8 Jul 2011

Midsummer Veg Patch view ...

:: Sweet corn 6 weeks after planting out ::
Oh dear, 8th already and the last month has turned without the veg patch progress being recorded. Time for an update, I think; the days are slipping away and my brain is already planning winter veg.

I remembered to snap a few pics a week before the end of June and then took a few more a day or so ago, both of which are a week away from a true end-of-month but between them will provide a useful log of information for next year.  Take these courgettes, for example. Planted out early June, 4 weeks later, leaves the size of dinner plates with a few flowers. Good progress or good horse muck, who knows? Tra-la-la, it works.

:: 5th June courgette, approx 8 inches ::
:: 5th July courgette, approx 3 ft ::

The UK weather in June gave us some sunshine (plus 2 days of heatwave), brisk breezes and plenty of rain - often in the same day! Nights were cool and dawn often gave way to clear blue skies that clouded over by mid-morning. Endless days of buffeting winds made seed sowing and planting out quite challenging. Weeds flourished in the wet and warmth; continuously clearing them off became a necessary chore (which I haven't quite kept up with, despite a 2 hour session in a downpour). Early beetroot and carrots were enjoyed, beetroot tops, spinach leaves and herbs were added to salad (Oh for a few chickens to add freshly laid eggs to this!), french beans were resown along with sweet corn, radishes, spinach and wildflowers. The lavender, oregano and thyme flowers in the herb bed are a sight to gladden the heart on a sunny morning.

Recently though, I seem to have lost the habit of popping down every evening, there's just too much else to do. So, the spinach has bolted and new baby leaves are not quite ready, spring onion seeds are still in the packet whilst I continue to buy from the supermarket, the next lot of carrots are still to go in. Shame on me, most disorganised!

Porcelain garlicOn the bright side, onions, garlic, carrots and beetroot are bulking up, the courgettes are flowering - in fact the sweet corn  is struggling as most of it is hidden under the courgettes (is it too late to transplant, I wonder?).

Sweet peas are now scrambling rapidly up the netting, hopefully there'll be some flowers to look forward to in July as well as peas of the edible variety.  Self-seeding flowers (poppy, cerinthe, borage, honesty, calendula, nigella) added to the patch this year will make a bigger impact next year, but at least they're there.  The sunflowers (unplanned and sprinkled throughout) are a cheerful sight, growing up through the potatoes but the large ones, frankly, are blocking the path through the veg patch. Next year, I'll be more ruthless in pulling them out. (There's that learning curve, again.)



  1. Good post Caro, it's good to see how everyone else is getting on. Can't believe how everything has progressed in the last month.

  2. Such a joy - came back from holiday to loads of lovely lettuce and spinach, and the broccoli is growing.Thanks so much for getting me to plant them!

  3. It's good to keep notes about how everything is progressing so that you can check back again next year. It is hard to keep on top of everything when other commitments have a way of taking over, it's all about getting the balance right which I still haven't mastered.

  4. It's so good to meet another Londoner, Caro though veg are not my forte! Great blog posts and very touching tribute to Conrad
    p.s. adding UVP to my sidebar of Londoners links :)

  5. As Elaine says a good post! I have to tut at the mention of pulling up sunflowers though! Flighty xx

  6. I'm new to your blog! You have a very productive vegetable patch!

  7. Elaine, yes it's amazing to see the rate of growth in the last few weeks - almost as though the plants know that they have to get on with it!

    Sue, you're welcome. I'm pleased you're enjoying your first season of veg. Perhaps you should think about expanding your veg patch for next year ... !

    Jo, like you I have to make every second count and still don't get it all done. Hoping that this record keeping will help me to be more organised next year!

    Laura, Lovely to see you here and thanks for adding me to your sidebar. Whether it's flowers or veg, community gardens are an excellent idea to bring people together. Thank you for noticing my tribute to Conrad. He was a much loved young man and will always be missed.

    Flighty, your comment made me smile! Of course, I won't be pulling it up until next year, but I will be careful to transplant any self-seeders to a better spot next year!

    Malar, welcome to my blog, I'm very happy to see you here and will pop over to read your blog.

    Caro xx

  8. Your sweetcorn looks great - I failed dismally to even germinate any this year... Courgettes can always be relied upon for a good harvest though!

  9. Thanks SVG, I've heard this year is not so good for sweet corn and mines stalled in the wet weather! And, yes, thank goodness for courgettes!


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