Thursday, June 28, 2007
- The potatoes have disappeared, there is no foliage at all. I don't know whether to attempt digging them up or leaving them in the ground a bit longer?
- The peas have just failed to give fruit. And the few they did give have been scoffed by something (note to self - next year do peas differently and net them).
- The tomatoes seem to just be dying, there is no other way to describe it. They are tiny and sad looking. I will maybe try to buy some more plants on the weekend in a last ditch effort but it is not looking good.
- I don't think there will be any QLD Blue pumpkins as they seem to have died :-( and only one melon has survived too.
- I pulled up one of the garlic shoots and there is no bulb, a strong garlic smell but it resembles a spring onion. (note to self: overwinter garlic and onions next year).
- the green beans are up but I hope it warms up soon or they may rot.
- lettuce (must plant some more this weekend)
- strawberries have loads of flowers for a second crop so fingers crossed,
- parsnips are getting huge! and the beets and fennel too are looking great.
- gherkins and courgettes have flowers too.
- rhubarb (making new leaves).
Highlight- This morning I harvested 4 lettuces, some rocket 2 gherkins that had grown oversized and 3 courgettes. And some oversized radishes that maybe I can grate into a salad??
Monday, June 18, 2007
In fact this weekend was devoted solely to picking stuff!
- A handful of strawberries but they had mostly been damaged by the recent downpours.
- 3 gorgeous lettuces and a handful of nutty roquette that we ate on Saturday night in a salad.
- Two handfuls of peas and mangetout, just enough to make a jardiniere for Sunday lunch.
- My first courgette! It was delicious.
Apart from the weeds, many things seem to be growing well, including the tomatoes, the potimarron, the onions (which have splendidly thick necks) and the parsnips. However one of my Qld Blue pumpkins seems to have died and so has one of the melons. I will try to plant some replacements this weekend, I don't think it is too late.
My broccoli seems to be taking off, there are at least 12 plants that have come up past the seedling stage. I will thin them out a bit later on. And the green beans we planted last weekend have sprouted quite well. It has rained and I think that if we get some more sun, a good growth spurt should happen.
Monday, June 11, 2007
As you know, I had put down a tarpaulin, to smother a very grassy section where I wanted to plant my green beans.
Well, this weekend was the great moment. I lifted the tarp. Lo and behold underneath was a completely weed free area that to boot was beautifully moist and crumbly. And I was especially pleased that the grumpy neighbours were there (BBQing and not digging ha ha) to see the wondrous occasion. In ten minutes I had a quick fork over (this is the bit that I had already bastard trenched in January) and Biggest One (who is becoming a more willing helper) helped me scar out some rows and we planted our beans: in all about half an hour's work. I cannot tell you how triumphant I felt ! I suppose it is mean but I thought it was a great rude finger sign to the site supervisor who thought my methods were bunk.
Best of all we were treated to the sight of a gigantic green lizard and a tiny field mouse that were disturbed by our efforts. The tarp has been moved, to the last bit that needs clearing, then I will have succeeded in planting a 100 m2 allotment in less than 6 months. untidily I admit, with carpet paths still, but planted nonetheless.
AND we went home with about 20 strawberries, some new potatoes that were hiding under the carpet, two handfuls of peas and two beautiful red lettuces.
There are also:
- Flowers on the raspberries! And I was thinking that I wouldn't get any this year.
- Sunflowers are coming up great and now so are some of the flowers. The first nasturtium flowers are out, orange and yellow.
- Fennel is well on its way, and so are the parsnips. Carrots have germinated sporadically, so I will try some more and some more beets, as I like to have a lot of those.
- The tomatoes have responded well to the warm spell and the first courgettes are starting to form! That is exciting.
- One of the melons has died I think :-( The expensive one I bought at Truffaut too. The other two look OK though and the pumpkins are starting to take off. Must feed them next weekend.
- I planted the broccoli that my neighbor kindly gave me and noticed that the seeds I had put in have in fact grown so I weeded round them and watered them, perhaps I will have two stages of broccoli with some luck.
