Saturday, 8 September 2012

Clearing Tomatoes and harvesting Onions, Garlic, Shallots and Parsnips

So I finally got outside to do some weeding, and tidy up the wreckage of the inside tomato plants (which had been blown to all corners since I moved them outside, and hadn't recovered at all, sadly).

This morning, in a fit of energy, I got out of bed and went straight into the garden. I have recovered the bamboo stakes and the little green plastic bits from the tomato plants, and then separated the soil from the plants.

 Soil from the inside tomato plants

The dead inside-tomato plants

Anyone got any ideas what I can do with the soil? I was just going to spread it onto waste ground... I presume that with all the roots in it there is a chance that next year some random tomato plants may appear?

Anyway, that done, I headed for my Parsnip Patch to weed, and pull a couple of plants to see how well they are doing.  The weeds were pretty bad, but it didn't take long to pull them back. No gloves, pulling stinging nettles out, and very very few stings... I think it is true that if you grasp a nettle hard, you don't get stung - it is when you brush past them that it hurts the most.

My weeded Parsnip Patch

A single Parnsip, looking very healthy.

While I was walking across the grass one time I spotted this little fella hopping away from me.

 This tomato plant was a runt which I just pushed into the ground and didn't even think about. It has a really good crop of tomatoes and is hugely healthy. So there you are :)

The most ripe tomatoes are still getting redder, which is nice.

This is the fruit of my harvest today. The (tiny) parsnips are to the left, next are all the garlic that I saved, then a mix of onions and shallots.

I think I left my onions and shallots in the ground too long because a good half were soft and rotted. This despite the above ground growth not having died down yet. I think this is because of the wetness of the year, which is a shame, but it is all a learning experience.

I actually harvested all the root crops completely by hand, without using any digging implements. I just dug my bare hands into the soil and filtered out the crop. This was a very satisfying (if dirty) method. I recommend it highly.

This evening I am planning on a lamb roast with cabbage from the garden, and I may fry those parsnips up too. I will blog about it.


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