The Speaker at the last meeting of the Society was Sherie Plumb, a very well known vegetable grower who shows her produce and is extremely successful on the show bench. She is a member of the National vegetable Society and runs the Essex Association. Her talk was entitled ‘A year in the Garden’.
The year started in November with cleaning of all the greenhouses, sowing onions, broad beans and spring greens . the spring greens being sown in the greenhouse. All the beds are double dug and potatoes planted in large bags of peat, one to each bag. Runner beans are grown in the same place each year because it is protected from the wind. Before planting a trench is dug and filled with compost. Pickling shallots are also planted but in pots surprisingly, 2 to each pot. All these vegetables will end up on the show bench, with the surplus for the house or being sold at the gate.
Come December onion seed is sown and in January carrot mixes are made up, Onion seedlings are pricked out and moved to 2 inch pots, everything is netted to keep off pigeons and marauding foxes. In February more seedlings are potted on and in March the carrot beds are prepared and filled with sand, these are covered. Potatoes are planted in their large bags of peat after shooting they are put outside and covered with cloches. Carrots are sown on top of peat filled holes 3 to each hole, these will then be thinned out to 1 per hole. 7 lots of runner beans sown, onions planted, leeks potted on and supported with a pole and a wire over to support the flags. By now cucumber, marrows and sweetcorn all growing well in the greenhouses. By May everything growing well. In June shallots are measured for the shows, collars are put on the carrots to stop the shoulders going green, runner beans need to be 18 inches long so all side shoots are cut off. Plants are fed with Chempac and a seaweed feed.
July, cucumbers are earthed up and everything is growing well. August and September , time for showing all the produce and getting many first prizes. Harvesting many crops in October and then it is time to start all over again ready for next year. Such an interesting inspiring talk with pictures of all the prize winning vegetables.