Saturday, 30 June 2012


Broad bean pods

Tiny potatoes
Last weekend I picked the small number of mature broad beans, and ate them on toast. Very good flavour, but because of the small number of plants which have survived this long, I will probably only get a handful of beans at a time.

The largest turnip turned out to be inedible - the plant bolted and produced flowers, and the root became very tough and woody. It had a good smell though, quite like horseradish. I dug out and composted the other turnips in that row, as they had bolted too.

It looks as if the onions have grown as much as they intend to - the tops have fallen over and have started to die off, so it's time to harvest the onions. The largest is about the size of a billiard ball, maybe a little bigger.

Today I excavated under one of the early potato plants, and found two potatoes the size of small marbles. The plants are in flower, but I guess they haven't finished growing the tubers yet.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

More sowing, potting on and planting out

Tomato plants in final pots
The two largest tomato plants are now in their final pots, and will sit outside in a sunny corner by the house. It's a bit sunnier after I pruned some hawthorn hedge and cut a big bough from an ash tree nearby.

I planted out another courgette seedling (only one out of three germinated from the second batch), and I put three chitted seeds in the bed to make up the six originally planned for (its actually seven, but two chitted seeds are in the same spot. I'll pull out the weaker one if necessary.) I'm not very impressed with the germination rate of these courgettes.

Lastly I planted another row of carrots in bed six, the radishes that were there temporarily having been thrown away yesterday. That finished up the packet of Early Nantes, and nearly finished the Nepal F1.

Putting a few more weeds on the compost heap I noticed that the top is warm to the touch - probably mid 30s C is my guess.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Dry day at last

Garden, post-tidying
Compost heap, rotted down quite well
A nice, sunny day today, and the neighbours have given me a key to their shed, so I can borrow their mower. I borrowed their mower, and eventually worked out how to start it. Once running, it made short work of the long grass, even the lumpy bits. Sadly it also made short work of a frog who I didn't spot and who didn't get out of the way in time.

I sheared the grass round the edges of the beds, and a lot of nettles and fumitory which was growing between the fence and the long row of beds at the bottom of the garden. The clippings have filled the compost heap to overflowing, even though it had sunk about two feet since I last filled it up (three weeks ago). I'm pleased that it is composting so fast - it must be hot composting, although I haven't got a thermometer to check it. Mild weather and lots of rain is probably just right for fast rotting.

Quite a few weeds went into the heap as well - I hand-weeded the carrots, onions and leeks, and I harvested the last of the first batch of radishes, and composted the tops.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

More tomato potting, new sowing of salad plants

Tomato plants
The three tomato plants from the second batch were poking roots through their peat pots, so I planted them into bigger pots. These pots are probably too big, but they're all I could find.

I also tore out the bolted rocket, choy sum, and pak choi from bed ten, and planted more mixed salad, lettuce (two rows), choy sum, rocket and radishes.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Nom nom nom

Kale leaves
I picked the largest of the kale plants, because it had grown almost up to the level of the chicken wire protecting it from pigeons.

It would probably have grown bigger if I'd left it, but I was hungreh! I was expecting a stronger flavour for some reason, but it was like spring greens.

I noticed that the first pea flower has now become the first pea pod, although it's only about an inch long at the moment.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Earthing up potatoes

Out early this morning to earth up potatoes. Not as big a job as I'd thought it would be.

Some were earthed up just using the soil around them, and some using a mixture of soil and pig manure. We'll see if there's any difference in the crop.

I also planted out the three courgettes which had grown too big for their pots. There's space in the bed for another three, and I have some more planted in pots indoors, but they haven't shown yet.

I did a few other small jobs - a bit more scything and hand-weeding, and putting in canes to support a couple of  broad beans which were beginning to tip over. While I was pottering about, I noticed that the blackcurrant bush now has a dozen or so tiny green currants. Funny, I didn't see any flowers at any point. The apple tree didn't produce any flowers either - I think they should have been out in late April or early May, so perhaps I pruned the tree too hard.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Completed digging... really

Courgette bed
I've written "that's the last of the digging" posts before, but this really is the last of the digging for this growing season. I'd planned to put some courgettes in bed zero when the turnips and spinach currently there had come and gone, but the almost continual overcast of the last few weeks has meant that they've hardly grown at all.

My courgette seedlings are now getting too big for their pots, so I had to dig a new bed for them.

The other advantage of a new bed is that I can take a couple of inches of earth from it to mix with the pig manure, which will give me enough soil to earth up the potatoes. That's tomorrow's job though.