Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.
About Vegetables In The Winter.
harvesting most of the 4 types of Beans that I had grown, I left the
dwarf red beans to over develop and dry off naturally on the plants.
Normally, you would do this to save the seed for next year, but in this
case the packet had said that the beans could be dried at the end of the
season and then stored in plastic tubs and used in the lean winter
months as “Haricot” beans. Unfortunately for me, the late wet spell
meant that although they did develop and some did dry, many pods went
black and the beans rotted inside. Consequently many had to be discarded
and I was left with only a few times more beans than I actually sowed in
the first place. Remembering that they were late going in I think they
will be a good crop for my second season and will prove very worthwhile
because unlike other beans they won’t need freezing to store them for
later use after all the fresh vegetables have long gone.
small crop of Pink Fir Apple potatoes have nearly all been eaten with
only some very tiny tubers left at the bottom of the bucket in the
garage. So far they are showing no signs of shrivelling or mould, so I
am hoping to over winter them and plant them in shallow trays of soil,
(or “Chit” them) in the greenhouse in early spring. It has always
struck me that potato tubers are expensive to buy and Pink Fir Apple are
not always available, so being able to replant them next season from my
own leftovers will be a great saving.
Beetroot have long gone and all been eaten, but I still have a large
number of Turnips in the ground and some ordinary orange coloured
Carrots, (not the Purple one which soon got eaten or given away!) along
with a few Jerusalem Artichokes. Back in the Summer I had toyed with the
idea of making a “Clamp,” to store my surplus crops in just as
people used to do in the olden days before modernisation.
in very simple terms, a “Clamp” is made by storing clean and dry
root vegetables piled up and mixed in straw to stop them rotting. The
resulting mound is then covered in a thick layer of soil to keep out the
elements and especially the frost.
Some crops obviously don’t need any winter protection at all as they are still growing. Indeed my Leeks are growing well now the weather has turned cooler and wetter, even if they are a little late developing and the Purple Curly Kale that I thought was planted too early, is re-growing nicely. When I cut the tops off, a few weeks ago, I left a stout length of stalk in the ground and it seems that by doing this, I now have a second crop developing nicely on the old stems. The same trick can be done with Lettuce growing in the summer months!