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Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.


Plough Field Allotments at Amerton


Gardening Tips
By Mrs FM


Unusual & Old
Fashioned Fruit


Herbs & Other
Edible Plants.

Environmental Issues And Going Green.

Books By
Alan J Hartley




Thinking About Vegetables In The Winter.

After 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.

My 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.

My 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.

Described 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!