It’s now the beginning of May and things are starting to step up a gear, especially the weeding which I am now doing every visit to the plot. The weather has warmed up which makes spending time on the plot so much more enjoyable.
The site is almost full now with different vegetables growing. On the top quarter I have the parsnips which are looking good. These where started off at home in toilet rolls and transplanted out whole to preserve the routes in the hope to reduce forking. I also have beetroots, coriander, runner beans, pumpkin and turnips in this part. The beets are small at the moment I hope they bulk up, but I am worried this part of the plot is a little shaded in the morning so may stunt growth. The runners are looking good and so far, my star veg is the turnips which are doing great. They have been eaten from what looks like caterpillars, but the crop is doing well, and I had my first one’s last night. I have never grown turnips before and have a lot on the way so looking for some good recipes. I tried roasting them sliced like chips but that did not work to well as they went to mush, not like my favourite parsnips roasted.
The next quarter is full of potatoes, first and second earlies with two main crops. The first earlies are up and showing. Looking forward to pulling these up and see how well they have done.
The next quarter was to be my brassica crop but being new to this I did not realise turnips are part of the brassica family, so they are in the wrong quarter. I have also put the sweetcorn in this quarter not because they are part of the brassica family, but this quarter is in a good position for the sun and sweet corn will do better here. So far, they look good no pigeon damage. In this quarter I have another pumpkin, purple brussels and some cabbage. The cabbage is doing really well usually when I grow cabbage at home it’s been eaten by everything by now, but these are great. All I have done so far is use slug pellets and netting them.
The last quarter is the onion family. Giant garlic's look wonderful, this is the first time growing these so looking forward to seeing how they turn out. Rest is normal sized garlic's, onions heat treated and normal B & Q none heat treated. So far, I cannot see any difference between the heat treated and normal onions. Then the leaks, a lot of leeks, they all come up and I think so far, I have over 100 leaks which is good they will keep me going all year.
A new thing I am trialling this month is a product called Neem oil. This is an oil pressed from the fruit of the neem an evergreen tree. This is a natural none harmful oil which apparently kills of the caterpillars and is good for a lot of pesticide control I will try some on my next cabbage being planted out soon. I will cover with nets for the first few weeks to stop the pigeons eating them being new plants, then I will remove the net and spray with neem oil about once a week. I will use a solution 1 table spoon neem oil to one table spoon washing up liquid in 1 Litre water. Being an oil the washing up liquid allows the oil to emulsion in the water and so is easier to spray.
I am also trialling a cocktail spray on the compost heap to increase the speed of composting. I watched a great demonstration of someone on YouTube spraying a mix 1 can beer, 1 can coke Cola, 1 glass ammonia. He sprayed this on the grass clippings and ended up with compost within 14 week. So, I will be trialling this on the compost, but I have swapped the beer for a teaspoon bread yeast and the ammonia for urine (wee) seeing as this is free. Check out the Wiki link below for uses of urine. Interesting article on fertiliser anyone used this.
Green house also doing great best lettuce for me this year is the tom thumb, getting a lot of crop cutting each day and still going strong. So that’s about enough for this month hope you are enjoying the blog I have chucked in some pictures of other peoples plots with some good ideas. Leave comments if you want and hope you are all doing well in your veg plots.