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Post by Chilli-head on 1st November 2016, 11:06 am

The last of the summer crops have gone.  A few beans still hanging to dry, and the odd chilli waiting to be picked for the freezer, but that's the lot of 2016.

Time to start planning for 2017 !  My overwintereing onions are already in, but there is still time if yours are not.  This month is time for garlic - I've got Provence Wight and Carcasonne Wight  - and broad beans - I'm using Aquadulce Claudia, tough The Sutton is good for overwintering too, especially in exposed places where its shorter growth means it gets whipped about by the wind a little bit less.


Last edited by Chilli-head on 7th December 2016, 5:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Ploshkin on 2nd November 2016, 10:10 am

I finished harvesting my potatoes (2nd early Kestrel). I'm sure they aren't meant to be in the ground until the end of October but apart from one or two with slug and fork damage they are really good. My two potato beds have had a deep layer of manure in the trenches as I've dug the spuds which will hopefully liven them up a bit next year. While I've been tidying the garden I decided that I'm not going to bother with outdoor squashes any more. They were so productive in the polytunnel there doesn't seem much point in putting any outside on the off chance that we might get a half decent summer and they will produce a couple of fruits. They just end up taking space in the beds to no avail. I'm also going to cut down on my potatoes and just grow some nice early ones some in the pt and some outdoors. I haven't got that much space for growing in the garden and although it is, of course, nice to have your own crops it seems a bit pointless having a few potatoes for mashing, boiling or chipping just for a couple of months when they're readily available to buy. Instead, I think I will try to broaden my bean, brassica and root selection.
I've never had any success at all overwintering anything in the garden here, things usually succumb to the wet. I will probably put some broad beans in the polytunnel again as they were very successful last year - I think it was November I put the seeds in.
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Post by freebird on 2nd November 2016, 12:47 pm

It must feel like having a new garden, Ploshkin. So pleased that the tunnel has given such a good return.
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Post by Chilli-head on 11th November 2016, 5:17 pm

I sat and looked through my seed box last night, thinking of things I want to try next year.

Tomatillos - I haven't grown them for a few years now, but we are eating more Mexican food and they grow really easily outdoors and crop well.

Gem squash - what happened to them ? They used to be common enough but don't feature in the current seed lists I have. I like them halved, roasted then filled with beef chilli and baked. Good single portion size.

Maybe a different courgette. I've been growing Striata d'Italia for a few years, but in the past I found Tromboncino better for Greek style fried courgettes in beer batter ( Κολοκυθάκια τηγανητά), but not much else. Maybe there is a compormise, a bit firmer than regular courgette.

More dwarf french beans, encoraged by the success of the Purple Teepee from last year's seed swap.

A different yellow tomato - perhaps sungold ? I normally grow Yellow perfection, nice size and good flavour, but it is very thin skinned and splits too easily. Does anyone have a favorite yellow tom ?

Red veined rocket - I forget the name, but it is in most of the catalogues and would look pretty in a salad.

Nasturtiums, as a salad leaf ? Anyone like or loathe them ? I read that they are peppery, which sounds good to me. They look a bit like slug food to me though - is that likely to be a problem ?
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Post by Dandelion on 12th November 2016, 9:41 pm

Chilli-head wrote:

Nasturtiums, as a salad leaf ?  Anyone like or loathe them ?  I read that they are peppery, which sounds good to me.  They look a bit like slug food to me though - is that likely to be a problem ?

I love nasturtiums and grow them every year, but as a flower rather than to eat (although I have eaten them...) As well as slug damage, mine often fall prey to blackfly, and in a hot year cabbage white butterflies can decimate them. I don't think I've ever grown nasturtiums with leaves perfect enough to eat.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Ploshkin on 13th November 2016, 9:33 pm

I think I've had a nibble of nasturtium but couldn't see why anyone would want it in a salad.

I think sungold is the only yellow / orange tomato I've ever grown but I've never had a more reliable or sweet tomato so I haven't changed for years. Another of my favourites is black cherry, not as sweet but very tasty.
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Post by Chilli-head on 14th November 2016, 2:15 pm

This is where it is so useful to be able to ask people who's opinion you trust. The catalogue says the whole plant is edible, flowers make a colourful additon to salads and the leaves have a pleasant peppery taste ... but now you come to mention it, I'm sure I've seen them covered in blackfly more often than not; in fact I have this memory that someone suggested planting nasturtiums as a decoy to lure blackfly away from your beans. Perhaps I'll drop that idea Laughing
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Post by Chilli-head on 25th November 2016, 10:59 pm

I hate the consumerism of this ghastly American import, Black Friday. But if you were going to buy some anyway, why not take advantage - DT Brown have lots of veg seeds down to £1 this weekend Very Happy
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