Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Bastille Day update

Gardening and growing vegetables is a very rewarding job.  It can also appear to be quite monotonous to someone looking at it from the outside.  I check all of my plants, in all of the various garden beds each day, and that's important, because I can see any changes, good or bad (ie food ready to harvest or pests,) that have appeared.
Here are some photographs, taken this morning, that show some changes since the beginning of this growing season.
Here are the broad beans that weren't high enough to hide the repair work to the wall, the overgrown pathway (needs the dutch hoe next dryish day!) and the brassicas and potatoes behind the watering can.  the watering can has been used to add my stinging nettle fertiliser to the leafy green stuff, including celery which is finally getting going.  There are beetroot plants here too... all of these are getting picked over now... some are eaten,  but usually new plants replace them.
The four rows of plants that were seeded several months ago....  kale, peas and fennel, onions and carrots.  This is quite variable also.  This is Siberian kale that we have been eating quite a bit of...  anyone who has followed the photographs of vegetables that I'cve picked will have seen leaves from this row of plants.  Then the peas,  still growing slowly (it's cold) but beginning to flower,  and the fennel up the other end is getting fatter by the day.  The onions are thinned, but still quite small.  They don't compete well with anything,  and need more sunshine,  but they will be edible in the spring.  Carrots... not a lot have survived... these too are not the best competitors.  I have put some shallots in the gaps,  so that I don't waste any space.
Coriander... the patch that I threw into place near the four rows of plants above.  We have eaten some of this, and there's more to come.
This (below) shows the rows, what is left of them, of brassicas.  The cauliflowers (shown originally with clothes pegs holding their leaves in place, and then in the basket, have been replaced by peas.  If you enlarge the picture you might sut see the baby pea plants under the mesh at the far end.  The closer ones were planted a couple of weeks later.  The mesh is to stop the birds digging them out and eating them while they are so tiny... I'll remove that as soon as they are big enough to take care of themselves.  The cabbage on the rhs will be dinner in the next couple of days  (fried with potatoes, leeks and eggs) and with the outer leaves stuffed with brown rice.
This is the cabbage whose days are numbered...  mmm...
Right down the back... the update...
On the lhs, the edge of the broad bean patch, then the coriander, then the onions (that still need to be thinned... on the next dry day),  my "pathway" made of a board and assorted bits and pieces,  the potatoes growing in their little trench that earlier served to run the water into their line as I watered from the tank, then the row of garlic and finally the artichokes....
... and here is a close-up of the garlic (below)....  the second planting isn't up at all yet,  but it is "early days" for that.  The second lot went in a bit late, but they should be ok.  There are still some baby nettle plants to pull out.  I pull more daily, along with some sour sobs (oxalis) but they seem to be never-ending at the moment.
Here is the harvest for today....  quite a few small cauliflowers, broccoli, leeks, eggs and I haven't collected the leafy bits for dinner yet.... I do that when everything else is cooking because they taste sweeter when they are fresh.  Some of the cauliflowers (there are six) will be added to the freezer this evening as I cook dinner.

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