String theory….

I hope this is going to work and not come crashing down on my head. I’ve tied string to the top of the wigwam (you might need to click on the picture and  enlarge to see the wigwam) and I’m encouraging runners beans to work their way along the string. It’s all a bit slow but we’ve had a couple of days of good rain so perhaps it will take off.  If it works I might increase the lines next year.  To be honest this plot is baked from morning till night so a bit of shade would not go amiss. In Moulin I saw someone growing runner beans in a window box from their upper floor windows – the beans went down sting rather than up.   I suppose they just had to put the string up to harvest plus it looked very effective.

The dark ‘earth’ is rotted manure that will stay on top till spring when I’ll either dig it in or try the no dig method – not sure yet. I think I’ll have to see what it’s like after the winter. I’ve sown seeds where I’ve removed potatoes etc but not much has appeared yet. Golden Nugget squashes are doing well and  if they taste as good as they are preforming I think they’ll be going in next year.  Masses of grapes on the vine but they have a lot of plumping up to do before they are edible. We’ve been eating the two tone lettuce at the front for weeks I just keeping thinning and it keeps filling up. Cannot believe it will be August in a couple of days I’m sure gardeners’ years go by quicker!

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The good the bad and the ugly

I suppose this is both good and ugly! Just created a place in a corner of the garden next to the veggie plot for horse poo! Our neighbours have four horses so a nice supply at hand. Really looking forward to getting this on the veggie plot come late autumn that’s if we can get the muck cooking. Someone at Gardener’s Corner suggested drainpipes while we build it, then removing them when the pile is built as to let air in. We’re trying to use the pipes as a guide so we get a rectangle of poo rather than a heap. Fun on a hot day.

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Just plain old bad this is.  I planted three types of onions (sets) and they are all pathetic – the one in the picture is one of the better ones.  I might as well have eaten the sets.  I am so sick of the sight of these they are coming out tomorrow. More bad but I couldn’t even face taking a picture – BLIGHT on two cherry tomato plants now removed from the premises. Fingers cross the other plants don’t go the same way.

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But there’s good.  Dinner today included Kale (Fizz) thinnings, new potatoes, turnip dauphinoise and mangetout all from the garden – now that’s a good feeling.

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The blight on the tomatoes put me in a panic so I picked the rest of the potatoes.  I’m pleased with the crop and it felt good to get another section of the veggie plot weed free and ready for planting. I’m going to plant swede, carrot and turnip in the now vacant patch – all good soup stuff.

IMG_3717More good in the form of yet more blackcurrants – an amazing year for them.  This is my sixth tray – I just pick and freeze these straight away. I’m hoping for at least another four trays which will see me through the winter. I’m going to lop the plants this year and see how many new bushes I can start. The only thing with blackcurrants is they are such a pain to pick well I find they are.

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Well I’m off out to plant some day lilies a friend brought round it’s a new one for me so my little collection grows.

 

The first tomatoes

Well there are only two of them so far but lots to come.  These were still warm from the sun when I scoffed them.  I’ve chopped this basil plant and left the stump growing in the veggie plot – I read somewhere you can do this and the plant will sprout again we’ll see. Turnips are for roasting on Sunday with chicken (Aldi’s not one of our hens).

BasilLots of work at the moment as all the rain has made both the weeds and the ‘grass’ grow.  It a bit of a juggle to keep both the garden and veggie plot in order.  I need to get out now and pick blackcurrants (they are planted in a circle on the left in the photo) so much fruit one branch has already snapped with the weight.

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Rhubarb and day lilies…

The day lilies are out and in the sun they look stunning.  I’m hoping these will all bulk up by autumn and I can split the lot.  I was lucky enough to inherit a small collection of about eight varieties in total.  The two smaller varieties are a subtle yellow and orange but nothing subtle about these three.   I understand you can eat these but I’ve never been tempted.

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Well enough of the flowers now for the important stuff.  I’ve finally got a small crop of rhubarb. I grew this frm seed last year so am well chuffed to even get this amount.  I’ve only picked a single stalks from the bigger plants as I’m not sure how much I can take without harming the plant. Sowing rhubarb from seed is so easy peasy I’m tempted to sow a few different varieties. I actually picked a few more stalks than this just about enough for a crumble.

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Lifted about a third of the potatoes yesterday as the leaves looked a bit iffy – brown spots starting to appear.  Some very small one but they’ll do for salad the rest will store in the basement.  I’m hoping to leave the remaining ones in the ground for another couple of weeks but I’ve got my beady eye on the leaves. Also pulled the garlic as I’m sick of the sight of those withered looking stalks. I’m going to wash this then let it dry it in the sun then freeze the lot.  I’d say about nine month’s supply here so another lot going in come September. I’ve got some free space now so more basil seedlings going in, yet more coriander being sown along with Swede, lettuce, endive, rocket, french beans and summer spinach. Busy day ahead….

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Freedom

Thank goodness that open garden (washout) weekend is over I have given friends instructions that if I ever mention doing one again I am to be slapped severely! Today, I picked the very first of the blackcurrants, my older bushes are hanging with green fruits but the new ones gave up a small crop of early fruit.  All of these get frozen to eat with porridge over the winter.  Think this might be the last of the rasps – we’re sick of eating them – never thought I’d ever say that! The large bunch of coriander is also headed for the freezer once the leaves are all pulled off.  Our local supermarket sells coriander in little plastic packs for about 1.75 – works out at 176 euros a kilo – so well worth growing. Lettuce is from thinning out little gem (always great germination rate) and a curly type whose name I’ve forgotten.

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Yesterday picked and even larger bunch of coriander and OH made a batch of coriander pesto – this is so scrummy I could eat it spread on cardboard.  Made the same as basil pesto but using coriander – we’ve also ditched the pine nuts in favour of ground seeds (sometimes pumpkins – just depends on what we’ve got). Currently my favourite sandwich is toast, fresh tomatoes and a coriander pesto – delicious.

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Finally, no rhubarb harvest yet but it’s growing well and so is the red bergamot I planted between each plant.  I’m hoping that by next year there will be a mass of red bergamot along with a mass or red rhubarb stalks. Hope springs eternal when you garden!

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