Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Grow your own christmas

I have to say it's difficult to have everything you need for a Christmas dinner ready or still around in December.

Parsnips and sprouts are a nail on certainty as they can stick around all year.

Leeks are your buddy.
Cabbage you might sweat on, depends on what you grow and where you grow it. This is June 08 sown Cavello Nero ( Kale) Still growing in December and high enough off the ground not to be bothered by birds.

Very small leaves are great in a wineter salad. Larger leaves are perfect for soups. These are true "fire and forget" crops. I love 'em. £2.50 a bag in Tesco. Nonsense!

Spuds have to be a bit more canny with. You have to make sure that the heads have died off before the first frosts arrive or they are likely to rot underground. However, you still have to plant them late enough to not have rotted naturally by the time December comes around. We planted these in Mid August.

You also have to remember that the shorter growing season and colder conditions will make this potato crop smaller so this a not a value crop, it's an indulgence.

I've always beleived that it's fine to be extravgant from time to time, but one should never be wasteful. (Nigella Lawson)

Finally the herbs. This is from one of the tables.

I've still got Mizuno (right) growning like a champ. This was sown in September and has been cut and come againat least three times since then. The rocket (Left) is hardy enough to suffer the frosts but it needs proper cover if it is to continue to grow in this harsh weather. Cob salad? (lambs lettice, those tiny green specks at the back) Don't bother. It will survive an English winter but sure as heck won't grow in one.

The herbs are looking good. Sadly the Mint, Chives and Tarragon have long since checked out for the winter, but both the parsleys the Sage and the Common Thyme are doing just fine in my sheltered sun trap herb patch. Not that there is any sun to trap at present.The Rosemary is just outstanding...
and how much do you love my Bay Tree? I know. I'm good for bay leaves!

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