Be Careful What You Wish For…


Be Careful What You Wish For…

Last time I expressed a little boredom with my ongoing 4 year experiment in keeping a Dwarf Green Curled Kale alive long past its allotted 2 years (as a brassica). Well, the bloody thing was battered by a moderately strong wind and broke in two. It is still alive, just much smaller than it was. This might be serendipitous as I didn’t have the courage to dig it up after so long nurturing it, and this event has given me the chance to back out gracefully. But it may not be the end for our brave curly kale – or at least not its genes. I am going to take a cutting and see whether or not regrowing it each year has better results. 

A good day in the garden, it is really coming together now that spring is here. The taunton deane kale and daubenton kale are growing in the warmer (but damp) air and we have been happily eating them, cutting so much and leaving the rest to carry on growing. Both plants are perennial (unlike most kales which are biennial). The egyptian/tree/walking onions are rapidly growing larger, now up to spring onion size. I had previously noted that they like late winter/early spring when overwintered. They can’t stand too much cold, though – they die back on my allotment (sometimes terminally) but stay green at home in my sheltered backyard.

I have been shredding branches from a tree with my new chipper and made buckets and buckets of wood chips. This will make good mulch for next winter and in a couple of years will make a good organic addition to the soil. As we all know you can never get enough organic matter and I am chuffed by the huge amount of matter each branch provides, chipped.

I’ve been eking out my precious compost, mulching my newly planted potato onions. I don’t have a great deal of compost and I don’t want to buy any in. The second and new compost pile is rapidly filling up, so if I finish the old compost heap I’m hoping I will have new compost for june when I need it for the squashes and beans. The sustainable, closed loop gardening I am attempting seems to be working so far, though I do have the feeling I am rationing the garden’s nutrients. Only time will tell what results I will get.

I am eating from the garden (already): kale, sorrel, japanese bunching onions, egyptian onions, broccoli and chives. Perennial vegetable gardening 1, annual veg gardening nil.

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