Archive for Veggie Plot 2012

Apple Cucumber

My Apple cucumbers are ready for picking. It’s been fun watching these grow throughout the summer. At one point I didn’t think we were going to get any but what seems like overnight I’ve suddenly have pairs of them dotted around and lurking under the leaves.

Definitely weird yet wonderful!

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First white cucumber sample

Thought we’d try one of these ugly buggers from the greenhouse this evening.

White cucumber

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It might look a bit weird but it tastes really nice. Much more crunchier than a regular ‘cumber and not too wet n soggy in the middle.

We’ll see how we get on with the others but I think they’ve made the list to be grown again next year.

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Beautifully weird cucumbers

SUN…and not just a bit of yellow peeking around the the clouds when no one is looking either, but proper glorious sunshine. Instantly the tomatoes are out with shades, shorts and deck chairs to soak it all up and the odd cucumber plant I’d almost given up on does a few sit ups to the tune of ‘eye of the tiger’ – Yup, I’ve probably been out in the sunshine too long myself 🙂

Well let’s just hope it’s here to stay around for a bit longer. just in the nick of time too…summer, this year was almost cancelled.

So these cucumbers I’d almost given up? – well they’re the two funky varieties I was hoping to see the results of the most but until now they’ve pretty much sat there, slightly embarrassed whilst their regular cucumber producing brothers and sisters did so with wanton gust and quite frankly, the odd bit of unsportsmanlike showboating. Good eating though!

Apple Cucumbers

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Looking like things from 50’s B-Movies – White ‘cumber’s from Mars.

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Water reserve

We’re back from an amazing week away and despite all this rain these past few months, we managed to avoid pretty much all of it and had a dry week (excluding the jaunt around the lake district fells where the heavens opened).

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Arriving back home I had no idea how things would be like in the greenhouse without being there to water but suffice to say it was quite the surprise to find inside looking like a scene from the Jungle Book…oh wait, it was Bananas not Cucumbers 🙂

Save your empty drinks bottles and plastic milk cartons, fill with water, make one small hole at the base with a pin and site the bottle (or bottles as I have done) on top of the pots and tubs. As the soil dries, the water should be sucked out in a slow drip. That’s the theory anyway and seems to have worked o.k for me this time.

…and if you’ve got room, a child’s paddling pool filled with a few inches of water makes a great reserve for tubs and pots.

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Catching up

April, quite literally has been a washout and so working out in the garden hasn’t been much fun and have much preferred the dryness of the greenhouse we’re i’ll be found listening to a few tunes, a cuppa and working at my potting bench. Plants that were hardening off outside during the brief sunny spells were subject to days of overcast and gloomy days, downpours, unseasonable cold temps and even the odd spot of hail. It’s no wonder some of my runner beans took a beating after the initial grown spurt 😦

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Thankfully, May broke the clouds and we were treated to a few weeks of summer sunshine and all but one of them appears to have picked up and are now looking reasonably well

There around 5ft and I can just see that both these and the French runners are about to flower.

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In the greenhouse and with the sudden bout of sunshine, everything is ready for potting on at the same time. It’s all a bit of a rush at the minute as I try to catchup.

Cucumber (white, mini and the oddball apple cucumbers) ready for repotting. After a hectic day at work, this is therapy. Sun, sound of birds, water splashing in the pond, pottering around…and of course a rewarding ice cold beer 🙂

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First and second batch of salad leaves in the mini and main greenhouse. Yesterday, we sampled our first (small) pickings added to a bag of mixed leaves from the supermarket – you could tell which was homegrown. Crunchie, fresh and oh so tasty 🙂

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All in all, quiet pleased with progress so far…still lots to do.

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Veggie plot update 5/5/12

What more Rain? April was wet and May has started to look the same too, including single figure temps and the threat of frost in the morning that is delaying planting out.

I keep checking for signs of life in the mini greenhouse thinking that the cold would probably be too much and so these caught me by surprise!

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Indoors, the seeds sown the other week have all reached the surface and so far so good with what looks to be a good selection of cucumber, tomato, pea and bean plants to choose from. The beans in particular are ready to go out but with the weather the way it is, I might leave I a few more days.

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In the main greenhouse I’ve sown my first batches of rocket, mixed spicy salad leaves, mustard, purple lettuce, chard and cut/come lettuce.

Come on sunshine, I need you now!

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Sowing begins.

Rain, rain, thunder, rain, is that blue sky?, nope…..rain. Pretty much sums up April here. Doing the odd bit of weeding, mowing and general garden upkeep has had to be done during brief respites when it’s not chucking down…or, at times, putting ones waterproofs on and getting stuck in!

So with the rain pelting down again I raided my seed tin to see what I’m short on for this years veggie beds.

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We’re still getting the odd bit of frost in the morning and so I’ll be starting this first batch under cover in the main greenhouse, experimenting with the new mini greenhouse and having seed trays in propagators inside we’re it’s warm.

Despite the rain, I’m happy in the greenhouse, with a good cuppa and Radio 2 on my iPhone. I could stay here all afternoon….and I did 🙂

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Todays sowing –

Cucumber (mini, white a Apple variety)
Tomato (Large yellow stuffing) – will be getting more varieties from my folk in the next few weeks.
Peas
French beans
Runner beans
Chillies
Peppers
Potatoes (Charlotte and Maris Piper)

I’ve placed my potatoes into the grow sacks again after being indoors chittin away. In previous years I’ve added a third of compost to each sack, added five potatoes (one in each corner and one in the middle), covered with a few inch of compost and earthed up as they’ve grown. However, this year, and on recommendation from various friends, I’ve staggered the potatoes into two layers. One, containing three spuds after filling each sack with a third of compost, half filled, added two more potatoes and finally added more compost until the sack is full. No earthing up required. Let’s see if it works.

With the mini greenhouse placed closer to the house, sheltered but in full sun, I’ve sown a small batch of Rocket, mixed spicy salad leaves, Pak Choi, Swiss Chard, Mustard Cress, Lettuce and Purple Basil.

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My homemade compost is looking rather good and has been applied to the veggie beds were required. It looks like I’ll be playing catchup what with all this rain but I’m sure all will turn out ok in the end.

Here’s hoping for a dry May 🙂

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