Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Beans and squash

The summer planting is finally done. This weekend, I managed to get a good bit of work done, it was rather satisfying! As I had covered the patch where the runner beans were to go, it was a doddle - turned it over, dug a trench and filled it with a box full of kitchen scraps - newspaper, veg peelings, rotten fruit etc - then filled it in and planted straight over the top. That should keep their feet moist and give them lots of nutrition over the summer! I bet anything that when I dig it over in October, I find nothing but soil... Sowed 5 White Lady beans and 10 Enorma. See what happens. The peas have just not worked, too late now, so I replaced them (except the Mangetout) with Blue Lake and Cobra climbing beans. I also sowed some Waltham butternuts and some Uchiki Kuri seeds for squash. The gooseberries were getting a bit squashed by those yellow california poppies so I cut them back, put rhubarb leaves all around the goosegogs (so far has been brilliant for keeping away the sawfly) and netted the bush. It is full of fruit, more jam, yum. The raspberries are sulking a bit but I have fruit on both the redcurrant and blackcurrant! The other crops are doing pretty well. I have good germination for the carrots and parsnips and even the beetroot. I transplanted a few beetroots to an empty patch. The lettuces are doing nicely and the NZ spinach seem to have taken, even though it has been wet and chilly. The courgettes under cover have really taken off, and the tomatoes and peppers are getting bigger despite the cool patch. The only things not doing so well are the cucumbers. I will sow some more I think. In any case, the plot is pretty tidy - I had time to cut the grass with the lawn shears (mulched the tomatoes with it), hoe and weed the onions and nip the tops off the broad beans (badly affected with aphids I am afraid).
As for harvesting, we ate - loads of rhubarb again, about 400g strawberries (despite the wet weather), a small bag full of baby leaves, a few broad beans (that unfortunately got burned in the saucepan by the family on Mother's Day!) and lo, the first potatoes! At least 600g of lovely Belle de Fontenays, and as I just firkled for the biggest ones, hopefully there will be more of that in the next fortnight. Onions and spuds:
Once the spuds come out, no time to lose, I will get sowing more French beans, carrots and beetroot. And later, the brassicas...

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