- The sprouts and leeks seem OK, I watered them again as it has been dry this week.
- The peas are giving a little harvest and there are some more plants growing. I guess I can't complain as everyone has said what a bad year it has been for them (too hot in April).
- I had a bit of a weed around the tomatoes, onions and squash, and hoed between the beans that were already in place. Next time I go I will have more time to devote to weeding and tidying, so things will take shape. I will also try to have a last attempt at growing some herbs, I will prepare a bed especially for that and try some last minute parsley, basil and chives. I saw a lovely "simples" garden this weekend, I will try to get one going next year, with all the aromatic plants, like Oregano, Marjoram, Rosemary, Chervil, Sage etc. For this year it is obviously too late but next year I will devote some time to that, as I have that nice area next to the shed but it needs really weeding and feeding.
Monday, June 04, 2007
I managed to dig over two plots, one of which filled with aubergines, some straggly tomatoes that may possibly die, we will see, and another melon plant, a Charentais this time. I put in some compost as I dug so the soil might be rich enough. I had been to the nursery Saturday morning where I spent 20 euros on those plants, leeks, brussel sprouts, a rhubarb and some fancy organic fertiliser which hopefully will help me grow some better root veg in the next few weeks.
The sprouts went in next and the rhubarb. I realised that my plans to plant my green bean seeds were fanciful so I gave that up as a bad joke. Next weekend,it won't be too late then.
So there I was on me hands and knees planting 50 leeks and my neighbour comes over "you're planting leeks then are you?" He is a pleasant chap so I refrained from answering "No no I am using them for bizarre sexual gratification". I was pleased though because he showed me his plot and it's worse than mine!!!! His peas are useless too, he has even less than me, and his veg were very weedy. Nice lettuces though, and some great red onions. I said to him, "that patch there is getting overrun, why don't you cover it?" and he answered, "Oh you're quite right, but when I saw the aggro that you got for that, I thought I wouldn't bother!" And he went on to say that my idea of mulching and covering seemed to work very well. I felt so vindicated!!! I replied that I didn't give a monkey's nuts what anyone (meaning the "supervisor") thought of my gardening techniques, that's not the point of having a veg garden!!! So victory to those persistent enough to tell fools to p**s off!
Anyway, here is this week's roundup of life in the garden:
- Fruit: still tiny gooseberries on the bush, but they seem hard for now. Strawberries were still giving, there is unripe fruit on them and plenty of flowers, and the Mara are starting now. I pulled off a load of runners and ripped out some bindweed :-( I did a very cursory weed around the fruit patch but it needs doing more thoroughly.
- Tomatoes/squash. Seem to be perking up, I scratched some compost around them and finished mulching that patch. The courgettes are growing now, there is even a flower, and the potimarron seems especially happy with life.
- Peas: The ones I planted recently are starting to come up, but the others are still small, (maybe they are actually meant to be that size??) still they have some flowers now, which I guess means I will get some peas?
- Beans: Well, the ones already in are starting to get some new leaves, I feel that they were not happy with that cold wet period, but they seem to be growing. Fingers crossed.
- Potatoes: OK I adnit that I screwed up the potato bin. I had not put holes in it :-S Realised this mistake when I saw it was filled with water and stinky. So I emptied the contents onto an empty patch, PHEW what a pong, but once it has dried I will just dig it in and grow something in it. The other spuds seem OK, a few more flowers.
- Garlic/onions: starting to yellow a bit, at least the garlic is, so it must be maturing.
- Herbs: Lemon balm, Verveine, mint, thyme OK, blackberry swirling all over the place, I will have to fence it in I think. Not much to show for Coriander or basil though, so I planted some more basil near the aubergines.
- Root veg: well, parsnip and beet seem OK, as does the fennel. Carrots still very slow but at least there are some seedlings. I will try again next time with a row that has a lot of compost emptied into it and try and get a decent row of carrot going. Some of the seed onion has appeared but not all of it??? Huh??
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