The Land Rover Owners Wife


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Waste not, want not

Waste not, want not. Small but full of flavour.

Waste not, want not. Small but full of flavour.

My carrots are one of the crops which seem to be blissfully unaware of the cool temperatures we have been experiencing of late and have, in sharp contrast to other crops, put on huge amounts of growth in the last couple of weeks. I have two beds with carrots in this year, sown a couple of months apart, to allow for a longer harvest and within the beds themselves, the sowing of the rows has also been staggered by a few weeks, for the same reason but now both beds have a heart warming number of carrots, at various stages of development and some thinning out needed to be done. Continue reading

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Some roots, some shoots, some bags and some netting

In a few months this should be abuzz with garden friends

In a few months this should be abuzz with garden friends

Everything is aching today, fingers, thumbs, the palms of my hands. Wrists, arms and shoulders, not forgetting my back, legs and even the soles of my feet (although they may be due to my worn out boots)! Nevertheless, when I say everything, I mean everything. Continue reading


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The Mudlet Vegetable Patch: an update

Little Mudlets side

Little Mudlets side

Underneath the netting in a sunny corner of the garden, exciting things are happening: carrots and peas sown in excited anticipation by the younger Mudlets, are growing in abundance. In fact, so successful was the germination of the carrot seeds that some serious thinning out needs doing and as for the peas, well between them they managed a good spacing with eight neatish rows, containing around 50 pea seedlings.

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Salads and roots

A surprise was hiding in the growhouse

A surprise was hiding in the growhouse

Most mornings during spring and summer, I wonder down to the vegetable patch to check on my seedlings and plants. I peer into the raised beds through the netting, glance around at the normal beds and the planters and then open up the greenhouses, checking that all is well. One morning earlier this week, as I surveyed my newly emerged seedlings through the netting on the raised beds, I realised that whilst there were a goodly number of lettuce, carrots, beetroots and parsnips through, there were still some gaps in the rows where germination had not occurred.

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Carrot tops for seed

This particular post is an account of my attempt to grow carrots for seed. Last year (2013) I obtained some Giant Red Carrot seed from The Real Seed Catalogue, initially to grow for food but with the long term aim of being able to save my own seed for use in future years.

Carrots flower in their second year and so the method for seed saving detailed on the Real Seed website was to leave two or three carrots in the bed, as these would die back over winter, then grow back this spring, would eventually flower, producing seed which could then be collected.

7th February 2014

Carrot, Giant Red for seed Continue reading


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Carrot, Touchon (direct sown)

This is a record of how long this particular set of seeds took to germinate and how they looked at various stages from first appearance to the development of the first set of true leaves and beyond. I hope this will prove useful.

Variety:Touchon (RSC)
Sown direct: 30th Match 2014
First Seedling: 19th April 2014 (approx)
Germination: 20 days
Germination ratio: N/A

The is described as being ‘Sweet, good for winter storage‘ and so I am looking forward to tasting these carrots in due course.

Carrot Touchon direct sown Continue reading


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Gardening Club: When is a carrot not a carrot?

The first of the summer vegetable boxes

The first of the summer vegetable boxes

School may have finished for the summer and the children may be enjoying their lesson free days at home but the teachers are still clearing out classrooms, Mrs T is still working away in the school office and out in the grounds the vegetables are still growing ….. and growing ….. and growing!

So what happens to the garden and vegetables during the summer? Continue reading


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Carrots for Christmas

The mangetout will keep the Mudlets in snacks for a while longer

The mangetout will keep the Mudlets in snacks for a while longer

Each year about this time, I sow some carrot seeds in a tub, in the greenhouse. Actually this year I’m a few weeks earlier than normal because experience has taught me that the longer I can have them growing before the first frost the better the result (which isn’t that much of a surprise when I think about it). The aim is to have fresh, homegrown carrots, alongside freshly pulled parsnip, leeks, stored and cured winter squash and blanched and frozen Runner and Climbing beans with Christmas Dinner. If I have some potatoes left for roasties then that will be an added bonus. Continue reading


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“I say tomato, and you say tomAte-o ……”

The shop bought plants are laden with tomatoes

The shop bought plants are laden with tomatoes

Well whichever way you say it, if the weather stays relatively fine and we don’t see a repeat of the non-stop torrential downpours of last year, we could be in for a bumper crop of tomatoes this year. Ahead of the rest of my crop by a country mile are the shop bought plants and I think I can detect the first signs of colour change. It can be a bit of a worrying time, when your tomatoes start to change from green to red (or their true colour whatever it is) because it can look as though they have been infected with something and are actually rotting on the truss but it soon becomes apparent that what you are witnessing is actually the true colour starting to come through. Continue reading