Successes and failures
Mark's Veg Plot
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3y ago
When I first started my blog I set out with the intention of showing my gardening exploits GOOD or BAD, and not shying away from admitting any failures. So, with that in mind, I admit a failure: this year my onions have been very poor. When I planted out 20 multi-sown clumps of onion seedlings on 16th March, I had high hopes, because I used this technique with success in 2019. However, the onions have done very badly. I put this down to three factors: 1. The weather. It has been exceptionally dry here for several months. 2. Poor light (=bad siting). I planted the onions next to a row of be ..read more
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More little harvests
Mark's Veg Plot
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3y ago
My garden is "trundling along" as is normal for this time of year. There are few major tasks to be done, so my job is just to keep things tidy and continue to pick stuff as it ripens. This week I pulled a nice batch of Beetroot, consisting of three "Crosby's Egyptian" and one "Boltardy". The "Crosby's Egyptian" ones are quite flat, almost like turnips, while the "Boltardy" is the more normal ball shape. To my mind they both taste pretty much the same - lovely and earthy. I managed to get a decent batch of "Cobra" climbing French beans too. Some of the beans are a bit distorted due to damag ..read more
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Small but special
Mark's Veg Plot
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3y ago
Many amateur gardeners will agree with me when I say that growing huge quantities of veg is not necessarily the object of the exercise with Grow Your Own. A lot of people grow tiny amounts, but still find pleasure in doing so. I don't know if you would consider my garden large or small - it's a relative thing. My patch is very roughly 10 metres by 10 metres, so there is no way I'm going to be self-sufficient in veg, but my goal is to supplement shop-bought vegetables with small amounts of fresh high quality special treats, of whose provenance I can be 100% certain  - and ones that have no ..read more
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Still battling the Blackfly
Mark's Veg Plot
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3y ago
Not content with decimating my Broad Bean harvest, the Blackfly have moved on to my climbing beans - Runners, French and Borlotti - which are now infested with the damned things. I have been doing my best to keep them under control, but I admit I am losing the battle. I initially sprayed them selectively with a proprietary bug-killer product, but it doesn't seem to have had much effect, and I certainly don't want to spray it onto my plants repeatedly. I've also tried the diluted washing-up liquid method, which again has had some effect but nowhere near enough. I've also tried blasting the a ..read more
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Tomato update
Mark's Veg Plot
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3y ago
It's nearly mid-July and my tomatoes are beginning to ripen. This is a long-awaited joyous moment for me! "Sungold" This year, as always, I am growing a wide variety of types of tomato - big, small, round, pear-shaped, red, yellow, stripey, I have something of everything. This is my way of "hedging my bets". Surely, if one variety under-performs, another will excel? So far, things are looking pretty good, and most of my plants have set lots of fruit. Perhaps the most heavily-populated is this "Ailsa Craig", a good old-fashioned variety that has stood the test of time. "Ailsa ..read more
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Harvesting
Mark's Veg Plot
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3y ago
I haven't posted here for a few days, but that's because I haven't been doing much gardening, mostly just watering and tying-in. The weather has been really nasty, with constant strong winds, grey skies and the odd bit of rain, though not really enough rain to make much difference to the levels of moisture in the ground. An hour after the rain stops, the ground is dry again. I've had to do a fair bit of tying-in to keep things like beans and cucumbers upright: they have had a right old battering, with several leaves being ripped off by the wind! I have now harvested all my remaining Broad Bea ..read more
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I got some Broad Beans after all!
Mark's Veg Plot
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3y ago
Despite the devastation wrought upon my Broad Beans by the Blackfly, I still managed to salvage a few beans! The ones from the Blackfly-damaged bed are the shorter, fatter lighter-coloured ones seen at the left in the photo below. They are mostly "Witkiem Manita", because the "Express" ones yielded almost nothing. The darker-coloured beans on the right are the first of the "Imperial Green Longpod" ones, which have so far got away with only minimal Blackfly infestation. As you can see, the Broad Beans are on this occasion accompanied by a couple more of the purple "Kolibri" kohlrabi, and ..read more
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Disaster with the Broad Beans
Mark's Veg Plot
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4y ago
I thought I was going to have a bigger than normal crop of Broad Beans this year, since I sowed extra seeds because of early fears of a Coronavirus-induced vegetable shortage. However, my hopes have been dashed. The blasted Blackfly have beaten me! A week ago, the 30 bean plants in this raised bed were looking reasonably good, and the pods were beginning to swell, but more or less overnight they collapsed into this sorry heap:- Of course I tried all the usual anti-Blackfly measures, like washing them off with the hosepipe set to spray, and even (unusually for me) squirted them with a pro ..read more
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Protecting my little carrots!
Mark's Veg Plot
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4y ago
I recently posted about sowing some finger carrots in a couple of tall pots... Once the seeds germinated I realised that I ought to do something about protecting these plants from the dreaded Carrot Root Fly, which is highly likely to have a go at them.  My bigger types of carrot are protected by a frame structure covered with Enviromesh, so I have attempted to make something similar to this but in very much smaller scale. The main carrot bed, covered with Enviromesh This what I used: some offcuts of Enviromesh, some small sticks, some cane-toppers and some rubber bands. The ..read more
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Harvesting Kohlrabi
Mark's Veg Plot
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4y ago
Well, this week the first of my Kohlrabi reached a good enough size for picking, so it was duly picked. Kohlrabi "Kolibri F1" I only have six of these plants, so for me it is important to pick them at exactly the right stage. The seed-merchants always say that Kohlrabi is best when it's the size of a tennis-ball, so I made sure that mine conformed to this standard! I've found that quite a lot of people here in the UK are unfamiliar with Kohlrabi, even though it is very popular in many other parts of the world. Maybe they are intimidated by the weird octopus-like appearance of ..read more
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