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Latest topics
» Already April in the garden !
by Chilli-head 19th April 2019, 6:18 pm

» The Polytunnel
by FloBear 15th April 2019, 4:45 pm

» What are you harvesting today?
by FloBear 9th April 2019, 6:38 pm

» Welcome guest
by Dandelion 8th April 2019, 7:35 pm

» What arts and craft things have you been making lately?
by Dandelion 5th April 2019, 4:51 pm

» White goods repair
by Dandelion 28th March 2019, 11:51 am

» Springtime (?) in the March garden
by Dandelion 28th March 2019, 10:50 am

» "Reservoirs can make water shortages worse"
by Dandelion 24th March 2019, 6:08 pm

» Tall stool
by Ploshkin 23rd March 2019, 6:13 pm

» The frozen February garden
by Chilli-head 25th February 2019, 1:25 pm

» What have I done in the workshop today?
by FloBear 24th February 2019, 7:03 pm

» Green guilty pleasures and penance !
by Dandelion 15th February 2019, 6:11 pm

» Hornbeam avenue
by FloBear 15th February 2019, 5:00 pm

» The gardener's yearbook
by Chilli-head 4th February 2019, 1:24 pm

» Eco funeral options ...
by Dandelion 3rd February 2019, 5:17 pm

» Hungry Birds
by Ploshkin 1st February 2019, 1:01 pm

» First go at proper wine
by FloBear 30th January 2019, 6:36 pm

» January, welcome in a new gardening year
by FloBear 25th January 2019, 2:14 pm

» Seed swap anyone?
by FloBear 25th January 2019, 2:12 pm

» What are you preserving today?
by freebird 18th January 2019, 12:30 pm

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Post by Chilli-head on 2nd December 2018, 7:06 pm

More leeks today. We're using our last celeriac today too. Yesterday I picked peppers and chillies, I have some chillies drying, and some need chopping and freezing for when a quick chilli hit needs adding to a dish. Also got a few Mexican types, Ancho and Serrano, which I need to think of a recipe to combine with my squash abundance !

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Post by Ploshkin on 2nd December 2018, 8:24 pm

I'm still harvesting carrots from the tunnel and sprouts and kale from the garden.
I have just used my last courgette (picked before the frost). That's pretty good going - continual supply from June to the end of November + a good supply for my neighbour from just one plant. I'm down to my last 2 sweet peppers which have kept well in the fridge and are the sweetest peppers I've ever tasted.
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Post by freebird on 25th February 2019, 2:40 pm

I was going to post in the 'What are you harvesting today?' thread, but it is locked. Anyone know why?

Anyhow, picked these yesterday (Romanesco cauliflower) and enjoyed one for dinner last night. They're not very big - a bit larger than a tennis ball - but were lovely steamed. First time I've tried either growing or eating them.

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Post by Chilli-head on 25th February 2019, 3:32 pm

Ooh, that's a result FB.  They look great.  We are just down to leeks and beetroot now.

Do you remember when we talked about going perpetual with the tea room, rather than a fresh thread per month ? I mentioned that the forum software did something weird with very long threads ?  Well, on inspection we have two "What are you harvesting today" threads, this current and "sticky" one (in the top bit section of the topic list) and one further down, and locked.  I think this happens at a limit of 40 pages of posts in one thread; the thread is split off automatically and the "full" thread locked.

I have teleported your post into the right place !
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Post by Ploshkin on 25th February 2019, 4:03 pm

I grew romantic a couple of years ago when I wanted a few cauli plants and that was all I could get. They were very successful and I've never done any good with ordinary cauliflowers.
I didn't know they would over winter, I would have thought they would bolt.
I'm still harvesting carrots and parsley from the polytunnel.
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Post by freebird on 25th February 2019, 4:30 pm

Ploshkin wrote:.
I didn't know they would over winter, I would have thought they would bolt.

Bolting is generally a summer thing, where plants feel under stress and so try to set seed as soon as possible. The Romanesco have the same planting schedule as purple sprouting - I believe I sowed the seed in mid summer and planted them out July/August. I'm assuming I will get some side sprouts now I have harvested the main heads.
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Post by Ploshkin on 25th February 2019, 5:33 pm

Oh, I bought plants about May time and ate them all about 3 months later and they all had good sized heads on them. I had no idea they were supposed to have a long season.
Perhaps you get summer varieties too (mine had green heads). A friend gave me some lovely psb plants last year and I was very surprised to find them sprouting in September, then the frost killed them off. I seem to recall after that reading that you can get summer varieties of psb. It was a bit disappointing because I was looking forward to having some in the spring.
I'm rubbish with brassica timing apart from Brussels sprouts.
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Post by Chilli-head on 25th February 2019, 10:34 pm

I was thinking about this topic on my walk home, and considering asking when you sow PSB / kale / other brassica, because I find it strangely confusing too. Attempting to overwinter them, I either sow them too early, or too late and they come to nothing. Any advice welcome !
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Post by Ploshkin on 26th February 2019, 1:17 pm

I'm glad it's not just me CH. I seem to end up with a glut of lovely cabbages in the middle of summer when I don't particularly want to eat cabbage. I did manage to get some good Savoy cabbages one winter and I have once successfully sown seed (hispi I think) to over winter plants for spring cabbages. Perhaps I should repeat those 2 things and get the timing right before branching out.
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Post by freebird on 26th February 2019, 6:46 pm

Purple sprouting can be early or late, depending on what variety you grow. I grew a new one to me, called Rudolph. I had hoped for some early sprouting (November) and sowed/planted out accordingly, but it's only just come good. Earlier however than the April picking of a late variety.

