Friday, 10 August 2012

Keeping pace with the seasons

This year, because of the strange weather patterns, it is hard to tell where one season finishes and another begins, but since it's August already I'm beginning to think more about Winter crops than Summer ones.

The Purple Sprouting Broccoli is in and growing away - most of it, that is. Some plants are affected by Cabbage Root Fly and don't look as good as this:

The Cavolo Nero, which is beginning to darken now, seems unaffected by the Cabbage Root Fly so far.

The Brussels Sprouts are looking quite good, producing large numbers of huge leaves:

Tiny sprouts are just beginning to form in the leaf axils:

The Summer Cabbages are hearting-up nicely, and should be ready soon.

Even the Red Cabbage is beginning to look as if it might do OK (last year it was pathetic), though it won't be fully mature for another couple of months yet.

The Parsnips are a mixed bag - the ones I sowed in the first batch look great, with lots of strong leaf suggesting decent-sized roots down below:

But the second batch is looking very weak indeed - sparse, yellowish foliage and lots of gaps:

Both lots were from the same two packets of seeds (half of each type used in each batch), so I can only suppose that the weather is to blame again.

I tipped out my two containers of Carrots a couple of days ago, because I wanted to use the plastic boxes for Autumn / Winter crops. Because the foliage had died down almost completely I thought that any remaining carrots were unlikely to grow any further and since I had already had a couple of pickings from these containers I didn't expect to find many more actual carrots. I was pleasantly surprised:

Whilst individually not very big, these little "finger" carrots are beautifully sweet and tasty, and take up very little space. I thoroughly recommend growing some if you can find a suitable location (i.e. one that you can protect from Carrot Fly infestation).

Now that the carrots are gone, I have sowed Spring Onions in one of the boxes, and "Golden Ball" turnips in the other  It seems really odd to be sowing Spring onions for a Winter crop, but the variety I have used is bred specially for this purpose. It is the hardy version of "White Lisbon". If you are planning to grow these, just be aware that there are two varieties, one for Spring sowing and the other for Autumn.


P.S. Anybody want to vote for me in the Achica Blogs Award competition?  I'm in the shortlist of 3 Gardening blogs, and I stand to win £500, so please spend a minute to vote for me!

Thank you.


  1. I'll definitely pop over and vote Mark. Today a fellow plot holder and us were commenting on how we can't seem to get spring onions to grow anymore. They used to romp away but now hardly move at all.

  2. Mark, I just voted for you and you are way in the lead at 144 votes! I do hope you win! Interesting to plant "Spring Onions "now and I hope they do well. Your carrots did well.

  3. Your "Kraut" (sorry, I'm a Bavarian) looks very well!

  4. hi just voted and your way in the lead. my spring onions still look more like hairs after weeks, hopefully when the weather starts warming up they may take off, same with my leeks.

  5. Thank goodness there is someone else whose carrots look like mine! That's about as big as mine ever get... voted for you. Good luck!

  6. Just voted, Mark - you're at 80% so waaaay out in front! Good luck to you, Sir! Interesting comments above about spring onions - my Spring sown spring onions are just beginning to be ready now! I don't use them very often in cooking so only put one short row in but better put another one in for spring next year!
    Totally agree about the seasons slipping and resowing carrots that might be ready in October - if we get a prolonged summer!

  7. You have my vote, Mark. The cabbage family looks great.

  8. Hope you win! Sure you will. Fall crops are looking good!

  9. Your cabbage is impressive looking. I didn't grow cabbage this year. The Achica Blogs Award competition is good news, hope you win!

  10. Excellent - you have my vote :-)

  11. Of course you'll win - no question. Lovely hole-free veg let's hope it continues that way.

  12. You've got 81% of the votes Mark...I don't think you really need my vote, but I gave it anyway because you deserve it. Have exciting for you....
    Good Luck ;D


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