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Spud Grubber's Blog

Guy Barter

  • Date Joined: 15 Jan 2007

Recent Comments

  • Spud Grubbing

    Guy Barter on 24 Sep 2007 at 04:46 PM

    The last of the potatoes are gathered in.  ‘Fleur Pecher', a French maincrop with pink-red skin gave a fair yield of blemish free tubers.  Slugs seem to have left it alone and there were no rots. 

    ‘Bleu D'Auvergne', another French maincrop with pale purple skin came in well too.  Not a heavy yield, but you don't expect heavy crops of these unusual cultivars. 

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  • Bean harvest

    Guy Barter on 17 Sep 2007 at 01:52 PM

    Haricot beans ‘Brown Dutch' were dry and ‘strawy' enough to pull up by the roots and take home to hang on a string in the sun.  Here they will dry and ripen protected from birds and squirrels by the watchful local moggies until ready to thresh out the seeds for storing for winter soups and stews. 

    Once the beans were recovered large weeds, which were rather numerous in the bean patch, were pulled up and the soil raked over with a home-made ‘mulcher'.  This is three pronged cultivator with a wire attached to the prongs to sever weed roots and loosen soil without inverting the surface layer.  The idea is to kill all weeds but leave any weed seeds on the surface to germinate rather than bury them and make them dormant to be a problem in future crops.  The weeds will be dug in as ‘fertiliser' next spring. 

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  • Gathering potatoes

    Guy Barter on 10 Sep 2007 at 01:14 PM

    Gathering potatoes 

    Dry soil, wind and bright sun make for perfect potato lifting weather.  The spuds are eased out of the soil using a five pronged fork found in a junk shop that is ideal for the task in my light sandy soil .  Where the ridges have been covered with black plastic after foliage removal last month the soil is much looser and more friable than the ridges left uncovered where the soil has dried to a hard crust making lifting very demanding on my delicate back.  However, the dry soil means that I can dispense with the drying period usually recommended before storing tubers. 

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  • Harvest time

    Guy Barter on 04 Sep 2007 at 10:44 AM

    Vegetables have been taking a backseat this week, while I deal with fruit.  Gathering apples, pears, raspberries and plums, collecting wild blackberries and cutting back strawberries and raspberries, and winkling bindweed out of currant and gooseberry plantations are very pleasant summer tasks. 

    To be truthful, I have had enough of veg growing for a while and am happy to gather the abundant crops of courgettes, French and runner beans, peppers, sweetcorn and more modest crops of tomatoes and aubergines.  There are a few summer cabbages and a little salad remaining as well. 

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