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It's been a bumper year for strawberries on the Bathampton plot. Lizzy, Paul and I have been picking for all we're worth and my jam pan has scarcely left the stove.We grow two varieties of strawberry: an early called 'Honeoye' and a later one
the pretty ones, leaving the others to grow to gargantuan proportions.Broad beans need picking regularly to ensure the plants keep flowering and producing beans, so mine have inevitably stopped cropping. The stems are laden with pods so large they're getting
.I planted them into a well-firmed bed, which is the key to growing good sprouts. A loose soil leads to 'blown' open sprouts rather than nice, tight little buttons.I've also earthed up the stems as they've grown, which keeps them firmly rooted in the ground
into the ground and standing only about 30-45cm (12-18in) tall. This gives the tree a chance to build up its own strength as it flexes in the wind but keeps those roots safe and secure. Perhaps the trees won't then grow as ramrod-straight as they would with a
parsley, dill and rocket as they're no trouble to grow.
. The boffins were anxious to get the agreement of the plot holders and to time the survey so as to cause minimum disruption to the growing of crops.As a result of the meeting it looks like the survey will take place in the autumn. In the meantime, I suspect
beautifully that anyone who saw them passed comment. It's a lovely variety to grow and the fruits did look fantastic, but I can't tell you what they taste like!My third 'failure' is less severe. This year my onions are decidedly patchy performers. I've got a
that it's stopped and I've dried out - horribly dismal. And what's more it stopped me heading up to the plot for a good clear up session after the frosts.You see I love a good tidy up! The frost will have turned everything that was still attempting to grow
. Next week I'll cut the heads off and hang them upside down in a paper bag to collect all the seeds. Then, in 2010 I'll be sowing my own leeks and parsnips on my plot. I can't wait to see how they grow.