One step forward…

I thought I was making really good progress and when I look at these pictures I can almost convince myself that I’m ahead of the game. I’ve cleaned out the two polytunnels, dug in 18 bags of compost and added edging around the paths to cope with the added height in the soil. The strawberries are growing away nicely in poly number one along with a tray of sweet peas that need planted out and some newly sown parsnip. In the second one I’ve left some honesty growing at the front but everything else is gone! I’ve got trays of leeks, kale, collards, cabbage and marigolds on the go all doing nicely. I have sown lots of squash which I had in the polytunnels but overnight temperatures are now dropping below freezing so they have been brought indoors where they may or may not germinate – I’ve ordered more seed from Moreveg just in case I lose the lot!

Polyoneclean   Polytwoclean

Sunday I spent eight hours cutting grass and while it looked really good when I put the mower away a couple days later the dandelions were back with avengence. I love this time of year everything looks so fresh and new and it’s amazing what you can get done with a few days of good sunny weather.

up the garden

The nettles are very obliging at the moment but I am going to get on top of them by hook or by crook. Actually, for some it was by scissors as I’m hoping for a second flush since I cut all their tops off. A large bin bag of full of nettles followed by lots of nettle cooking…

1bagnettles   1nettle productionline

These all went into nettle, mint and feta cheese pies. Most of the pies went straight into the freezer although one never made it to the freezer instead we had it with a bit salad which included lettuce that had over wintered in the veggie plot.

1nettlepiecut   1nettlepiesalad

Almost at the end of the squashes now, only these few butternuts left but given it’s May next week I’m quite happy that they have lasted this long. Another recipe that worked a treat (always looking for things to do with squash) squash bhajis – really scrummy hot or cold with a yogurt dip.

2lastfive   2squashbhaji

Last blog I showed my new seed drawers now they are labeled and filled to capacity. Yesterday I picked up 30 packets of veggie seeds for 15 centime a packet – a bit short dated but at that price definitely worth a punt.

.3seedtray    3seeddrawer

Aldi usually do these boxes of perennial at this time of year and I had such success with the one last year I decided to buy two this year. Between showers I managed to get them all planted along with some pom pom dahlias. Actually I’ve planted so many flowers and bulbs in the veggie plot I’ll have little room left for all the veggies that need to go in…

3aldibox    veggieplotapril16

So it looks like I got a lot done but I’ve still lots of seeds to sow, the asparagus bed is a mess as is the old onion bed – oh and in about two days time the blooming grass will need cutting again and the nettles I cut down have become triffid like…best leave off blogging and go sow some sunflowers, courgettes and cucumbers.






Nonstop Kale….

Getting a bit hampered by all this rain. It’s just too wet to cut the grass so that’s getting away from me….on a more positive note the onions are all planted and I think I’ve rescued my very spindly tomato plants! Thanks to advice I got from the folks at Gardener’s Corner my tomatoes are growing away nicely. I transplanted them up to their necks in the brown pots then made a screen using a ring binder and paperclipping white paper to the inside to reflect the light. It fits the little table perfectly and does the trick you can see the recovery they have made!

2spindly   2notspindly

The rest of the post seems to be about squash and kale! We usually include sweet potato when making a dahl but it’s all change now as we’ve started to use – you guessed it – squash! We’ve had dahl, chicken dahl, and king prawn dahl the last was so scrummy you are only getting a photo of what was left!

1dahl   1Chicken   1kingprawn
We still have lots of squash remaining but as they feel as solid as a rock there should be many more meals to come. This was slow cooked pigs’ cheeks done on the wood burner with squash and kale.

1squashdahl   pigonfire   pigcheeks squash

Alas, three days ago I picked the last of the curly lettuce from the polytunnel. Hopefully, the lettuce I’ve sown outside will be up shortly. You’d think with all the salad I’ve been eating and all the running I’ve been doing the pounds would be falling away. Well not sure about the pounds but I did have to splash out some euros on a new pair of running shoes as the heels on my old ones were wearing away. Monday makes my 50th 5K in 17 weeks!

last salad    new shoes

Kale the vegetable that just keeps on giving! It’s now starting to look like it’s about to flower but even then it’s putting on new growth. This was kale with pasta and black garlic not long after that we had kale and oatmeal risotto again!

3kale   3blackgarlic  3bgpasta

Finally, a weeded veggie plot just ready for sowing if only the rain would stay away for a couple of days. AND a photo of ‘saag bhaji’ except it’s not spinach it’s kale!

veggieplot  kale and curry