Archive for Veggie Plot 2010

Potatoes with everything!

I’m about at the half way mark for potatoes with four grow sacks now emptied and two more to go. I’ve been really impressed by the large crop contained within each bag which I’d estimate approx 60 potatoes per bag (each bag started with three seed potatoes).

The last few I lifted from no.4 grow bag this evening – ‘swift’ variety. Next, we’re on to our favorite Maris Pipers

The greenhouse crops are almost finished now, with the last cucumber ripe for picking as well as a handful of tomatoes, chillies and peppers. Sadly, the Aubergines didn’t do so well in the end, unlike the ones i given to my parents that have really cropped well. Will try again next year, but maybe will use larger pots than the 10″ I used this year.

We’re still picking fresh salad crops but picking are becoming slimmer each day as we move from summer salads to autumn/winter vegetables.

We’ve had some laughs with the courgettes too, especially the ones I’d missed if that were hidden under the larger leaves.  Marrow-tastic 🙂

Similar to last years, the runner beans have been our successful crop this year with bags and bags of them. This weekend i’ll strip the remaining plants and after a quick blanche will freeze them for winter.Next year, i want to incorporate broad beans to accompany more runner beans and peas.

To date, it’s been a good growing season despite the short summer months. Ideally I need to focus more on late summer/early spring crops to extend our season a little more but with each season I’m learning more and more.

Even if you only have a small window box, once the growing bug catches, you’ll never be able to stop!


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Tomato invasion.

It’s surprising  what a little bit more sunshine during the day can do to the greenhouse crops. After the grey & wet fortnight we’ve had,  summer appears to be with us again  (and hopefully for a bit longer).  The once all green tomatoes are all starting to turn red very quickly which at the moment is proving us with much more than we can actually eat, so I’ll be churning out pasta sauces this weekend.

Any of the little ones that fall of prematurely, I move to the kitchen window sill and after a day or two they soon ripen.

..and the biggest surprise I found this evening the greenhouse are that the Aubergines have finally emerged. I really did think that it was going to be a no show on my first attempt so I’m chuffed to bits!

There’s only a few on one plant, but the second has a few clusters of 3-4 each.

I’d given my parents a couple of  plants so I called them to see if they had any growing and likewise they said that they also had found their first this morning. The others, I’d given to a few friends at work so will check with them tomorrow.

It’s only an Aubergine, but it really made my day 🙂

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Veggie plot update – 2/8/10

Apart from continual lack of anything that looks like an Aubergine, everything else in the greenhouse and veggie plots are coming along nicely. In particular the potato grows sacks are producing some excellent results and so far I’ve dug up a fair few handfuls from the  first bag.

Although a little late to crop this year, we’re now picking the runner beans in larger volumes with plenty of new growth to keep us happy throughout late summer/autumn and to freeze for winter.

Likewise, the peas have also accelerated giving us a generous pan full instead of a small handful for salads.

Everyone I spoken to  says that there Tomatoes are late to ripen this  year, and mine are the same too. I’ve had the odd one or two but no great volume yet. However, these past few days I’ve noticed that the majority are just starting to show a hint of color change from green to orange so hopefully it shouldn’t be too long now.

A mis-timed sowing session has left us without much in the way of salad leaves for a week and I’ve also noticed that something is having a nibble on some of the leaves. I’d found the odd caterpillar, but I’m guessing he’s got friends lurking around nearby.

As I mentioned above, the Aubergines have failed to fruit and I’m guessing that there’s not going to be any to sample this year.  I won’t be put of trying again next year and at least the pink flowers have provided a little color to the otherwise uniform green of all the other crops in the greenhouse 😛

Courgettes and cucumbers are coming along nicely, especially the larger cucumbers which we’re picking each week.

All in all, so far so good.

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Veggie Plot update – First Potatoes.

It occurred to me whilst boiling potatoes for this evenings dinner that I’ve not actually checked my own potato growbag for a few weeks. So whilst dinner was cooking, I has a prod around in the soil in one of the grow bags that we planted first. Just under the soil surface i felt my first ever homegrown spud and pulled it out..fantastic!

Fishing around a little deeper I could feel quite a few in there but I didn’t want to lift out too many as we still have quite a few spuds left from the supermarket. I won’t be buying anymore for the time being and looking forward to cooking with our own this weekend.

Taken from the first batch of seed potato I set at the end of March.

Also had a couple of cucumbers and courgette ready for picking in the greenhouse this evening.

Whilst i had my camera out, I thought I’d take a stroll around the garden.



Leek flower head.

Coriander left to flower.

Attracting all manner of visitors.

Giant Daisy

No idea what this is but the scent is amazing!

Red-Hot Pokers

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Veggie plot update – July 16th

Spending time in the gardening and working on the  veggie plot hasn’t been easy this week what with all the heavy and frequent showers we’ve been having. I’m not complaining though, the garden really was in need of a good soaking and although grey clouds were looming, I took advantage of the brief dry spell to give the lawns a quick haircut. With everything looking neat and tidy again and still no rain, i though I’d continue to do a few odd jobs around the garden until it did.

