Monday, 30 July 2012

Tomato developing

Tiny tomato
One of the tomato flowers has set, and there is a tiny green tomato about four mm in diameter ripening. The leaves smell great if I brush past them, so I hope it will grow into a good one. All five plants have flowers now, and are between three and four feet tall.

The runner beans are mostly doing well - one plant has died and another isn't long for this world, but the remaining five are all flowering and there are a few beans growing, now about two inches long.

There are a couple of French beans almost ready to eat, with more on the way, but I'll probably not get many at any one time.

Finally, three of the courgette plants have small courgettes growing on them - getting bigger surprisingly fast, and they are continuing to put forth big orange flowers.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Courgette flowers

Courgette flowers
Most of the courgettes are now flowering well, and tiny courgettes are starting to develop. The flowers only last a day, and they are at their best in the morning (when I took this picture).

You can apparently eat the flowers, using them to make parcels, but I think I'll leave them to grow into courgettes.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Bed five re-planted

Today I took out the sad remnants of the plants in bed five - bolted turnips, withered broad beans, and some good, healthy weeds - and re-planted with turnips (because the last batch did well) and beetroot (because the last batch did badly.) It's a logical business, gardening.

I also sprayed the runner beans with soapy water, since blackfly were starting to gather on a couple of the flower stalks, and tidied up a few nettles and bits of long grass that escaped yesterday's tidying session.

Since there has been no rain since Friday (unheard of!), I watered half the potatoes and peas, and the French beans and carrots. I mixed in a little comfrey tea into each watering can, to add nutrients to the soil. It's been in a fermenting bin since last autumn, and it certainly smelled nutritious.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Mowed grass

Garden in sunlight
Today I mowed the grass and sheared round the edges of the beds, providing a lot more green material for the ever-hungry compost heap.

The neighbour to the south has trimmed a lot of his trees and hedges, so a lot more light is getting into the garden now - I hope the courgettes like it. The larger ones are just coming into flower, and there are flowers appearing on the tomato plants as well.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

More produce

Peas and turnips
Fresh peas
Haggis for lunch

Today I harvested three turnips and another lot of ripe peas. The turnips needed to have a few grubs cut out of them, but had a good flavour. I got five ounces of peas, and there are more pods on the way. I notice that if the pods rattle, the peas haven't grown to full size and should be left on the plant.

For lunch I ate the turnips and peas, with shop-bought carrot and mashed potato. The onion and mushroom gravy was made with my own onions, and was delicious - it went very well with the excellent MacSween's vegetarian haggis.

And yes, that is a huge meal, and yes, I did have seconds.

Monday, 16 July 2012


Despite a steady drizzle I pottered about for an hour in the garden after work. The holly and some brambles were encroaching on the path to the compost, so I cut them back, and added some more nettles and goose grass to the compost heap. The compost continues to be warm to the touch, and the rate of decomposition seems very high. I keep adding green waste alternating with layers of crumpled newspaper.

I also re-potted some thyme and a chilli plant. The season hasn't been favorable to the chilli, but it might survive the winter if I bring it indoors.

Produce: Over the weekend I pulled up five more garlic bulbs which looked as if they'd finished growing - only one was visibly mouldy, and I hope the others will dry and keep. I had a good portion of peas, about four ounces (shelled), very tasty, and there are about twice as many pods left on the plants. However, some of the plants are starting to go yellow, and they may be moribund.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Garlic bulbs

Two of my garlic plants had fallen over, so I pulled up the bulbs beneath. The stalks had rotted through just above the bulbs, and I'm not sure if the bulbs will moulder away or dry out and be edible.

In any case, I'm pleased with the size of them.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Legumes developing, basil dead

Growing French bean
Runner bean flower buds

There are now several French beans on the way, even though the plants are tiny - I knew they were a dwarf variety, but I expected them to grow to more than a foot tall before flowering.

Several of the runner beans have reached the top of the cane wigwam, and are starting to flower. I'll have to pinch off the tops soon to make them bushier.

The broad beans have almost all died, and the surviving plants are looking brown and unhealthy. I think I've had a net loss of broad beans this year - planted about thirty, and got to eat about twelve.

And the last basil plant has been critically injured by a snail. It was doing OK, with about six proper leaves, but a snail somehow climbed up the inside of the greenhouse, across a wire mesh shelf, and shredded it. Annoying. No home-made pesto for me this year.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Onion harvest

The onion harvest
I spent ten minutes today getting in the onion harvest, shown in almost its entirety in the photo - I had already cooked with one, two were rotten when I pulled them up, and three have produced a flower stalk, so I'll leave those and see if I can get some seeds. This is the second year I've had disappointing results with onions, and I will probably not bother to buy any more next year.

Today I also did a bit more scything, and weeding, and pulled up some more bolted turnips. This was mostly so that I could feed the compost heap, which is warm to the touch and which processes new green matter very quickly.

Tasty tasty peas
A few days ago I ate the first batch of peas to ripen - there weren't many of them, but they were very flavoursome. The portion I ate for supper was even smaller than it need have been, because I ate quite a few of them raw while I was shelling them.