year.


!-- Start of StatCounter Code for Blogger / Blogspot -->