A look around the plots

by on June 2, 2013
in Vegetable Growing

The weather has certainly improved over the past week or so and there  are now visible signs of growth all around on the land.  The polytunnel is starting to fill up with various Link-a-Bord beds growing a range of vegetables for the Tatton Park Show.  I’m very pleased indeed with my short carrots for Tatton,  I have over 400 in total made up of 6 different varieties with more of Sweet Candle than the others.

Raised beds with six types of short carrots

Raised beds with six types of short carrots

Link-a-Bord beds with veggies ready fro Tatton and nhanging baskets

Link-a-Bord beds with veggies ready for Tatton and hanging baskets

I also have 20 deep pots of Runner Beans in flower but at the moment they are not setting with the flowers dropping off.  I just hope the bees will spot where they are soon or I shall have to try and spray the flowers to see if they will set that way. Things are looking well in the glass house with the long beet really enjoying it there as well as the parsnips, all of these of course are also for Tatton.  The long row of peas are podding up now with plenty of pods with 11 peas and the odd one or two with 12, these are all for seed for next season.

The plot outside is now taking shape with the potatoes for Tatton planted out in their polypots and protected from wind damage with the orange plastic mesh. The shallots, our own selection of Aristocrat, are doing very well in shallow containers, they won’t make a large size for exhibition but they will make some good bulbs for planting later on in the year, that is why I haven’t thinned any of the clumps down.

Runner Beans in flower but not setting at themoment

Runner Beans in flower but not setting at the moment

Own Long Black Beet really doing well in the new glasshouse

Own Long Black Beet really doing well in the new glasshouse

The Sweet Candle carrots for Malvern and possibly Harrogate are all in the one bed without any cover at all.  As we buy the largest graded seed of the Sweet Candle, germination was terrific and I’m positive you can get away with sowing just two seed in each station.

Sweet Candle Carrots, 420, all for Malvern plus possibly the NVS Championships at Harrogate.

Sweet Candle Carrots, 420, all for Malvern plus possibly the NVS Championships at Harrogate.

There are 420 in the bed and currently they have been thinned down to two in each station. In the background you can see another larger bed with 5 different varieties making a total of over 1,100 carrots in both beds.

Peas Show Perfection in pods and for seed production

Peas Show Perfection in pods and for seed production

Own selection Aristocrat shallots for bulb production

Own selection Aristocrat shallots for bulb production

We have nearly finished erecting a permanent structure to support the Stenner runner Beans.

Permanent Posts concreted into the ground with cross pieces to support Runner Bean canes.

Permanent Posts concreted into the ground with cross pieces to support Runner Bean canes.

A wide angle look at a small section of our cultivated area

A wide angle look at a small section of our cultivated area

It’s made from 4×4 tanalised uprights with 4×2 cross pieces to which the wires will be attached.  We hope to have the first few hundred planted up this coming week all of them, apart from a few for our display, are for seed production.  The longest bean, Jescot Longun is planted up in my Polytunnels at home which is a good 4 miles from the field to prevent any cross pollination.

 

Comments

7 Responses to “A look around the plots”
  1. john ellis says:

    Wow Medwyn, everything looks good to me. How many long beet stations do you have per barrel and when did you sow them?

    How do you think Aristocrat compares to Hative for showing. I can’t get on with exhibition shallots for some reason (no proper size) maybe lack of light as my garden is partially shaded from neighbouring trees. Did you ever win the national with them?

    PS How is the book progressing?

  2. Medwyn says:

    I have four Long beet in each blue plastic barrel and on this occasion I have made the core holes bigger using a 4 inch plastic pipe followed through with a steel bar. These are a little advanced I know but they were sown for the Tatton Show. Whilst I’m on about Tatton Park Show, The RHS Summer Fruit and Vegetable show is also on at the same time with some super prize money. There is plenty of time for you to get a copy of the schedule and to enter the classes. For full details contact the Show Secretary Georgina Barter on georginabarter@rhs.org.uk or telephone on 02078 213 142. Shallots is one class that I have never won in, not even at Branch level though I have had a place card once at the Welsh Championships. The funny thing is that my father grew some really good ones and won at the Anglesey Show many times. To be honest I don’t think there’s much difference between Hative de Niort and Aristocrat, I don’t think I could tell them apart. Perhaps David Thornton can as he is the one to beat currently as well as the gentleman who won at the Midland Championships last year, do you know his name John?
    The book is now finished and it doesn’t half take time to complete. It’s being launched on the 11th July. It’s in hardback format with nearly 300 pages with plenty of full colour pages in it and sells for £19.99. Unfortunately John it’s in the Welsh language but I am pressing the publisher, Gomer, to have an English version made as well.

  3. john ellis says:

    Yes I know of Dave and he gets huge shallots. I was chatting with John Branham at his annual open evening on Tuesday and he reckons light intensity is a key ingredient to getting size on shallots, next year they get the sunniest position in the garden and will see what happens. Light lkevels have been awful this year, worse tahn last year from my solar panel readings. If I have anything left I might try a couple of classes at the Westminster autumn RHS show, this year have targetted my sowing dates for Shrewsbury and especially Bucks County where hopefully I can at least beat my good pal Marcus Powell!

  4. Medwyn says:

    I think you had better watch out for yourself at the Bucks County Show Marcus, they are gunning for you!!

  5. kevin says:

    with show veg are they safe to eat ??????????

  6. Medwyn says:

    yes I can assure they are safe to eat, if anything they taste better than any supermarket produce as they have had a lot of TLC. I certainly eat all mine.

  7. Simon Smith says:

    A showman’s unofficial motto is if you wouldn’t eat it yourself you shouldn’t show it.

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