Monthly Archive April 2014

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A Forest Garden Without the Forest

My back garden is a productive, organic, kitchen garden with substantial amounts of perennial vegetables, some annual vegetables and five dwarfing fruit trees. The fruit trees are kept pruned and spaced widely to allow the maximum amount of light to reach the vegetables below and have a decent fruit crop. It is not really a shaded garden, though the allotment is much sunnier as evidenced by the bigger onions and leeks I can grow there, and no plants form anything like a canopy. Read More

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Another Glorious Bank Holiday Weekend in Blighty! Plus, Slugs

Backyard in the rain 20/4/14And as usual it is pissing it down. Well to be fair it has been really nice the last few days but, realising it has not been paying attention, Reality – with a capital R – readjusts and sends a squad of rain clouds our way. What on earth were we thinking of, expecting nice weather in spring?.

I prefer cooler weather to work in, so donning my coat and hat, I braved the inclement weather and got a lot done. I’ve weeded pretty much everywhere in the back garden. I’ve lifted the last of the mulch I had down over the winter – some to mulch the potatoes with later and some of it I have bunged on the compost heap. The mulch was hiding slugs – the bane of my gardening life – and, even though it was also home to loads of worms improving my soil by eating the mulch, it was time to remove it. The advantages that mulch bring, soil improvement and protection, etc, are outweighed – in my opinion – by the need to deal with slugs and snails. Read More

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More Fun With Broccoli and Geoff Lawton’s Videos are Back

Nine Star Broccoli Ready For HarvestingFirst off, thank you Jenny for going round the internet telling people you like my blog.

I’ve already harvested over 2 kilos (4.4 lbs) of broccoli from my “nine star broccoli” plants. I have four of them and they are a perennial variety (if you remove all flowering parts). I got the first two over the interweb and one died after I harvested the broccolis, mostly I think because of slug attacks and my harvesting reduced its reserves so much it gave up the ghost. The last one I took cuttings from last spring, planted them out and this year they are producing really nicely. Not as nicely however as the mother plant which is a real giant and producing lots of broccolis. The parts you take cuttings from for propagation are sideshoots which appear from the main stem. Just rip them off where they touch the main stem and bung them in compost. They (like other brassicas) take about one month to put on roots and new growth. Once they have grown on a bit put them in the ground and look after them as if they were seedlings. Read More

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Nine Star Broccoli Curds Appearing

Nine Star Broccoli CurdNine Star Broccoli seems a bit misnamed. Though the plant looks like a purple sprouting broccoli by its tall stalk and green leaves, its spears (or what I call curds) look and taste like cauliflower. So because its edible (as opposed to inedible) parts are cauli like I tend to refer to it as a type of cauli. Unlike the cauli though (but like the broccoli) it has side shoots that are also tasty little curds. They are now starting to appear on my plants now it is early april. For some reason I thought they would appear in June, so I am a little surprised, but I have responded to this event by fertilising them with the little fertilising material I have left. Read More

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