Saturday, December 10, 2005

Projects for next year

Apart from bedding, the wildflower garden and the new borders I am adding a few more things to my projects for next year.

Growing old styles

After looking through several seed catalogues I am going to try growing older styles of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. These are more more varied than standard types and you can really opt for something different.

Growing ginger

Inspired by Raymond Blanc's Tai kitchen garden, I am going to try growing Ginger for next year. Using supermarket bought ginger, now is the time to buy and begin planting. Ginger loves sunlight and warmth, at this time of year we are in the deep winter in the UK and both of these requirements are very limited. As such you need to start it off in doors, keeping it moist and warm.

Most of the guides you read about Ginger say opt for bud shaped growths to start from. If you look at your shop bought ginger these are easy to spot, short growths from the main tubers. You need cut a good piece from the ginger from this growth, you can then plant on. Use a well draining compost mix, John Inne's Number 1 with a handful of loam (if you can source it) or vermiculite for added drainage is a good choice.

Add water to make the compost moist and then cover with a plastic bag and put on a sunny windowsill. When shoots appear you can remove the plastic bag, keep moist and warm however. Its said that even the summer in the UK won't afford enough warmth to grow Ginger, as such you should grow Ginger on in a pot and keep under glass. Summer can then afford it enough light and warmth for you to enjoy a crop in Autum (when the foliage dies back).

Thats the plan, its always easier to write than actually do and my results could vary, thats half the fun.


Unlike Ginger which is considered a tropical plant, this is a desert plant that is grown commerically around the sub-tropic regions of the world but grows native to Iraq. These are very tricky to grow in the UK due to its requirements for warmth and light (like Ginger). Not a commonly grown Fruit in the UK but gaining popularity, this may lead to types that can cope more with UK conditions.

As a desert plant, it likes very well drained soil and while it can cope with drought its best to keep moist during fruiting season. I am going to have a go at growing one from the seed of a supermarket bought fruit. If this fails I will return my seed books (although not easy to find in the UK). I will opt for the same growing procedure as the Ginger. Its said that seed can produce varied results and cuttings are best but these are completely absent in the UK so I can only hope the seed is good enough. The only grower in the UK who as much as I know has had success with these is the great Bob Flowerdew, I will be following his advice on growing these to the letter. Again my results may vary but fingers crossed it all goes well.

Cherry Tree

Now is the time to buy bare rooted trees and shrubs, I came across a bare rotted morillio cherry and temptation was too much. Now housed in the strawberry patch I planning on keeping this as a standard tree but will keep the height down to 8/9 foot rather than dizzy 15 foot it can reach.

Bare rooted trees tend to be cheaper than pot bought plants, they are bare rooted as they are now dorimant and thus only need miminal water to keep going. When you plant these you dig a hole deep enough to give the tree a solid root base and wide enough to spread the roots. Make sure you add some Fish/Bone/Blood and you firm the soil, all that remains is to mulch and then leave alone. When spring arrives you work continues but for now, sit back and think about all that great spring flowers and cherry pies in summer, can't wait.


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