Tuesday, July 13

It's not all fruit!

I know I've posted on broad beans but fruit has seemed to dominate my blog posts so this time I'm ignoring fruit and concentrating on our vegetables.

We did pick some mangetouts but it seems that they were eaten before posing for the camera - we decided to have them raw in a salad - good decision!

We sowed some Early Nantes carrots in containers on 21 March which we have been picking for a few weeks. They are feeling a bit ignored as we kept eating them to without taking a photo - some raw and some cooked. This time I promised they would be stars of the blog.
They started out life in our cold greenhouse, sown in a trough which was moved outside when space became tight. They're not very big in size but big on flavour.

This week has also been the big garlic harvest. The first to be pulled were from cloves planted in a trough at the beginning of October, kept in the cold plot greenhouse and moved out in spring.

The bulbs were very small so I was a bit disappointed but after some technical advice on plaiting from a fellow plot holder, I made my first attempt at creating a string of garlic. It's not perfect but not bad for a first attempt - the photo is taken from its best side!

Attention turned to the second lot of bulbs. These had been started life in small pots in the cold greenhouse at home and grown on in there over winter. They were planted out into the ground on 21 March - same day as the carrots - we were busy that day!

The leaves hadn't died back completely but I decided to dig up one bulb to see if they were any better. To my dismay it was rotten so I figured that all the rest would be rotten too and decided to dig up the lot.

Dismay turned to delight as I dug up large plump bulb after large plump bulb - some cloves had even produced two bulbs! 
These are now drying out so I can have another attempt at plaiting. Looking at the two photos above you can't really appreciate the difference in size so wait a minute and I'll go and take another photo ... ...

Now can you see the difference? Both crops are a mixture of Solent Wight and Solent Purple. I'm guessing that I didn't water the bulbs in the container enough but I was worried about giving them too much water and rotting them!

If you want to read my full diary entry for last week it is here

An album of more photos taken last week is here.


  1. AnonymousJuly 13, 2010

    I have been reading that Nantes carrots are the best in size and in flavor. I’m growing them and another 3 varieties this year, so I will compare them.
    That is interesting story about your garlic. I will have study more about different garlic varieties so I don’t end up with small bulbs next year. I planted all my garlic direct in the garden.

  2. What a great garlic harvest. Well done on the plaiting, I think it looks good.

  3. Hi Vrtlarica - we are growing four varieties - Early Nantes, Yellowstone (a yellow carrot), Autumn King 2 and Flakkee. Flakkee is new to us this year but we enjoy all the others - I don't think you can beat home grown carrots for flavour - whatever variety!

    As for the garlics the two batches were the same variety the only difference really was how they were grown.

    Hi Jo - But you can only see the good side!

  4. wow...that's great garlic...my leaves are dying off and i dug a couple up...they are like your first bulbs, quite small but I am happy to receive anything on them after they all got terribly scorched in the fire. I think I will be planting more garlic next year and we will see how it goes!!

    Your carrots look good too...I really should dig a couple of mine to check.....hope they are going to be ok!

  5. Small would have been OK for us too really - it was just that last year's were bigger. I don't think we will manage to use up all the bulbs

  6. Great garlic, mines been a failure this year I fear. And the carrots look good, I've got a pack of that variety must get round to sowing them!

  7. From seeing what you have grown Damo I guess garlic is your only failure!

  8. Fantastic crops :) just got myself my new lotty. So excited! Will add your link if you dont mind? :)

    All the best with your harvest, Craig.

  9. Welcome Craig
    I hope you enjoy your new allotment. Thanks for adding a link and I will soon visit your blog too to see how you are getting on.

    Visit my website too as there is a lot more there.

  10. Thanks for the garlic pics. Have been putting off harvesting mine whilst waiting for a couple of dry days but perhaps I had better just get on with it!

  11. Hello BW, I managed to pull all ours before it started to get wet. The second lot are finishing drying off in the greenhouse on the wooden staging before I have amother go at plaiting

  12. Despite a very wet start, sun is weakly trying to come through. Might dig up one bulb today 'cos I want to do some cooking later.

    How long do you like to leave yours to dry?

  13. The first lot dug up were already dry enough so I plaited straight away. The second lot I dug hadn't died back completely and maybe I could have left them in the ground longer but I wanted to see if they had rotted as I noticed one had. This meant they weren't completely died back so I let them dry out until yesterday when I cleaned then up. The stems still need to dry off a bit more so I can plait them - they still have some fleshiness to them. So short answer is until the tops are really dry so I can plait them and can't really say how long timewise.


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