I'm no expert, but I've never had attempts come to nothing, unless from pest or disease. I may be wrong, but I believe that autumn/winter crops of the brassica family need to be sown after midsummer, when the days are shortening. Pak choi etc are less inclined to bolt if sown late summer.

Some of my winter salads are in the brassica family, and they are sown very late August or early September. Being sown so late means the plants establish but don't put on too much growth before winter sets in. So that indicates that it would be much too late to start purple sprouting.
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Post by Chilli-head on 27th February 2019, 10:04 am

What you say makes sense. So for overwintering brassica, sow after mid summer, maybe July or early August ? I had disappointment from late August sowings of kale etc.
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Post by Dandelion on 27th February 2019, 9:50 pm

You mentioned Hispi, Ploshkin. I try not to use F1 hybrids on the whole (in case I ever want to save seed) but Hispi is an exception I gladly make. It seems to be very adaptable and offers several possibilities for different sowing seasons. Apart from Spring greens (such as Greyhound and Durham Elf) it's about the only cabbage I ever have success with.

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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.

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Post by freebird on 15th March 2019, 11:50 pm

Not exactly harvesting, but we had our first Winter Dumpling squash (from seed swap) for dinner. Tbh, the plants were disappointing, with only one fruit on each of the two plants. They kept well, but when I came to prepare, the skin was like wood veneer - really hard, and the deeply indented fluting made peeling it bordering on impossible. I nearly binned it, but lack of other veg for dinner made me persevere.

So glad I did - it was delicious, and the man said he preferred it to the Uchiki Kuri that I also grew. I ended up rescuing the seeds out the compost bin to keep some for new crops.

Any advice on peeling would be handy though. A lathe and chisel maybe ....?
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Post by Chilli-head on 16th March 2019, 10:44 am

My squash Festival have really hard skin. It does at least usually mean they keep well. The ones I've eaten so far I didn't peel at all, just halve, scoop out the seeds, and roast. You csn then either scrape out the flesh for soup, or fill the seed cavity with chilli, top with cheese maybe, bake a bit more and serve, using the skin as a bowl.

Actually, even halving them almost called for a saw !
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Post by Ploshkin on 17th March 2019, 2:09 pm

Roasting sections with the skin on can be a good option for squashes.
My Uchiki Kuri that I am using now is really sweet - I think it has improved with keeping. They have kept really well this year all except one which was unseen behind a preserving pan and had just collapsed in a yukky heap.
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Post by Ploshkin on 24th March 2019, 5:38 pm

Ooh, I'm the first on this thread in 2019.
Today I have kale sprouts and new rhubarb.
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Post by Dandelion on 24th March 2019, 6:11 pm

Ooh lovely! Is it forced rhubarb? I can see some promising stalks on the Early Timperley in my garden, but I'm still on crutches and the physio hasn't told me how to pull rhubarb while keeping myself upright!!

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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.

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Post by Ploshkin on 24th March 2019, 7:02 pm

Well, it wasn't intentionally forced. The warm weather in Feb caused it to start coming a bit early then we had a lot of frosty nights so I covered it with straw. I'd forgotten about it then yesterday I noticed it had grown quite tall and was still wearing a straw hat.
It was delicious.
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Post by Chilli-head on 26th March 2019, 11:55 am

I've cut some Greek cress for my lunchtime sandwiches, and a bit of rocket from last year which survived over winter under cloches. But that's about all.

I do have a chilli plant - basket of fire - which has been in the conservatory over winter. They are a compact and pretty plant with upward pointing fruits, which I've left to dry on the plant. It has started flowering again already ! Early fresh chillies - great.
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Post by FloBear on 26th March 2019, 4:29 pm

Rhubarb!
It was split up and 4 or 5 crowns replanted last year. I think it's bidding for world domination now.
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Post by freebird on 26th March 2019, 6:36 pm

Ploshkin wrote:Ooh, I'm the first on this thread in 2019.

Do you think you might need Specsavers Ploshkin? A bit further up (Feb) is a pic of my Romanesco cauliflower!
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Post by Ploshkin on 26th March 2019, 8:52 pm

Hmmm, yes. The 19s must have looked like 18s on the kindle without wearing my glasses.
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Post by FloBear on 27th March 2019, 5:50 pm

There are 13 posts in 2019 before Ploshkin's statement and 4 of them are hers!!!!
I think men in white coats may be required Shocked

I only came on to say that I have been inspired to try Romanesco cauliflowers as I had some success with brassicas last year and a packet of Romanesco seeds has come into my possession.
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Post by Ploshkin on 27th March 2019, 6:47 pm

I found Romanesco much easier to grow than standard caulis. I may give some a go this year.
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Post by Dandelion on 28th March 2019, 11:46 am

I may have a go myself if I can bend down before the cauli season is out. Romanesco are so breathtakingly beautiful that I had assumed they would be difficult. I can grow caulis (although I haven't since the Great Cauliflower Glut of 2017 - I didn't know that my other half didn't like them!) so I'll try Romanesco next. I'm pretty sure (thinking back to my college days) that the spiral is based on the Fibonacci sequence, so I might be able to persuade Mr D to eat them on that basis!!

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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 FloBear on 28th March 2019, 1:47 pm

I expect the caulis got the sequence before Fibonacci discovered it! I look forward to examining the spiral when / if I manage to grow any.

I had great success with summer purple broccoli last year - I have just taken out the last stem and let the chickens have it for a treat.
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