Sunday, 27 March 2011

Eat the seasons: rhubarb!

Rhubarb season typically runs between April and May, with cooler climates extended their seasons as long as into July, depending upon the weather.
Field grown rhubarb typically has a bright red color. The brighter the red color, the more pronounced and sweeter the flavor.
Sliced rhubarb can be frozen up to nine months.
Fibers from the stalk should be removed, via a peeler.
Cooking rhubarb in orange juice will reduce the rhubarbs acidity.
1 lb of rhubarb = 3 cups chopped = 2 cups cooked

The broad bean.

The broad bean falls into 3 main categories; longpod beans, shortpod beans and dwarf beans. The longpod beans have about 8 beans in each pod, the shortpod beans have 3-5 beans, and the dwarf varieties have 2-3 beans.
- the Aquadulce Claudia
- Longpod or Leviathan
Broad bean seeds should be placed 7 cm below the surface, in double rows at a spacing of about 15 cm. 
 The rows should be spaced 25 - 35 cm apart and should be set out well to allow for maximum drainage.
Another way of planting broad beans is to plant 2 seeds in each hole. That way, when the plants grow, they can support each other in windy conditions, and you will also double your chances of germination.

French Beans: Using a trowel, dig out drills 5cm (2in) deep and 30cm (1ft) apart - where more than two rows are being planted, allow sufficient space between every second row to allow you cultivate and harvest them - 1m (3ft) should be enough. 
French Beans have a germination rate of approximately 75% and for this reason should be sown thinly, one seed every 15cm (6in), to be thinned out to a final spacing of one seedling every 30cm (1ft) about 3 weeks after sowing. To be doubly sure, sow several seeds at the end of the row for filling in any spaces where the seed has failed to come up in the row. After sowing, water the bed well if conditions are at all dry.




Thursday, 24 March 2011

Every man should have an allotment...

Every man should have an allotment, hen pen and a shed to hide away from the daily troubles and strife.
In parts of the north it is still a very male preserve, but certainly in the south and London the numbers of women are increasing rapidly. When allotments began, the men did what was considered to be the hard work, like the digging and ploughing. The women stayed at home and did the cooking and the cleaning. All that has changed now. Women see these people and realise there is no reason why they can't carry heavy bags of sand, lift huge stones or get covered in mud. 

И о погоде...

View from your allotment.

Наши соседи по огороду:

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Monty's favourite fruit.

Raspberry 'Malling Jewel'

An early-fruiting raspberry that crops from the beginning of July, this variety bears firm, luscious, dark-red berries in small clusters. It also has good tolerance to virus infections.

Five to try

  • 'Glen Moy' - spine free canes, heavy crops in early summer
  • 'Glen Prosen' - firm fruit in mid-summer
  • 'Allgold' - yellow fruit in autumn
  • 'Malling Admiral' - conical, dark red fruit in late mid-summer
  • 'Autumn Bliss' - large red fruit in autumn

Strawberry 'Mara des Bois'

A cross between modern and wild strawberries, it has the advantage of fruiting from July to October, rather than just June and July. Berries are small, but tasty.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Иметь сад или огород в Лондоне - это модно.

Грядки есть даже у королевы. А мэр Лондона намерен выращивать фрукты и овощи для Олимпиады-2012 на парковках и крышах многоэтажек
На сайте London Gardener царит деловая суета: разбившись на группы, бывалые огородники делятся опытом с теми, кто впервые взялся за тяпку, активно обсуждают, как лучше вырастить помидоры и перец, делятся секретами удобрения растений и хвастаются собранным урожаем, выкладывая в интернет фотографии.
– Выращивание овощей – это потрясающее хобби, – говорит глава Национального садово-огородного сообщества Джеофф Стоукс. – Посмотрите, сколько здесь плюсов: это дёшево, доставляет вам удовольствие и помогает сохранить не одну тысячу фунтов, которые вы ежегодно тратите на еду.

Monday, 21 March 2011


- jerusalem artichoke, 
I sow  my seeds in small square plastic pots:
- Чеснок

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Sow onion.

Wednesday 9 March ....  sets (from in-ecess) in 3 long rows-(100 onions) 20 cm apart.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

An Introduction to Lasagna Gardening:

На русском огород-лазанья здесь!

