Monday, January 8

First harvest of the year

We managed just one visit to the plot last week. It was on New Year's Day and what better way to celebrate the new year than to pick a few fresh vegetables to see us through the week.

The harvest was pretty much as you would expect at this time of the year - no surprises this time.
We were happy to see some more large parsnips - the roots are so long that they tend to snap and leave their tails behind them - a bit like Little Bo Peeps sheep.

The only real disappointment is provided by the carrots. We keep hoping that the next harvest will be better but we are still lifting very misshapen, pest attacked specimens. I wonder whether the proximity of this bed to the compost heaps is providing a safe haven to slugs. If so we will have to think carefully about what we plant there this season.

After harvesting we had a little time, before rain stopped play, to do some more work on some of the areas on the plot that have been earmarked for a face lift.

Martyn, worked on a large area that has been neglected for several years. It had been covered with weed control fabric but after being neglected for so long the weeds had grown through making the task far more difficult.
There is still work to be done but Martyn is making good progress.

I am tackling a much smaller area - which is only fair as I am much smaller. The end of one of our fruit tree beds was very messy, mainly due to it being almost impossible to remove couch grass from where it had woven itself around and in amongst a clump of rhubarb. The rhubarb needed digging out to enable me to tackle the clearance.

I can't find a before photo but you can get some idea from where part of the messy area is visible at the end of the bed in the photo below.
The photos below show the state of play so far.



Not as dramatic as Martyn's achievements but no less overdue.



As the rhubarb was lifted I noticed that it was beginning to produce new shoots. No doubt being wrenched from the soil and chipped in half will have set it back but fortunately we have clumps elsewhere that are also producing new growth.



Not quite rhubarb crumble stage yet but it's a welcome sign that the new season has begun.

Again Martyn produced a video of our New Year's Day activity which, if you are interested, can be viewed here.


As usual I am linking to Harvest Monday which is this week hosted on Michelle's blog

16 comments:

  1. Lovely that you can have rhubarb pie soon! that's something else good to say for your cooler weather.

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    1. We will have to wait some time yet, Jane

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  2. That rhubarb is quite something. Seeing that growth I won't delay popping a bin over my Timperley Early.

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    1. This is an early variety, Mal.

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  3. That's a big job that you've tackled and it looks like you've made great progress. I don't envy you that task. My raised beds and dry climate make for easier clean up jobs. Nice looking harvest even with the wonky carrots.

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    1. In a way it isn't any worse than the perennial bed that we renovated last year, Michelle.

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  4. Goodness, your parsnips are huge and it looks like you're getting a good amount of Brussels sprouts. That's some wet hard work you're getting done in the garden, it's looking good. I'm planning to go out and dig up all the turnips today, it's been raining so the ground should be unfrozen by now.

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    1. It's always satisfying when one parsnip is enough for more tham one meal, Phuong

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  5. I love that feeling of accomplishment when a long overdue task gets done. I still have a few ornamental beds that are in need of a big overhaul - weeding, pruning, mulching, etc. I'm hoping this will be the year when I finally get to them.

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    1. Me too, Margaret and we still have a few more areas to 'renovate'.

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  6. I was told not to grow my carrots in fresh compost, so wonder if yours aren't doing so well because of their proximity to a source of nutrition with the compost? just a thought.

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    1. Our carrots are more often wonky than not, Deborah so that isn't the real concern. The problem is slug damage and the fact that the first couple of sowings were just mowed away.

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  7. Love your parsnips; i wanted to put some in this past summer but it was way too hot and it never really cooled off until Dec. Ah well, maybe this year. I live in the desert and should not have slugs but have some in a few areas. Too bad you can't put some ducks in there, I hear they love slugs.

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    1. Too hot for parsnips is never a problem here, Mary :-)

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  8. I think your parsnips are more than making up for the carrots! Goodness, you have both done a grand job, hopefully the rhubarb will grow back quickly. Couch grass is an utter nightmare. Good that you can get out, it's far too cold and grim to do much here.xxx

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    1. Jobs are now in hold, Dina it’s too cold wet and soggy,

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