Bridget

No “Hungry Gap” at Prospect Cottage.

In Gardening, Off the beaten track. on March 24, 2011 at 10:12 am

The first Cauliflower of the season, small but perfectly formed.

The “hungry gap” is the gardener’s name for the period in Spring when there is little or no fresh produce available from the garden. With good planning it is possible to avoid this lull in production. The cauliflower pictured is a variety called Marzatico from Italy. Seeds were sown last August and plants planted around end of September. We plant a lot in August for Winter and Spring crops. Oriental salads, Winter Onion sets, Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Kale being the main ones. There is actually a variety of Kale called Hungry Gap which crops in Spring.

Ragged Jack Kale.

The Ragged Jack Kale is now going to seed but this is not the end of its production. The leaves can still be picked and the seed heads can be picked and steamed, they are quite like Purple Sprouting Broccoli. Do pick before flowers appear though. Removing the central shoot encourages the plant to send out lots of side shoots.

Sowing Peas.

Meanwhile seed sowing continues furiously here. Yesterday I sowed a bed of Parsnips, we have just finished the last of the current crop, germination can be slow so they need to go in early. Peas were also sown. The variety is Meteor which I got from Seed Savers in Co. Clare. The don’t grow too tall, about a metre, so support is easier. These modules are great as they are longer than the usual ones and made from stronger plastic. I have them about 10 years and they are still in perfect condition. The extra length means plants can stay in there a little longer. Apparently these modules are using for growing tree seedlings.

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  1. I had no idea that it was called the “hungry gap.” Now I know. I was saying to a friend the other day that there is a time in late winter/early spring where not much decent produce is available.

    I think a cold frame might work in some gardening applications, although weather in North Texas is extremely unpredictable now.

    What I have done is purchase a “greens” supplement where you get your veggies by drinking them during the hungry gap time. You simply pour the powder into a water bottle and shake it up. As soon as I can get a harvest (or, alternatively, go buy vegetables at the farmers’ market), I will discontinue the supplement.

  2. Lovely cauliflower – and great long modules, they look fabulous.
    Looks like the harvest never ends at your place – thats the way to do it. Continuous bounty. Very inspiring.

  3. Love your new blog page, and nice cauliflower. You are ahead of me sowing, I should do more sowing and less surfing.

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