Thursday, 5 September 2013

Student vegetable plots

The student vegetable plots are tucked away in the northern part of the garden, opposite the School of Horticulture, and are keenly maintained by the students. Although there is a strong element of fun involved, meticulous marking once a month by the assessor means you must get on with it whether you would like to or not! Vegetables are required to be grown to a high standard, pest free and harvested at the correct time, and some flowering plants are also allowed on the plots too to lure in the pollinating insects. The highest marks are awarded to those who utilise the space most ingeniously, with catch crops and intercropping to give the most bountiful harvest overall! Marks are lost to those with bare soil, weeds, and for negligent harvesting, such as the inevitable comedy marrow left growing on the courgette plant for too long. We benefited from a very good growing year this summer, and overall it was bloody good fun!
My plot took on a Dig for Victory theme this year, with patriotic flags and a wartime scarecrow standing guard. The cosmos were magnificently unruly and have flowered their socks off

Bean poles and the old bunting!

Mixed marigolds providing a colourful edging

A peacock resting over a row of carrots, although many students did not bother to protect their crops we have had no incidents of the dreaded root fly

Tagetes and some healthy basil poking through

The rocket have bolted gloriously this year, one of the students foresaw the inevitable

Some incredible bolting lettuce!

Lord Roberts enjoying the evening sun

This is a surprisingly excellent dwarf sunflower cultivar, H. ‘Little Dorrit’. The honeybees in particular are very keen on it

Excess veg from the plots, plus flowers and some potted plants, are sold here every Friday between 12pm and 1pm