An Introduction to Lasagna Gardening:
Good way to recycle paper, cardboard and straw. 
lasagna gardening is a timesaving organic gardening method developed by gardener and writer, Patricia Lanza, which requires no digging, no tilling and no sod removal.

..beds aren't wider than 4 feet so you can reach all your plants without having to walk in the bed (1x2meters & about 15cm deep)
4 feet = 1.2192 metres
one foot = 30.48

you are going to get a bunch of newspapers. 
You are going to wet the newspapers and then lay them over the ground where you want your bed to be. This will keep down the weeds and give the worms great food to eat as things get started.
Put down a thick layer, about 10 to 20 sheets thick and make sure they are completely wet all the way through.

That's how you get started. Next we will look at getting your beds filled with planting medium.
You need to have a mix of "green" and "brown" organic material in your garden.
Green material is household material like organge peels, tea bags, veggie ends, egg shells ~ anything that came from Mother Earth, can go back to Mother Earth. 
- (NO Meat or meat products though) This category also includes grass clippings. 
- coffee grounds (give your local Starbucks a call ~ they'll be happy to help you recycle their coffee grounds).
Brown Material is mostly brown. :) Straw, hay, chipped tree branches.
It's important to get a good mix of the two color categories to make a wholesome mix for your growing medium.
You can make your planting medium in one of two ways. You can put your organic material right into your raised bed, or you can build a compost pile off to the side and add compost once it's done. Making compost does not happen overnight, so if you build a compost pile you need to plan a year in advance.

If you choose to make your planting medium directly in your Lasagna Garden, that's fine, it works great. Just make layers, like you would with Lasagna.
One layer of "brown" material, say straw on top of the newspaper as a bottom layer, then a layer of grass clippings, then another layer of straw, then a layer of 
household "greens". Just keep doing that until you reach the top of your raised bed.
just put down a layer of cardboard, then one of grass clippings, then carried on layering with browns (newspaper, card, autumn leaves) with green (grass clippings, weeds).
The brown layer should be twice as thick as the green layer, but I didn't measure.
Thick layers of organic mulch are the main ingredients of every lasagna garden. 

Chopped leaves, grass clippings, straw, hay, sawdust, wood ash, compost, animal manure, newspaper, etc., are just some of the materials that might made up the 
layers of a lasagna garden. Individual materials will vary in each individual's garden according to what is available locally.

How Do You Make a Lasagna Garden?
To make a lasagna garden you stake out your garden site and begin building up the beds layer by layer. The first layer involves laying down something heavy over sod, like thick pads of newspaper or flattened cardboard boxes, to kill the existing grass. The next layer should consist of 2-3 inches of a water absorbent material like coir, or peat moss. I recommend coir because of the growing environmental damage caused by extracting peat from bogs. Next, a 4-8 inch layer of organic material, such as compost, is spread over the coir layer. Another layer of coir, or a peat alternative would be added on top of that, and then yet another layer of organic material, like grass clippings on top of the coir, and on and on until the beds reach 18-24 inches high. Finally, the tops of the piles may be sprinkled lightly with bone meal and wood ash for added phosphorus and potassium.
Anything you'd put in a compost pile, you can put into a lasagna garden. The materials you put into the garden will break down, providing nutrient-rich, crumbly soil in which to plant. The following materials are all perfect for lasagna gardens:

Grass Clippings
Fruit and Vegetable Scraps
Coffee Grounds
Tea leaves and tea bags
Weeds (if they haven't gone to seed)
Shredded newspaper or junk mail
Pine needles
Spent blooms, trimmings from the garden
Peat moss
 If you make the bed in spring, layer as many greens and browns as you can, with layers of finished compost, peat, or topsoil interspersed in them. Finish off the entire bed with three or four inches of finished compost or topsoil, and plant. The bed will settle some over the season as the layers underneath decompose.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

...and shopping.

- rent for small plot + water+deposit = £11.02+£5.00+£50.00 = £66.02

what else do we need:
- tools (from In-Excess): spade+fork+rake = £31.85
- seeds + plants = £37.28
- materials: shed's roof tarpaulin+gutter brackets+ nails = £8.34