Saturday, January 23, 2010

It's that time of year again....

When I specifically make time to write entries in my blog. If you've just discovered this blog then I use it mainly as an aid memoire for future reference, something I can look back on to know what I was sowing and planting out the previous year. The problem is I don't always record the outcome, and from the lack of posts last year higlights this problem.
Whilst on that subject I should make a few notes. The potato crop was good, and I had no problems with blight. Millipede, worm, and slug attack meant I completely lost about 5% of the crop, with another 30-35% requiring a good "Hack" to leave usable potato. I sort my crop after drying it for a few days, and we finished the "holed" potatos just before Christmas. At our current rate of consumption we should have enough potatoes to last until the end of April, requiring us to only buy those need for my son's cookery classes at school - apparently potatoes only come from supermarkets.
Other crops did equally as well, our heritage runner beans were superb, and I now have enough seed to grow only these this year. Equally my heritage dwarf and climbing french beans did really well, and I now have enough seed to grow this in "crop" volume this year. My normal sowing of frenchs beans were a mixed bag. The early crop of Purple Teepee did okay, not as well as the year before, but the harricot variety did better. The later crop of both was pretty dismal however. The Blue Lake sown around the rose arbour did really well, but the blauhilde sown under my sweetcorn did appallingly - about 5% germination from fresh Thompson & Morgan seed.
The sweetcorn itself was pretty poor, and most of it ripened whilst we were away in August. The courgette crop was poor but I did much better on the squashes, even if 4 of them went rotten before we could get to eat them.
My over winter onions did well on the Sunningdale plot, but really badly in Bracknell, and the lack of a decent hot spell to dry them in the summer, meant most went rotten before my wife could be bothered to use them. My main onion crop was pretty much a disaster everywhere, but the shallots and garlic did really well, resulting in my best crop todate - now all I've got to do is persuade my wife to actually use them.
Early and mid season cabbages were good, as were the cauliflowers and calabrese, but all the later ones either failed or got wiped by the "white cabbage" plague that appeared in late August.
And so onto this season and my pending appointment with the greenhouse to plant onions, leeks, and possibly early cabbages. This does remind me of the one outstanding job I need to do, which is to spray the place with Armilatox in an attempt to kill off all the powdery milldew spores which decimated the cucumbers and melons last year. The problem is I need it to be a nice 14 or 15 Centigrade before I can do this. It's a job that'll just have to wait.