19th December, 2009

The weather has turned very cold and frosty at night with sub-zero temperatures. So not much happening in the garden. Nonetheless, the frosts should improve the flavour of the sprouts and parsnips. I've tried a few and they do taste very good. They will be excellent for Xmas dinner. The parsnips are rather small and have bent roots. It seems the tap root goes down so far then goes sideways. Again I have to blame the heavy clay soil which the root can't penetrate. Once again, I hope that continued addition of compost will improve the soil condition.

The purple sprouting broccoli had resisted the attention of the wood pigeons, until now. I counted a flock of 22 of them which get frightened off by a buzzard every so often, but they must be getting hungry as you can see below.

With Xmas arriving I have asked for a veg cage which should be a little more substantial than my pathetic home made effort which now looks like this.

I need to get the cage over the PSB as soon as possible (Boxing day?) before my PSB is eaten away.

The broad beans in the greenhouse are thriving but this cold spell will check them back.

Finally, if you remember I made some apple and raisin wine last December after my failed attempt at crushing apples for cider. I had to resort to using wine finings to get it to clear which worked a treat and I'm glad to say that the final result is very nice! It's a medium wine that is very smooth and easily drinkable, perfect for xmas (if it lasts that long). Cheers!