Monday, 15 February 2010

Photographic Progress of Winter Salads on Valentines Day

Here is the current state - photographs in order are: Texel Greens, the runaway winner - delicious and keeps coming, a dead cert for next winter, Corn Salad, doing well and an interesting sprinkler for salad bowls, Lettuce Valdor - now thinned out and over the last couple of weeks has started to grow central leaves - will be interesting to see how it compares against spring sown lettuce, and finally Burnet. No picture of the Purslane as approx 2 weeks after the picture taken in November, all traces of it disappeared overnight. Mystery. Oh and forgot to include the land cress - which in size more matches the cress of  my first childhood horticultural foray than watercress, but we will watch this space for a growth spurt.

A Tomato House

The beautiful new Tomato House (ok it's just a regular greenhouse) has arrived to offer the Burgon & Ball tomato plants protection from sea winds (and hopefully the blight that has afflicted us so badly over the last 3 years). It's a striking design by Hartley Botanic who did an excellent job in constructing it in a very difficult location.
Had to clear a rather large Pyracanthus out of the way to get access - it was beautiful when covered with orange berries but would have reduced our legs to shreds every time we walked past. A blatent plug but seriously the Burgon & Ball Compound Action Loppers are amazing for this kind of job - they just slice right through really thick stems and the extending handles keep your arms out of the way of the lethal thorns.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Progress on Winter Salads

It's been a while since our last update and some things have been growing well and some things have been, well, stationary!
The star of the show has been the Texel Greens - a jam packed Planter full of them. They have been cut day after day to make, amongst other things, the chicken salad sandwiches so beloved of my son (there is chicken in there I promise - just hiding under the generous portion of Texel greens....). A delicious, distinctive, not too peppery flavour and totally frost resistant.

Talking of frost resistant - it's a rare thing for us in Poole to get more than a degree or so below freezing and even rarer to get real, proper snow (not like the stoical folks up at our factory in Sheffield who all own decent snow boots and can drive in the stuff without crashing!). However this winter has broken all the norms and we have had to resort to desperate measures - bubble wrap. Does the job but looks hideous. Hmm, surely we can come up with something better than this....

Something Jumping in our Winter Salads

Maurice and Doris (resident cats) are the prime suspects for the skullduggery in the Planters......suspicious hollows in the middle of the planters, squashed seedlings.....arghh, whats a gardener to do?
One roll of galvanised netting later, cut simply into squares and bent around the willow weave and all crops secured. I can report there has been no further activity since!

Winter Salads are Growing

Should have posted this a little while back....these pictures were taken mid November after the seeds had been in for 3 weeks. A huge difference between the rates of growth. Have already started using the lettuce Valdor thinnings in salads. Golden Purslane looking a bit weedy. Texel Greens looking very promising!