Veg Patch

To read the story of my Veg Patch in chronological order use the links in the Blog Archive

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Its all gone very Autumnal..

There's no getting away from it, Summer is over. I think I probably picked the worst year to start a vegetable garden. The weather has been ( And still is) the first thing I think about in the morning, and the last thing I think about at night. The constant worries about what will blow over and what will rot if it gets much wetter, have been bad, but the pleasure of that moment when you finally get to eat something you have grown yourself is quite amazing. 

I planted lots of veg for the Autumn and Winter and now that is all starting to look very inviting. 

With that in mind I decided (having found the packet and read the back) That my parnisps were probably ready for digging. 

My dad inspected them in august and declared that they were not very good, despite all of the lovely greenery, so it was with a heavy heart I went to the parsnip bed yesterday afternoon with my spade and fork. Oh well, I thought, may as well get it over with, then I can dig up the rest and compost them. 

I cleared away the soil around the neck, and where previously there had been nothing, now a nice top of a parsnip was in evidence. 

Maybe Dad was wrong and they are actually going to be alright, So I dug it up. To say I was amazed was an understatement, it was huge, and once again a very unusual shape. What is it about my garden and strange shaped vegetables? 

After a quick wash, It looked like four parsnips growing in a clump

A few minutes and a bit of dissecting later and I had three cleaned and ready for the oven on sunday. They smell wonderful, so here's hoping that they taste wonderful as well. 

Elsewhere, It looks like we will be eating dwarf beans as well this week. I put a picture of the flowers on last week. Well now we have beans. I am really pleased as they were planted very late. 

And finally at the vegetable end of the garden. I have had to dismantle the Leaning Tower of Barton. Its time laying down had not done it any good, and despite me standing it back up again, it was basically dying. So to make use of the space for onions, I got my secateurs out and cut it down. I will try again next year with a much stronger construction. 

So what else to do. There isn't a lot at the moment in the Veg patch, I have lots of leaves to pick up, but it seems pointless when more will fall , so I am waiting a bit longer. In the front garden though, I have my Stream Project. 

I dont think I have mentioned this before. We have a small stream that runs along the entire length of our property. We are responsible for keeping the banks cleared, and so with my neighbour, we decided to try and turn them into wildflower banks.  We have spent all summer clearing brambles and all sorts of other stuff. I threw a couple of packets of wildflower seeds around in the spring and we got a few very pretty things growing, I also planted a load of Penstamon's which have been lovely. The main problem are the large tufts of grass which keep swamping everything. This is a chunk I havent cleared. 

And this is a bit I have. 

Problem is, as I was pulling out all the grass, thousands of seeds were falling onto the soil. I know its going to be a long battle to get rid of it, but I have employed a special weapon. After a cry for help on several gardening websites, It was suggested that I try a plant called Yellow Rattle. This plant actually attacks grass roots to grow itself. But apparently it is quite difficult to get established. Well I have plenty of time, so in for a penny..... 

I contacted the seed recommended seed supplier Emorsgate Seeds who sell an amazing range of Wild Flower seeds, and my Yellow Rattle duly arrived. 

When its grown it should look like this 

Lets hope it likes my stream and kills of the grass quickly. 

Yesterday was a beautiful afternoon, so I decided to get out and sow seeds on the bit I have already cleared. And as I did that, I managed to clear another 10 metres or so of my bank. I was ably assisted by the under-gardener, who was fascinated with the water, but never quite summoned up the courage to climb in and join me for a paddle. 

He did however, decide it would be nice, to sit on my secateurs and a penstamon and supervise my activities 

I still have lots to clear and loads more seeds, so hopefully another couple of days next week and that job will be done. I have bought loads of packets of wildflowers to sow as well, but they have to wait until the spring. 

Here are a couple of plants that have taken, and are still in flower. 

Out and about in the forest this week we have met an array of wild animals. On Monday we met this beautiful foal. 

Gibson was very good, he sat and let the foal walk very close to him.

Then on Tuesday we had our first encounter with Pigs. These are not wild, but are let out to roam in the autumn to eat all the acorns. They were a bit more nervous so he had to stay on his lead. 

And this huge cow watched us for ages. 

Thats it for now, have a great weekend


  1. What a lovely post, I identified Yellow Rattke for the first time this year, it had been sown in our local park in a wild flowe meadow. Love all the pics of the animals and the keaning tower of Barton :) What fun ! Jo

  2. I was going to mention yellow rattle and then you did!

    As for this year's veg growing - if you survived this year you will survive anything. August was a bit early to start writing off parsnips - we haven't even looked at ours yet. As for the strange shapes - they'll still taste great. Too rich a soil (for instance if it has reecently been manured) or too stony can cause roots to fork. Did you sow your seeds direct in the ground as trying to start off in pots etc can also cause forking?

  3. Hi there, love the photos of the New Forest and animals, well done Gibson, nice control Jim! I didn't recognise your garden in the photo taken from your stream, forgot you had different colour gravel and so many exotic palms! Good luck with re colonising the stream edges, just think of how lovely it will look in a few years time!
    N x