18th January, 2011

Still not much happening in the garden. I'm focussing on tidying it up by getting rid of the compost pile. To do so I'm emptying out the compost bins that are ready and then I'll start filling them again. I sieve the compost as it is quite twiggy which then gets recycled back to the compost bins. I am laying it on the side bed without digging in. Hopefully, the worms will drag it in from now to planting time in spring.

The parsnips are a nice size and very tasty. I have noticed a problem with the loo roll method in that a good tap root does not form readily. I think what happens is that there is good lateral growth into the loo roll but the tap root does not seem to grow evenly as it gets to the bottom of the loo roll and hits garden soil which it struggles to penetrate. The result is forked tap roots and a constriction where the bottom of the loo roll is.

So this year I'm going to try direct sowing.

The leeks have been ravaged by leek moth which I haven't had a problem with until now. That's because it has normally been a problem in the south but it is obviously moving northwards. I will have to monitor the plants closely this year. The caterpillar migrates down from the green leaf into the white stem where the brown pupae overwinter. The picture below shows how the stems are shredded by the caterpillar eating its way down the stem and leaving tracks marked by brown edges. If the leaves are removed then the inner parts of the stem are OK and edible.


fer said...

Good luck with your plans! hope your leeks do well

Ferris Jay said...

I hope that direct sowing your parsnips gives you better results this year and that you find a way around your leek moth problem. Could you sow another plant around the edge of the leek plant to confuse the caterpillars?

Good luck and let us know how you do.

Capsid said...

Thanks for your comments. I will have to try a barrier method such as fleece or environmesh to stop the leek moth.

I really like leeks so don't want to give up growing them.