8 May 2015

Peering over the veg


This year I remembered not to get fooled by the warm weather we've had in April. I've done that in previous years and lost beans, sweetcorn and tomatoes to the strong May winds that can whip through between the flats here.  No, this year I decided to play it safe and bide my time to plant out my seedlings. Just as well because the garden has been absolutely lashed this past few days with winds gusting to 42 mph and bouts of torrential rain.

Yesterday morning I went to inspect the damage, notebook in hand. I still have a lot of over-wintered veg and herbs growing and I'd planted out a small tray of kale plants that I'd bought to fill the gap between my winter and spring sown kales. (I do eat a lot of kale!) It actually wasn't too bad - a snapped stem on the gooseberry bush, some damage to the kale plants and very bruised blossom on the quince. I'd recently bought a Tigerella tomato plant from the local City Farm, grown by a friend there. It was in the lee of my compost heap and had been well-hardened off so even that survived intact! Whew, what a relief! (My home grown toms are still safely indoors.)

I'm really enjoying a bit of seasonal eating.  Instead of having empty beds over winter, I've had brassicas, spinach and kale to eat - and baby chard too if wanted. Now that the broccoli plants have been cleared (just one left), the chard underneath is growing away. Two rows have become four as I've transplanted the runts of the litter into a space of their own. And just as the broccoli is fading, the asparagus appears. One stalk poked its head up days before the others so I picked that to steam with other veg. There's another 6 stalks ready now so I'll be looking forward to dinner tomorrow! This is the first year I've been able to pick any asparagus - does it work like sweet peas that the more you pick, the more you get?  Can anyone enlighten me, please?


The red russian kale is coming to an end (I'm going to miss its frilly green and purple leaves); instead I have more Cavolo Nero producing good sized leaves now and the beetroot I sowed last autumn is beginning to bulk up. I may pull a few small beets to allow the others more space although I rather like the burst of yellow that the Burpees Golden brings to the patch. Once I started thinking about dinner, I couldn't resist pulling a few carrots as well.  They were tiny but so so delicious.

I wasn't going to grow potatoes this year but there were some moochers from last year that sprouted so I've planted them up in a sack and we'll see what happens. So far it's all looking very promising. This is the growth since I earthed up to the very top a couple of weeks ago.


I have to confess that I've been a bit slack in getting on with my seed sowing. I think it's because I've had (and still have) plenty of veg in the garden so there's less urgency to refill the beds. Reading around other blogs it seems everyone else has got windowsills and greenhouses stuffed full of little plants waiting to go out. Not so here.  I have three trays - broad beans, tomatoes and brassicas with amaranth. Plus sweet peas for cutting. (Err, that makes four.) Today I'm going to spread the contents of my seed box across the floor, make a few decisions and get my hands dirty with soil. Once germinated, I should have seedlings to plant out by mid-June and received wisdom says that they'll catch up soon enough. That will hopefully give me time to figure out where I'm going to put  it all.

Hoping for some more good weather and wishing everyone a good gardening weekend!

16 comments:

  1. I'm a newcomer to kale. I never thought I'd like it, having been put off 'greens' in childhood, but I came by a recipe for cooking it like Chinese seaweed and it's sublime. Instant convert. Gales down here too, I'd not planted out any veg, but have been running all around the place with supports for the poppies!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I grew loads in the first year of the veg patch which went uneaten as we realised too late that no-one liked it. Can't remember when I realised how delicious it was, probably something to do with Japanese food which I love. Now the veg patch is never without it. Crispy seaweed .. yum. Do you put tamari on yours? I eat it as a snack as well as over cooked grains. Try kale crisps as well - delicious!

      Delete
  2. We have had lots of wind to cope with too - geographically I'm not that far from you. I have made full use of my plastic mini-greenhouses, giving protection from wind but allowing seedlings to get some light. I have sown most of my seeds now, and here is not much left indoors on the windowsills. Re the Asparagus - you will NEVER have enough of it! I don't know whether picking it promotes more growth, but I wouldn't be surprised if that were true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was at the Hampshire coast last weekend, Mark - I thought of you as I took a wrong turn (roadworks, so confusing) and ended up going via Aldershot and Farnham. The weather last weekend was quite good and I did a LOT of work in my parents' garden. It just seemed to turn bad as I headed back up to my own garden! C'est la vie. I'm going to keep picking the asparagus and hope it doesn't run out on me! Well done for getting your veg out and protected; your back garden may be more protected by your boundaries.

      Delete
  3. Still plenty of time Caro. And based on the strong winds we had last week you certainly made the right decision to hold off for a bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, thank goodness. Hope the weather stays warm so that seeds germinate quickly!

      Delete
  4. Well done you for not planting things out too soon. As you know, I did, and it's all gone horribly wrong. Five dead cucumbers at the plot and six dead tomatoes here. I've got some spare tomato plants, and more cucumbers coming along, but it's a lesson learned. Hopefully I'll manage to sow some more cucumbers today, as well as some French beans as my old seed didn't germinate well. Another chilly, damp, windy day here. I shall be outside watching football all weekend, so by Sunday evening I shall look like a failing cucumber as well I think. Have a good weekend Caro. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The gloomy weather does seem to have been on my side, CJ but I confess I've felt very disorganised leaving sowing until later. I'm going to start some beans and sweetcorn off today for mid-June planting but I'm still not sure about planting out lettuces - there seem to be lots of tiny slugs and snails about, especially after the rain! Gosh you're dedicated going to football all weekend, I hope your boys appreciate how lucky they are to have your support - and I think you'll look heroic by the end of it all! Thanks, hope you have a good weekend too. Caro x

      Delete
  5. Our quince blossom has had more than its fair share of bruising too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I worry about my little quince tree as it looks so battered (leaves and blossom) in these winds. I'm thinking of putting some protective fleece along the nearby fence to see if I can mitigate the effects of the wind. Hopefully your blossom has been pollinated already!

      Delete
  6. A good post. The windy, and at times wet, week showed why it's better to bide our time with sowing and planting out. It looks like being better next week thankfully.
    Thanks, and you too. Flighty xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gosh I hope so, Flighty! It's back to hot soup weather today here - I'm listening to draughts whistling through the windows as I type so need warm comfort food! It's not conducive to going outside at all!

      Delete
  7. Caro I have a asparagus bed and I keep cutting, and it comes up again very quickly it is quite well established now after 4 years, it can grow 3 or 4 inches overnight

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, that is very good news, indeed! Thanks, David. Mine is in it's third year, grown from Victoriana Nursery plants rather than crowns so it's about time I had something to show for the space taken up! Might have to dig out some recipe books then.

      Delete
  8. You sound so organised, more so than I am! I'm glad the gales didn't do too much damage, it's so frustrating when everything is growing nicely, to come down and see them lying flat. I'm trying to free one of my beds to make it an asparagus bed, I will watch yours to see what I should be doing!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm a brand new Kale convert, wonderful stuff. And I am just as behind as you, and we are going away for a few days, so not sure I will manage to get anything planted before next weekend! Mind you, given how slow everything seems to be, I am finding myself being quite mellow about it all. Glad your tom survived behind the compost heap!

    ReplyDelete

Comments on my posts are much appreciated and help to build an online community of blog friends. Everyone is welcome! I love to discover new blogs so please leave a comment to introduce yourself.
Caro x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...