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December 2012

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December 2012

Post  plantoid on 11/23/2012, 5:34 pm

December ( written 23 November 2012 )
Ti’s the season to be Jolly Shocked
Falla Lalla La La Laa Laa Laaa . Rolling Eyes

Humbug ....... It’s March when we can start setting out the gardens again ! Very Happy

Will we see past my birthday of 21 12 2012 when the doomers /gloomers say the world will end Sad .

I'm an optimist and am still making plans for next year as this is the twelth time that the world is supposed to have ended during my own life time Laughing

Now back to the subject of gardening ANSFG style . cheers

After one of the coldest wettest years for ages , the seasons have tripped over themselves global warming or not . It was getting to the stage when the seasons were getting later & later. Almost a month behind in fact.

I still have growing strawberries in the barrel down in the garden despite a couple of light frosts of an hour or so at a time. This is unheard of in the UK even down here in South Wales towards the end of November.
What’s to do in this fairly dormant time of the year between dodging the lashing rain storms or struggling to stay on your feet between 60 to 80 mph winds ?

Well I’ve gone out of my way to remake acquaintances with the people who have given me animal manures by the trailer load .. I'll have to buy eight bottles of decent red wine as a way of saying thank you to them & give it to them ( No ..not drink it myself ).

I’ve still not managed to clean and disinfect the glass house , not been able to clear up all the fallen leaves outside either . Last night blew a 60 mile an hour plus Hooley and slashed it down with sleet & /or rain in stair rods for several hours .... more due all day tomorrow . Still we can’t complain there’s not a leaf left on any tree I can see anywhere near me . Every cloud has a silver lining ??

The delay has helped with the leaves for most are now well sodden and starting to easily break down. Should we get a couple of consecutive dry days I’ll hit them with the leaf blower / mulching vacuum & top up the compost bins with the mulched leaves .

The ones I collected in this manner a fortnight or so ago have really dropped down in the composters , in some cases the muck worms in the composters have really gone to town & are on the surface of the damp leaf mould.

Now as we all know Christmas comes in a box ......

Well ...it did ..... in several dual walled brown cardboard boxes, which are now ripped up into 3 inch chunks, now residing in the composters as well . The worms are really having a great winter feed , even the dedicated to composting worm bin is doing really well for most of the bins have dozens of worms on the top of the compostable material . Given a couple of hard prolonged frosts we will see a different picture no doubt .

What’s coming out the beds ?

No more lettuces , spring onions tomatoes or marrows .. we ate the last of the ratatouille that had our marrow, aubergene & toms in it earlier this week .. still a few marrow thickened soups to go.

Had to cease harvesting the carrots as all the decent sized ones have now been used . We’ve still got over a dozen squares of late winter carrots to go, when they get a wee bit bigger. It broke my wallet and heart to have to spend £1.23 for a plastic bag of lousy battered half dried out carrots for our own consumption , that I would decline to feed to a horse or pig.

The left over stumps of celery that we have purchased all through the year have really got going , the biggest hand is now almost 30 inches tall has had to be stakes aginst the storms . All of the bigger ones have also had a wrapping of six or so layers of newspaper gently around them to blanch them white in readiness for our family tradition of eating some on boxing day lunch and new year’s day teatime . All this year since about April we have purchased a hand of celery every 10 days or so. I’ve chopped it up leaving a 2 inch tall stump , then washed and stored the stalks in a drop of water in a poly bag in the fridge .

The stump has been pared across the bottom and a slight chamfer put round the edge of the bottom to encourage root development , it’s then been dipped in a rooting compound and then set level in MM . So far all stumps seem to have grown well . The last celery stump went in yesterday morning .
All our parsnips have all lost their tops but should hold in the ground for a few weeks longer .
There is still a couple of decent sized Swedes left ( rutabagas )
Leeks have done well considering how the lateness of the season has slowed them down . I had to make three re sowing's before any sprouted , even after using the glass house to get them up . I’ll have to plant lot’s more next year as they are starting to become very expensive in the shops .

We eat at least two leeks a week starting October through to May and an occasional one or three in between when we have Chinese chrispy roast duck, pancakes & Hoisin sauce .

The cabbage & heading broccoli stumps left after harvesting them didn’t perform as hoped ... they bolted instead. I suspect it is due the weather being too warm last month .
Sprouting broccoli has bolted but whenever the first flower petals appeared I’ve cut the flowering heads off with scissors , now they are starting to give some decent numbers of sprouting broccoli again .

We still have two 4 inch diameter kohl rabbi in the garden , some broad leafed parsley ,bulbing fennel & a bit of dill along with a big bush of rosemary , some sage , tyme & a couple of types of garden mints from around the world .

Our Brussels sprouts are way behind , we will be lucky to see any on the table on Christmas day as they are not even thumb nail sized yet .
There is a good supply of ball cabbages and various types of curly and broad leafed kale so we shouldn’t run out of greens till when the spring cabbages we planted a 40 days ago go take over .

Had to buy a 10 kg / 22 pound sack of Spanish onions last week , as the few we managed to grow to harvest were finally eaten raw or used in cooking . We are still using our own garlic’s but not for much longer as there are only a dozen or so left. We’ve been using far more than usual now that we have grown our own.

We ate the last green capsicum last week , there's nothing left in the glasshouse except a couple of dying drying plants of aubergines and capsicums & some drying out bean pods .

Finally for those who wanted to see how we fared when we took the green unripe tomatoes on the vines into the cool dry office. I cut the majority of the whole plant to just above and below all the green tomatoes I set these down on some white polystyrene sheet on a table top in the office where it is cool dry and has subdued daylight. This was done well over six weeks ago.
We have been slowly eating them as they ripened. All except two toms ripened, these were really were dark green ones when they were collected .
There are now none left , we all agreed that they were just as sweet if not sweeter ( the sun gold’s ) than those picked for eating on the day from out the glasshouse

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Re: December 2012

Post  cheyannarach on 11/24/2012, 10:50 am

Thanks for sharing about the tomatoes Plantoid! I will have to remember that for the future, yummm! Boy I could go for a ripe tomato now!!

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