After the routine sprinkling of paraffin over the emerging winter peas, I planted a row of home-grown garlic cloves from this year's harvest. I had kept back the 6 largest and plumpest bulbs and, after dibbing a row of holes for them, planted the fattest cloves from three of them. That meant I was happy as I could take the other three home for the kitchen.
They say that the best garlic is the one that suits your particular soil and the way to get that is to select the best of your current crop and use it as the seed for next year. I gather it will take several years to complete the process which is why I bought a pack of garlic from Stewart's and put in a row - just in case!
Then I waded into the brassica tunnel containing my Brussel Sprouts and kale. There were clouds of whitefly so I must sort out a way of dealing with them. I plan to install 2 inch netting to let the small birds in - as I did for the other tunnel last week. Then I started picking up all the dead brassica leaves from the ground and removing yellowing and dying leaves from the plants. The kale was the main problem as its leaves are 2 feet long and hang over everything nearby! Some of the plants were beginning to lean over so I also took the chance to fill in the holes I had put each plant in when planting out, earthing them up. I found a couple of stakes for the two kale plants that were leaning the most but will need to install more to stop the others being blown around. While doing this I was pleased to see that there were quite a few sizeable buttons on the Brussels nearly ready for harvesting.
At the side of the tunnel the Kilaton cabbages were hearting up nicely, as were the Omskirk Savoy cabbages. The Kilatons were a bit moth-eaten. I picked the smallest to check the damage, worried that the butterflies had got in to lay eggs but found most of the holes were caused by slugs. I have used very little slugbait and hope the damage is superficial. I also picked a fennel, worried that the recent frosts might have affected them.
A neighbour was carrying bags and buckets of weeds to his car to take to the tip but, being less fussy, I persuaded him to dump them in my compost bin and then added the brassicas leaves from my work in the tunnel on top. It all helps to make more compost!