Wednesday, 16 December 2015

News From GIY Ireland

Hard to believe it’s mid-December already, and yet here we are with just weeks left in the growing year.  Things are relatively quiet in the vegetable patch – apart from preparing beds for next year (which is almost finished), there’s very little to be done. The weather certainly hasn’t helped to create any enthusiasm for GIYing. 
I heard a guy on the radio saying that November was the dullest, wettest and windiest for decades – that certainly seems to sum it up.  I find I am literally craving light at the moment.  If it continues at this pace we will run out of alphabet letters to name the storms before the winter is over (will they go back to A and start again??).   So, really the only work I have been doing in the veg patch is putting the black plastic covers back in place when they blow off in the storms (they always blow off in the storms). 
On the other hand, I am glad to report that in the polytunnel, the oriental greens that I sowed back in September are doing well.  I sowed mizuna, mibuna, red mustard, komatsuna, salad rocket, texel greens, tatsoi and claytonia in two separate sowings – one ‘broadcast’ or spread liberally in thick bands direct in to the soil and the other in module trays in the potting shed (and transplanted later).  The latter are much further along now, since they got a boost from the warmth of the potting shed before having to contend with the colder soil in the tunnel. 
I have started harvesting a little from them at this stage, but only a little.  That’s ok, because (a) we’re not big in to salads at this time of the year and (b) amazingly we still have some lettuce that we can harvest outside in the veg patch – particularly the super hardy red variety Matador which seems impervious to the attentions of frost. 
Outside in the veg patch, I am still harvesting carrots, parsnips, celeriac, leeks, beetroot and white turnips.  If the weather was better I would probably lift and store the beetroot and carrots but I just can’t be bothered.  We also have a good bank of the always-reliable hardy perpetual spinach. From stores we still have plenty of pumpkins, squashes, onions and garlic but our spud crop is almost done.  We will, alas and alack, be back to buying spuds before Christmas. 

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