|~ Perennial Cauliflower, looking good (and tasty) ~|
I earthed up my bag grown potatoes for the first time as they'd put on a good 4 inches of growth. I sowed Italian parsley, coriander and 3 types of carrot seeds: purple cosmic (for fun), Amsterdam 3 (my usual) and a new one (to me) called Little Fingers as it's supposed to be harvestable (is that a word?) in only 8 weeks! I'm growing these in deep tubs to see if it makes a difference; previously I've interplanted carrots between the onions and garlic which seems to have thwarted any carrot fly. Let's see how the tubs do. (The theory is to grow a few at a time and re-sow at monthly-ish intervals so that I don't end up overwhelmed with carrots. Or anything else for that matter.)
The pink broad beans are all doing really well - I sowed them in a raised bed that had been manured last autumn and I've left a space to plant beans or peas (not sure which yet) at the north-east end of the bed where they'll get plenty of sun without shading the broad beans. The sacrificial nasturtiums planted at the same time have yet to make a showing; I want them there to tempt any aphids or blackfly away from the broad beans... )
Meanwhile, back upstairs in my flat-turned-greenhouse, the artichokes, dill, borage and melon seeds have all germinated and been potted on successfully. They'll stay upstairs for a few weeks until they're strong enough to fend for themselves in the veg garden. I sowed a tray of 12 Jiffy 7s with bell peppers (purple and orange), capsicums and chillis and the seed saved from my Yellow Banana chilli grown last year (the one still fruiting at Christmas). I reckon the son of that plant deserves a space on the windowsill this year if I can successfully nurture it to maturity. I suspect it's not really called Yellow Banana but the plant came from Homebase when the fungus gnats munched my own chillis into oblivion and that was the name conferred on it there. The seeds went into the modules at the beginning of April and are over an inch high already. I hope this bodes well for raising mature plants as I may have left sowing them a bit late.
The best part of the week is that I've enjoyed the first of my perennial cauliflowers! The main cauli head was quite large so I cut just a few chunky stalks. It was cooked with the sprouting stalks from the bolted Brussel Sprouts plants and both were utterly delicious. (Served up with just butter, salt and pepper. Yum.) I wondered in my previous post whether the sprout stalks would be edible and now I know that they are. They were not unlike PSB so it's good know that the sprout tops and stalks can still be eaten even after the plant has bolted. Lesson learned: don't be hasty in chucking your bolted winter veg onto the compost heap. I can honestly say I enjoyed every mouthful of that particular lunch.
Tomorrow I'm off early for a long drive to Bristol. Jekka McVicar's herb farm hosts occasional Open Days with talks by Jekka and farm tours around the herbs. I'm booked onto the workshop "How to Design a Herb Garden" which I treated myself to for my birthday last month. I'm really excited to be going, even though the weather forecast is not good, and I'll hopefully be able to post all about it when I get back.
Have a good weekend everyone!