Thursday, April 23, 2015

autumn planting and other work

Over the last few weeks we have been busy planting the autumn garden.  We've put in  broad beans, peas, snow peas, and brassicas (cabbages, broccoli,cauliflower and kale - all autumn planting varieties), carrots and winter radishes, lettuce, raddichio and something new to me, Rampion or Rapunzel.  Yes, as in the plant that 'rapunzel's' father stole from the witch's garden in the fairy tale.  It apparently was grown in Italy, Germany and Switzerland and since my ancestry is from that part of the world, and I have kids, it would be worth giving it a go (no - it doesn't take much for me to give a plant a go)!  Have no idea what it will be like, but if it comes up we may get to find out!  The seed is TINY.

planting broad beans is so easy, even a 2 year old can do it!
best times - planting together!
I am also propagating seedlings in trays in the poly tunnel (no its not finished, but we have made one of the seed raising benches so I have somewhere to work!), more lettuces and other salad greens and starting on onions.  We have been digging a trench to get water into the tunnel so that we can start planting.  Fingers crossed we might finish that job off this weekend.  I hope to put in some early potatoes - just to pull up as needed, once the summer harvested ones are finished.

digging the trench with the mattock...

.... and cleaning it out with a shovel...
yes we know there are machines to do this....

We also have coming a concrete water trough to turn into a fish/water lily pond to help stabilize the poly tunnel climate (water is a great thermal mass).  It will be very interesting getting the trough down there, as we don't have a tractor, but hoping that some low tech solution will work out (we did manage to move a 300kg combustion stove on wooden posts as rollers quite some distance - an interesting experience I can say!)


  1. Never heard of Rampion looking forward to seeing that vegetable when it grows, what potatoes do you plant this time of the year so that you get an early harvest and family days in the garden are the best

  2. Hi Julie,
    I am just planting potatoes I have here that are sprouting, I don't believe there are specific varieties for planting in autumn. But potatoes will grow all year as long as you don't get frost or it doesn't get too cold (like freezing). I have found that all my rouge potatoes that come up grow any time and do really well. I am planting them in the polytunnel so frost shouldn't be a problem, but it is an experiment, and it may not be a success! This is Rampion