Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Turnips, Onions and other assorted Vegetables

Forty days to harvest according to the seed packet.
It is now three months after I sowed the mini-turnips and they are almost ready. It will be interesting to taste what they are like. We’ll probably use them whole in a casserole or tagine.

A second sowing of turnips has grown only a few centimetres high. They have been starved of sunlight being too close behind the first lot. Hopefully I’ll remember next time to start my planting at the back of the bed (southern end) and work forwards with subsequent plants or seeds. It’s taken me all of this time to realise my mistake. By planting at the front of the bed I’ve guaranteed that everything else would be struggling in the shade.

I wasn’t quite as foolish as it may seem. There was a reason why I planted the broccoli at the front. The bed previously contained “lazy housewife” beans which were still reasonably productive at the back while those at the front had given up the ghost. Therefore the broccoli went in where there was room. It was unfortunate that conditions were less than favourable for everything that eventually replaced the rest of the beans.

On the weekend I had to remove the remaining Snow Pea plants. It is several weeks since we were able to pick any peas. We lost a lot to the frost. Even though the plant itself seems to be tolerant of the cold, the pods didn’t fare well. I’m not sure whether to sow more seed at this time. I received a planting guide by email today and it suggests it’s time to sow all kinds of peas, but I’ve never had a lot of success with snow peas. They always seem to take up far more room than they deserve considering the feeble crop they have produced for me in recent years. I have a row of green feast peas that have germinated, but they are still very small, falling victim to some nibbling creature. Time will determine whether they survive and thrive long enough to give us a decent amount of peas later in the year.

Currently we have a little broccoli left. It hasn’t been the best year for it. Last year we were able to freeze a lot for later, but this crop is barely enough to keep us going from day to day.
We also have beetroot that can be used for the occasional chocolate beetroot cake. Gloria cooked up three beetroots today which after cooking weighed around half a kilo, enough for two cakes. The chocolate beetroot cake would be one of my favourites. It is very moist and heavy, almost like a mud cake but not quite as dense.

Some time soon I’ll have to do something with my bed of onions. I sowed the seed directly into the beds and now they are ready to be thinned out and replanted. I only hope that I have enough room to spread them out a little. Fortunately (?) none of the spring onions germinated so I have some room in the bed where I can relocate some of the others.

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