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Europe: December into January

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Post  plantoid on 12/14/2013, 9:04 pm

This year it seems it's sensible to re nail the shingles with bigger new nails and locate your emergency flood " bug out gear " & self righting boat.
Cor! What a lousy end to the year , I think we've been spoilt this last few year with reasonably  warm dry winters and just a fortnights ice and snow in the first week of February .

So what's to do wrt ANSFG ...
I'm up for getting the duck down duvet and a halfen of chilled 30 year old Bushmills single malt Irish whiskey  ,  then sitting on the settee and letting  my mind & fingers wander through the seed catalogues till spring arrives.

If you don't have the Whiskey or the duvet :-

Prepare the leek and onion  seed tray  ready for sowing your leek and onion seed on either the autumn equinox ( 21 Dec ) Christmas day for something to do or on new years day to see if your sober enough to do it..  Time will tell if you were ,when the pattern of sown seedlings start to germinate and show   Laughing 

Take out as many weeds as you can out the ANSFG beds ....if your not too fussed about such things , perhaps use a small paint brush and coat the larger perennial weeds with some of the gel form of Round-Up if the weather is likely to be dry & above freezing point for another 24 hrs after doing it.( Bit of a tall order ???? )

Top up any beds that are low .. use MM less the vermiculite unless your bed are lacking it in the first place .
If your just doing single crops like carrots & parsnips in a complete bed , remember if you add to rich a compost  it make the roots fork out  like a cows udder  Embarassed 
I'm doing a bed  per crop for several reason  such as wanting to can and freeze them and make up large batches of stews and minced meat dishes . So it's easy for me just to add a bit more peat or composted coir to the root crop bed and hope that the roots will be nicely cylindrical and straight  rooted .

In the beds I've still got carrots for mid  autumn , late autumn to very early spring  and maybe some spring ones .
We have about 30 leks most of which are around 3/4 to 1&1/4 in diameter
Still got some beet roots &, kohlrabi .

Brassica wise .. the sprouts are starting to form really well  now it's got colder , the newest ones  are making nice tight balls .
Where as the ones that came in November had started to blow out . .. We're still eat these blown sprouts as I usually get enough of them in one go to make a green veg  serving for the three of us  .  
The curly kale has done well , it  is a bit firmer than last years ..  I think this is due to me  stopping watering them in mid November as they wee starting to show signs of black mould on the leaves that were getting a lot of shade form the week sunlight .. the mould has cleared up.

Our broad leaf kale is fantastic , with leaves like dark green baby elephants ears &  are nice and bitter to eat when lightly boiled.

Still got several decent sized parsnips left in three beds separate beds , the tops have died back a bit and a few new  bit's of greenery have emerged out the crown .
I will soon have to take them out before they turn woody as this new growth is  the start of the seed cycle and the woodiness.

Swedes ( rutabagas) are shaping up nicely most are about four inches or more across . I was amazed to find several purple top Milan turnips that appear to still be growing , they are three or more  inches across . don't yet know if they are edible of heading for the compost heap as woody material .
there is plenty of celery in various beds quite a lot has been grown from " Stumplings "
How ever all of it that has not been " collared to blanche  it is very strong and a much darker green . The tops of all of it are showing signs of wilting & turning yellow  .. as yet I don't know what has caused this .

All the overwintering garlic is now in , showing  green shoots about an inch high confirming that I did indeed so them where they should be a without double planting or missing any squares

The rhubarb will soon be moved to a temporary location along with a two year old grape vine and some thornless blackberries .

I might be able to have time to harvest a couple of in the way cabbages if they get their running shoes on and reach a sensible size .
this is because we are hoping to have the final stage of the landscaping project done over winter.  This may involve  a bit of disruption in the ANSFG beds till April /may depending on the weather we have .
It will bring in several newly built  ANSFG beds ,  built as 36 high x 36 square compartments in  engineering bricks like the rest of my garden is .
Plus two slightly bigger high raised beds .  One a permanent 30 year bed for the  " New asparagus plants  Embarassed  ) ( I accidently weed killed the three year old crowns in April 2012  Laughing  Laughing ) and one for a high raised bed for four  two year old crowns of rhubarb  as this year I found that bending and tending them at ground level very painful  .

The compost has been examined, I removed three of the plastic composter bodies  and reset them elsewhere leaving three x three feet tall cones of very good quality of animal dung based  and garden waste based compost .
Munchkin & I filled two of the newly emptied compost bins with compressed mulched oak leaves, one of which had several layers of pond weed added as the composter was filled.  This  should be an interesting event when it decomposes .

That's all  for a while  .......I have to go and find this 30 yr. old Bushmills triple distilled malt whiskey  & the duck down duvet I was on about

Last edited by camprn on 12/16/2013, 2:30 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : expanded title)

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Post  Marc Iverson on 12/14/2013, 10:03 pm

For us I think it might be cold into colder, but I'm hoping that it thaws out long enough for me to feel it's not unwise to brush off the snow covering my row covers and take a peek underneath. I haven't looked at any of my garden in weeks, aside from the tiny leggy lambs quarters seeds I planted into little pots a month or so ago. I've also got some of that under row cover and a bit pot of it completely uncovered and under a few inches of snow outside.

Not sure what else I'm going to do for a good long while. We sometimes have snow here up until May, but I do know I want to get some tomatoes started early.
Marc Iverson
Marc Iverson

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Post  johnp on 12/16/2013, 8:57 am

We've had our record cold for the year and will get close to a record high this week and maybe cooler with light snow for the weekend. I went out to the sunroom yesterday to cut lettuce and found spots all over both boxes. Found many tiny dark colored bugs (aphids?) and tiny white insects. I took both boxes to the compost pile, took the basil plants inside for a wash but no bugs were found. I will mix some spray and do all the other plants in the room because this is where we set up our new plants for the upcoming season. I sure don't need bugs on the new sprouts. I think I will wait awhile before planting new lettuce.

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Post  plantoid on 12/16/2013, 10:52 am

Why not eat the lettuce with bugs on and save money by not having to purchase meat/ protein or bug control stuff ??  Laughing Laughing 

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Post  sanderson on 12/16/2013, 1:55 pm

Taking a break in veggie SFG to clean up the rest of the yard. After our early freeze, we are having a few sunny days in the 60s. So, I'm making hay! Pruning, raking, winter weeds, slug control, sweeping and washing. The seed catalogs are sitting on the counter.

It's been a frantic 10 months of mainly concentrating on SFG: making boxes and trellises, learning about pests and diseases, [learning to make] making compost, freeze protection, etc.

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Post  johnp on 12/17/2013, 8:40 am

David, Why didn't I think of that at the time?

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