Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Investigative Harvest

After reading the wonderful Pumpkin Patch blog it occurred to me that I needed to have a look at the late-planted garlic bulbs.

Dug up just two (from opposite sides of the bed) and am both pleased and surprised. Pleased because they look really healthy - no signs of rot and they absolutely STINK of strong, fresh garlic. Surprised because I've never grown garlic before and didn't really expect it to be successful.



The rhubarb is in year one and supposedly you are meant to leave it to develop a strong crown. After a very slow start it has joined the herd and started to emulate a Triffid, completely covering the garlic growth and probably preventing it from continuing to ripen. Therefore I've pulled all the huge lower leaves and stalks and had a general tidy up. Will prepare and cook the rhubarb as an experiment and won't be disappointed if it is inedible.



With thoughts of tonight's ratatouille I dug up one each of the red and yellow shallots. The white ones (top of picture) are truly showing off - 19 bulbs from one little onion set. Time to start cleaning my crops!



Although I have gardened, in one shape or form, for the best part of 40 years, this is the first year I've grown outdoor vegetables. It's different, it is much harder work than the current GYO craze would have beginners believe but I am slowly starting to get it and understand why friends are so passionate about their allotments.

16 comments:

  1. Well for a beginner you're not doing too badly at all. That greenhouse is brimming with growth and looking lovely. As for the potagers, all that hard work with barrow loads of rotted cow gold etc is really paying dividends.

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  2. I csn't see why your rhubarb won't be gorgeous Bilbo. As will all the rest. It's great when you start getting something back for all that work isn't it?

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  3. All looking good Bilbo, not sure if you've been having a blog update session or if I've missed a few recently, but the progress both on filling the log store and harvesting crops looks great. There is such a special feeling about popping into the garden, picking something and eating it. I really must think hard about getting a couple of beds in for next year.

    Yes, the boys all like the toys, and a good bonno is just a bonus :o).

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  4. James - drat - should have tricked you into moving some cow poo at the weekend but you were enjoying yourself so much with the splitter!

    VH - I thought the rhubarb season was over? I know I will have to destring this lot but if it cooks up OK I am looking forward to stewed R. for brekky!

    SwAli - oops - sorry, published about 4 or 5 entries this morning and as I date them for when the activity happened, rather that when I write about it, I'm sure it can be as confusing as h*** for everyone else!

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  5. It must be a wonderful feeling now to start seeing the results of all the hard work you've put in over the past couple of years.

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  6. You're right Sue, the freshness of newly picked veg is wonderful, now I see why Flummery, Hazel, Nic and all the others work so hard at their allotments.

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  7. The problem is growing your own IS made to look easy on the TV which is why so many take an allotment thinking veg grow themselves and then after a few weeks of finding out it's hard work - they give up.

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  8. GLA - I am sure it won't be long before there are no allotment waiting lists - either because relative newbies find out it is harder than it looks and give up the tenancy, or they abandon the plot and have it taken off them for lack of cultivation.

    I've been saying for months that the GYO Bubble has to burst soon, can't remember exactly where but I read the same opinion in one of the gardening magazines recently.

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  9. when I took a year out from work last year people asked 'what do you do all day?' to which I replied 'all sorts of things including earning vegetables!' As much as I love being at the allotment it's definitely more work than hobby but all in a good way :o)
    Your lifted shallots are fab

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  10. Nic - people who have to ask "what do you do all day" obviously need to get out more {{ha ha}

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  11. Big allotment plots are a lot of work if you work full-time which is why I'm sticking to the garden and pots for the moment as pao was banned from anything too strenuous when he had his ops. It is lovely to pop out the back door and pick something for dinner or look to see how things are growing.

    Your garlic looks great and I bet your rhubarb tastes great. I'm thinking about clearing a bed and buying a crown for next year.

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  12. Thanks Mrs P, yes, it is wonderful having things just outside the door. The rhubarb was OK, although I put too much sugar (for my taste) in it. The next batch will set poor Management's teeth on edge and be very sharp!

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  13. Hi Bilbo, Your garden looks great and your sunflowers beautiful and reminiscent of our holidays in the Vendee. I love them and like you HATE petunias. My management went out when I wasn't looking and bought loads for his hanging baskets for his hanging basket rail in the greenhouse! Needless to say it is me that gets the revolting sticky, gloopy task of deadheading them or leaving them to look horrendous! I have grown garlic and was amazed at the gorgeous JUICINESS of it. Jill

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  14. Me again! I have planted rhubarb new this year although mine is in a pot and waiting for the vegetable plot to be sorted. I have been very good and not pulled any but after seeing that you have, I may not be able to resist much longer!

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  15. PS Your garden is an inspiration and next year I will have sunflowers too :-)

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  16. Thanks Jill, I'm glad I am not the only one who didn't sign up to the Petunia fanclub :}

    Will save some of Ollie's sunflower seed for you and send it over in good time for next year. How lovely to have them growing at Bag End AND Bag End :}

    PS: yes, the garlic is really juicy - yummy!

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