Tag Archives: vulcan chard

#NABLOPOMO: Spinach and Chard


Ma rather likes rescuing spinach and chard, and here we have it. The Spinach is rescued, and we have found some chard for her to plug in. It’s a  bit hard to resist, when she waves the tray at you, says your name and does that wide eyed thing that only mums do. She has been somewhat worried over the last few days, that the rain might bring the slugs and slimers out to kill the new plugs. For the moment, they are still there. My on concern, is that she planted them into open ground and this is going to make them very vulnerable on a plot where open ground isn’t necessarily a good place to be if you are a new plant.

I don’t mind spinach and chard myself, it’s a reliable crop that makes for interesting onion bhajis and pasta bakes. Along with cauliflowers and cabbages, spinach and chard make their way into the ‘Indian’ Food that ma cooks. The spinach that she has rescued, she tells me that it’s perpetual spinach. In her eyes, this is proper spinach. Mainly because it has large, broad leaves with quite a thin spine. This makes for me leaf, and less stalk. The other time of spinach that Ma is hoping to get onto the plot, is Mustard Greens. I need to look into getting the seeds what ma calls proper, proper indian saag. What she really wants, is that yellow flowered stuff that farmers sow on an industrial scale on their fields as a green manure.

Chard is a good substitute, and seems to also do well when left to it’s own devices. Not sure what variety we have here, but I do remember having both Vulcan Chard and also bright lights chard. The former, has lovely bright red stalks, with the latter having stalks that can be bright yellow at times. What I don’t have at the moment is Kale, but there are a few cabbages knocking around.

#NaBloPoMo: Tidying up on the plot

With the growing season over, the plot takes on a whole new appearance. The colour and foliage has all but gone. What does remain, is the hardier spinach and chard like creatures, and of course the weeds that were missed from the first time they were spotted.

The plan was therefore to go down to the plot and start weeding and digging. I did the weeding, and some digging but not as much digging as I would like. The plot is clay, or in this weather, heavy clay. It is solid, sticky, and squelchy. The red wellington boots were covered and caked in the stuff.

I concentrated on the one bed on project othello, the second half of the plot.There are seven beds on project othello, two of which are currently occupied by cabbages. The aim is to fill a few of the others with soft fruit.

Welcome to Hobbitland
Welcome to Hobbitland

Project othello is on the right hand side of this diagram, and the bed in question has already got mint and a rochester peach tree in it. This particular bed had been full of gladiolus, tomatoes and courgettes, so was in need of a tidy up. There were quite a few clumps of grass that had sprouted across it. These were all pulled up, which was made easier by the soil being wet.

The chard is still going, as is the perpetual spinach. Neither of these likes the warmth or direct. The chard in question is bright lights and vulcan chard. Bright lights does as it suggests, lots of yellow stalks. Vulcan chard, is the red one,and always reminds me of Spock. It doesn’t bleed green, I checked. It does however make nice pasta sauce and onion bhajis.

Over the summer, the roses were in full bloom. And they are still going, some of them at least. Even those hacked down and dead headed, have new blooms coming through.

Sturdy shallots, garlic going well

Assorted Garlic cloves were planted through cardboard last autumn, With a dry spell, they aren’t looking too bad. A little wind burned, but otherwise reasonable. I expect that these will hopefully get some height and width with as the spring weather approaches. Certainly looks encouraging as the weather settles. That said, March comes in like a lion, and out like a lamb.

Shallots were the bedfellows of the garlic, and occupy a number of the beds on project othello. It is only now, that the green shoots are visible, with a lack of puddles. Like the garlic, these were sown through cardboard that has so far worked reasonably well.

Sunderland Kale occupies the same bed as Mama H’s spinach and chard. Her next mission is to separate out the spinach plants. Her verdict on the Kale that it looked very nice, There is hope for it yet. I do wonder what it tastes like. It doesn’t have the wrinkly leaves that I expected. There are stalks in the raised bed that belong to nero di toscano, it will be interesting to see if that makes a return.

Strawberries exist on the plot. I don’t know what variety they are, only that there were given to me by a plot neighbour. These have to be rehomed to elsewhere on the plot, as this bed needs replenishing. The level has sunk quite a bit, and was home to courgettes and marrows last year.

A quarter of the plot has been dug over today. Mama h is planning on digging over the rest to see what the heavy clay is up to. To be honest, that means digging woodchip into part of it, as it currently sits on black plastic bags. Hopefully the digging in of the woodchip counts as organic matter.

Yes, these videos were made surreptitiously without Mama H finding out. Hence the quiet David Attenborough tones in talking.

Pinched and pulled

“I found a mooli!”

“Have you? Lovely.”

Well, mother, it’s a white icicle radish. But if you insist.

Mum pulled out a few sparkler radishes as well for herself and pops. Both of whom, have now decked that they don’t like the leaves. So these were composted.

The one key coup today.

Chard and spinach.

That was she wanted today. And no messing.

Mum harvested a fair bit of what looks like perpetual spinach and may have been Vulcan chard. The premise was to make it into pakoras-that’s onion bhajis, folks. But we really shouldn’t be eating more fried food.

And what was I doing whilst she cut that stuff down? Watering squashes. Striato di Napoli has a couple of babies, there may be a little jack baby, and baby bush marrow. Please to report that leaves are filling out nicely. Must keep feeding them.

Yours in anticipation

Horticultural Hobbit