Winter Crops

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hedgerow pete 

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As ever with me I send most of the christmas period looking through the last years work. As always the spring and summer was good with lots of veg and fruit the autum was not to bad , but did not get to picking the large amounts of hedgerow fruits as normal (I curse severn trent and british water ways and thier chain saws).

The winter crops are my biggest bug bear. The great plan went completely to pot, my cabbages and brassicas went to pot so we are collecting bassica leaves rather than cabbages, the red cabbage for pickling got slugged big time and as for the winter salad stuff in the green house it all went to seed. I have also lost most of the winter chicken crop as well.

how has everone else got on and any tips to getting the winter crops right for next season
 

funfly 

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Well I made a a few bottle of sloe gin as usual, lovely outdoor winter drink.
 

RoofTops 

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Not sure my experience will be much help as the climate is usually very mild down here. We still have some lettuce left, it is in a cold frame but the roof (2 old double glazing units) are slid open. The beetroot has stood well, it is Detroit and the large bulbs(?) are still very edible although there are signs of new leaves growing on the top which may not be a good sign. We have almost finished the parsnip. I have found Gladiator best for our soil, which is very sandy. These usually do well although as always germination takes ages.

I have some early sprouting purple broccoli which is not ready yet but looks OK, although it went in late so is not very big.

Like you the winter cabbage is just not hearting up and is very loose.

We have fought a losing battle with the cabbage white butterflies in previous years but this year I grew the brassicas under a fleece until it blew off in early December, by which time even the butterflies had gone - we saw them still flying in November. This has kept them more or less caterpillar free and we will do the same next year.

We don't have any leeks in this year (laziness) but these have to be grown unde a fleece here as there is some creature which burrows into the stem.

We had a good crop of butternut squash but they are not storing well. Having scoured the seed catalogues there are other varieties which are supposed to have better storing qualities, so will try one of those next year. My wife roasts the squash cut into cubes in the oven mixed with cubes of sweet potato (from the shop) and it is delicious with lamb. However, I have not been able to grow squash organically, unlike the rest of the garden. It is just too hungry. This year I fed it with a non-organic tomato fertilsers twice a week and it took off - dark green leaves and plenty of fruit - certainly compared to previous years where two fruit from an organically grown plant was the best we ever managed.

I am going to try onions from seed this year. I have never been succesful in the past and have used sets for years, but if I sow them in the greenhouse in modules in January (this month!) they should do better than direct sowing.
 
T

Tom Bick 

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"Happy new year people"

Sorry Pete but you have to put it down to experience and try again next year I had a disaster of broad beens and peas this year I was gutted over the peas just love to eat them straight from the bush
 

chalkie 

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I never bother with winter cabbage as i'm usually still pulling my summer cabbages, still got around 20 solid head primo2 in the ground which i sow about a month after my initial sowing as a back up, still pulling beatroot and curly kale leaves, sowed some winter onions back in october which seem to be doing ok, onion sets last year went to seed very early and left me with a poor crop so will be starting some of from seed in the next few days.
 

Black Comb 

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The leeks have done well this year.
Not tried any others.
 

SixFooter 

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The birds had more than their fair share of the things they like, so lost a lot of raspberries, plums, cherries, strawberries etc. The pigeons ate all the sprout seedlings and most of the lettuces were lost to slugs.
I'm buying lots of nets this year.

On the plus side, spuds and sweetcorn were fabulous as usual. Autumn planted Japanese onions were a success and enabled me to store the maincrop for winter. I left the charlotte pots in the ground after chopping the tops off. I dug some up on Xmas eve and they were perfect.

Still got cababges, Kale, swede and charlotte spuds. The chooks are laying at about 1/2 summer rate.

For this year, I've a couple more beds to create with scaffold planks. I need new paths and I have ordered a fig tree and a pear tree.

I'm also planning to build anoter shed for all the beekeeping equipment!
 

MuswellMetro 

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used fleeces this year, still harvesting under it beetroots, red chard and just sown spring lettuce . i use fleece quite a lot due to wood pidgeons

had a succesfull marrow harvest but tomatoes got brown rot, so tons of green tom chutney, freezer full of climbing green/yellow beans but runner beens did not get pollinated very well ( hive 100yds away). good cooker apples by the bagful

had damp off of cutting lettuce/leaves last year, this year due to additional ventalion (vandalism) had a much better winter crop and still cutting first sewn

never do potatoes other than very first earlies in a tub in grrenhouse before tomatoes, ridge cues outside did better than greehouse burpless

some downers, lost ALL my rhubarb crowns in the summer, grey squirrels breached my soft friut cage..nothing left but nice late season red grapes (this is london)

Some uppers, sowed iceburg type lettuce, did not germinate so threw on compost..were it germinated....best lettuce i have every grown, size of footballs and hard centre...traded most of it though, i prefer soft red lettuce
 
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hedgerow pete 

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salad crops through the year were not to bad as they were under covers, I use nets but not fleeces, cant afford them. i normaly grow some spuds but not a years worth as I cant store them properly, its onions I dont bother with the other allotments to mine are asian and they grow millions, all have some form of onion rot or rust, they dont treat and never allow the onions to clear up so it becomes a waste of time growing some items, never had a hard centre lettuce and gave up trying years ago
 

Somerford 

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However, I have not been able to grow squash organically, unlike the rest of the garden. It is just too hungry. This year I fed it with a non-organic tomato fertilsers twice a week and it took off - dark green leaves and plenty of fruit - certainly compared to previous years where two fruit from an organically grown plant was the best we ever managed.

I am going to try onions from seed this year. I have never been succesful in the past and have used sets for years, but if I sow them in the greenhouse in modules in January (this month!) they should do better than direct sowing.
Bets bet would be get a huge heap of farm manure, plant the squash in that and watch them romp away - same for courgettes and pumpkins too.

I have had mixed results with onion seed - some good, some bad. depends on the weather really !

regards

S
 

Somerford 

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Pete - ditto on the sprouts - not a good year they all seemed to break up and form mini cabbages instead of buttons. grrrr

Plenty of growth on spring white and purple sprouting and kale...red cabbages a waste of time and not very large/solid.

Yet again my root crops scored top marks - plenty of parsnip and potatoes (250kg harvested and I was being selective) Bloody carrots a waste of time as were the leeks, although they have recovered somewhat of late.

Beans - dwarf french worst year for a while but 4 varieties of runner/climbing and 4 successive sowings of broad beans were very good.

Tried broccoli and romanescu for a 2nd year - did ok. Also set up a large strawberry bed from plants given to me from other sources and planted a bed of globe atrichokes for next year (which even flowered in their first autumn!!)

Rhubarb did very well and transplanted 3 new crowns grown from seed for next season in a new location.

First crop of Autumn raspberries which just kept on fruiting and flowering.

Here's to next year !!!!

regards

S
 

wilderness 

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Tom Bick;37659I was gutted over the peas just love to eat them straight from the bush[/QUOTE said:
Admin, should this be moved to the Adult section? :laughing-smiley-014:laughing-smiley-014 Would make a good line in "I'm sorry I haven't a clue"
 

hedgerow pete 

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I dont mind any bush munching on my threads. ha ha ha

thats the best bit with my allotment and my kids when they were younger, every thing was eddible, beans carrots , peas, the lot no need to wash just pick and munch.

Onions i am in two minds realy, most of the sets that i have used these last 3 years have all bolted before getting up to a proper size, I always do well with seeds if i plant them in early january, biggest problems i have is that the locals grow millions of onions all year round and dont treat dieseases so if you do grow onions they soon get some form of bug and die
 

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