Kilner News

Kilner Winter Allotment

26/01/2015

We have been checking on our crops at the Kilner allotment this week. They seem to have put up a brave fight against the bad weather recently.

At the moment we are harvesting Cavolo Nero Kale, Calebrase Broccoli and herbs Flat Leaf Parsley and Rosemary.

The Leeks are ready to harvest but we only pull as many as we need as they keep better in the ground.

The Broccoli plants will start producing sprouting broccoli from late March to mid May – the more you pick, the more you get.

The plants are prone to being eaten back to bare stems by pigeons at this time of year, when other food is scarce, so we try to protect the plants by sticking lots of sticks and poles around them so the pigeons cannot get at the leaves.

Pigeons do not like having not enough space to use their wings for a quick get away, so a forest of sticks acts as a deterrent.

The bamboo cloches are also used to keep off the pigeons and also keep squirrels from digging up the tulip bulbs I have planted in my cutting bed. I use tent pegs to keep the cloches in place.

The Rhubarb will be ready in about a month’s time. This will make delicious cinnamon compote with Greek yoghurt!

Top Kilner Jar Tip:

If you need to protect baby pea plants, place a Kilner jar over the top of them to act as a mini greenhouse. This will allow them to grow slightly and be protected against frost, mice and pigeons.

Once the weather warms up in early spring, you take off the jar and the plant grows giving you a pea crop weeks earlier than if you planted the peas in spring.

You also plant more peas in spring as usual and so you get a pea crop for a longer period, before the summer gets going as pea plants do not like the heat and stop producing.

We will be planting Shallots and Red Onions in the next few weeks, but then nothing untll March/April.

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