Last April, we cut down our cherry blossom tree that  was becoming way to big and unmanageable. Rather than removing the stump altogether, I’d leveled it at about 5ft and sat a bird table on top. However, I really miss that tree and the additional color to the garden it brings with its dark red and purple leaves and really regret cutting it. However, all is not lost though as it’s started to grow back these past few months and so we now have a purple lollipop:-)

Now that I can keep the size in check, the bird table top had to be moved. I dug out the pole and stand out of the garage (I’m so glad i didn’t throw them away), screwed, hammered and swore at it until it was built and moved it near the pond and hedgerow where the garden birds like to hang out.

Our resident collared doves seem to like it but ‘Dwayne’ just can’t seem to figure out where the goodies are!

With the first large drops of rain starting to fall, I spent a few hours in the dry greenhouse sowing a variety of salad leaves & herbs as part of the rotation to keep us well stocked.

As well as picking small leaves for salads, I’ve allowed some of the Swiss Chard to fully grow which we use in stir fries. Like beetroot leaves I really love the coloring on these leaves.

We’re finally picking peas now, except I’m prone to eating them before they make it to the kitchen:-)

As an experiment, I’d sown  lettuce & swiss chard into very small 3″ pots purely to see what results I’d get. So far so good and taking up hardly any room. It’s amazing how much stuff you can pack into just a small area.

More mixed leaf salad tubs. This is one of two that were sown together and forms our third sowing batch. The first has been eaten and therefore fresh seeds have been sown (and just starting to break the surface) and we’re currently eating the second batch.

No ripe tomatoes yet 😦

So far, we’ve had four of the mini cucumbers but none of the larger type yet. There’s two that’s pretty much ready and hoping that this will be the third.

One of my favorite moments in the greenhouse is after not noticing that something is growing until I happen to lift up a leaf or turn around a pot and see it….or, maybe I just need new glasses 😛

Sadly, the Runner Beans are not cropping as well. We’ve had a few but certainly not on the same scale as last year.  Still, it’s all very much trial and error I guess. Likewise, the Aubergines haven’t developed fruit yet. As this is the first time I’ve grown these, I’m not 100% sure is this is o.k at this stage in the season? Overall, the leaves look healthy and are covered with purple flowers. More research is required I think!

I talking to my folks the other day and they’ve just had there first batch of potatoes grown in potato grow sacks. From memory i planted mine a few weeks after theirs so I’ll be checking my first earlies this weekend.

One of my favorites this year are the long cylindrical Raddish’s we’re growing. The shape means you get to eat more per seed 🙂

Apart from a few hiccups, everything seems to be coming along nicely.

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Veggie plot update: 30th June

I was just watering the crops  and have noticed that most of the plants are starting to bear fruit. What a great bonus to spot all of these on the same afternoon.

First sugar-snaps of 2010

…first Tom

…first Runner Bean

…first courgette (actually that’s a fib, there’s about five emerging now)

Found this fella tucked behind one of the leaves. I’d be concerned about the shape and ‘bumps’ on this cucumber if it wasn’t for growing them last year and seeing that this is what they look like when they’re growing (he writes nervously 🙂

First Aubergine

And some good news, back in my previous post (veggie plot update 23rd June)  I thought I’d lost one of the mini cucumber plants due to lack of watering whilst being away for a weekend. Well, giving it a good soak twice daily, a little TLC and plenty of Tomato feed seems to have been the perfect pick-me-up. It seems to be on the mend and the cucumbers have plumped up a little more. Time will tell but I’ve not given up on the little fella yet!

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Veggie plot update – June 16th

Another quick update of how things are progressing in the veggie plot & greenhouse. With the sun finally returning, I’ve resumed damping down the greenhouse in the morning and when I get home from work. Everything seems to be coming along quite nicely.

The runner beans have reached the top of the canes and of the twelve plants, only one seems to have suffered a bit by being munched on by something. The peas are really starting to shoot up and are around 2ft now. The other day I’m sure they were only about 1ft. Both herb gardens are providing plenty of fresh cooking ingredients and strawberries for desert – although I’m prone to swiping a few every time I walk by 🙂

Over in the main veggie bed, things weren’t looking as good for some reason. I’d previously split the bed into two parts, with sowing about 2 weeks apart. In one half ( first sowing) not much has broken the soil surface apart from the odd radish. In the other half, things are looking a little better, especially the spinach. I’ve been checking daily for the past few weeks now but nothing. That was, until this evening when the first telltale signs of growth are evident. Lets hope things catch up soon!

Cucumbers beginning to appear.

Hopefully the start of one of those whopping great big ‘cumbers we had last year.

Potatoes – First earlies.

The last few Aubergine plants ready for the final repot. I’ve been growing these extra few to give to my parents and a friend at work tomorrow.

No courgettes yet, but plenty of early flower. Hopefully a few will follow shortly.

The first mixed salad tubs are almost finished now, giving about ten generous pickings per tub.  I’ve got three double sets on the go at any one time. This is the second set, with the third just starting to sprout. One we’ve had the last of the first set, I’ll add fresh soil & sow the next lot.

Come on tomato’s, Basil leaves are waiting for you!

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