Monday, 17 October 2011

Ryton Gardens Heritage Seed Library

I was interested to hear on BBC TV’s “Gardener’s World” about Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library at Ryton Gardens, Warwickshire. Garden Organic claims to be the leading organic growing charity in the UK and researches and promotes organic gardening, farming and food. The Heritage Seed Library aims to conserve and make available to their members vegetable varieties not widely grown.

As for my allotment (also aiming to be as organic as possible), I’ve been getting some more work done. I’ve found room to fit one more small bed into my half-plot, next to the compost bins, and as with the other beds, edged that with timber last week. Originally I thought this would be a “nursery” bed to bring plants on, but now I’ve bought one of those mini-greenhouses with the zip-up polythene covers, which I’ll keep at home for propagating seeds. Next year I’ll probably plant sweetcorn in the new bed, but for now I've transplanted some of my winter cabbage plants into it, to give the others more room.

The weather seems to have caused some confusion (not just because I covered vulnerable crops with fleece, only to find autumn turning back into summer). One of the cordon apples has blossom on it. I’ve also had aphid on my late broad beans (as well as the chocolate spot I previously mentioned), so I sprayed them with soapy water. They seem to look better. Anyway, it looks as though cool weather is on the cards this week, so maybe the seasons will get back on track.

I grew some globe artichokes in my flower border at home this year, and some of these I put in the permanent beds at the allotment. They make a striking ornamental plant, but now those I left at home are forming heads (a bit late, I think, but they were a little crowded earlier in the year). It’s difficult to know when to harvest them, not having grown them before. The only thing I have to guide me are articles on the Internet. All this vegetable growing is leading to new adventures in the kitchen.

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