Well, the heat of the last week has paid dividends; and I’m stuck into harvesting courgettes in good order. I’ve gone for Tristar, so I’m getting pale green, yellow, and classic dark green fruits. Seems an abundance of pale green at the mo, and as the experienced squash fans will know, if you leave them any time they grow from courgette to blimp, just as your back is turned.
Also managed to start picking the rocket, so I’ve planted more to keep me fed this summer, and the beetroots. Roasted, with rocket (!) and some squishy goats cheese I think. Everything is coming up big time. Just to show you, here are two pictures: the kale etc 2 weeks ago:
And here they are yesterday. Amazing, and one of the reasons I’m really enjoying this.
The tomatoes have made similar progress, so I’ve pinched out as many side shoots as I can find (love the smell of tomato plants, let alone the taste of tomatoes), and as recommended I’m trying to keep off the potatoes (now flowering), until the requisite 90 days have passed. It’s worse than the 2 weeks wait!
So Monday was a sad day, last hands-on session of my RHS Practical course at Hadlow. It’s been really inspirational, well worth the hands on experience of pruning, propagating, sowing, digging, and the conversations with such a diverse group of gardeners. We have 2 trips out to consolidate the learning, and chat about gardens, but then I have to decide wether I can cope with the Level 3 Practical while also doing the L2 Planning and Maintenance course. This is the veg plot we planted tended over the past year
Lovely, isn’t it!
So, on the allotment this week I have finally harvested the broad beans, prodded, blanched, and frozen my crop. Fantising about broad bean and chorizo salad as the best use over the summer. BBQ anyone? Chopped down the tops and popping into the compost bin, and left the roots to do their thing with the nitrogen. At the other end from the broad beans the courgettes are beginning to swell, and the sweetcorn is thrusting through their prickly leaves. Lost one of the onions. The runner beans have been playing host to black aphids, so sprayed with soapy water. I have also planted dwarf French beans in the gaps.
In other news, I’m still baffled by the parsnip seedlings. Partly because by sowing in threes I have little groups of coriander-like leaves, rather than a neat row. However, I’ve also sown some at home in the mini greenhouse in toilet roll inners which should be easier to spot once planted out. Carrots are as carrots are, easier to spot so I’m anticipating the carrot white fly to make an appearance any day now! And you can see how the beetroot is finally swelling next door. Looking forward to roasting these, black pepper, rosemary, goats cheese sprinkled on top …
Brassicas are coming up, so I’ve sown a further set (purple sprouting, kale, cavalo-de-Nero, cauliflower romescue) are now propagating in the mini greenhouse, the lettuce (Little Gem) and rocket are coming up, and the potatoes are making flowers. Soon I’ll need to get my first firtling fingers ready …
And last week was very busy catching up with old friends. So, progress report:
Brian the brassica bed is planted and looking good. Two rows of Kale (one is Cavolo de Nero) which I’m looking forward to immensely, 1 row of cauliflower, 1 of Purple Sproating Broccoli, and a row of spring onions. Lifted out of the seed trays, and popped in with plenty of water. These have all been germinated in the mini greenhouse first.
Frankly I’m beginning to think this is the best idea, because I am struggling to spot the seedlings amongst the weedlings in the asparagus bed (Charlie).
Spot the carrot seedling! I can see fat hen, clover, and groundsel, but no sign at all of the parsnips, and only a very limited glimpse of something that might be a carrot seedling or two. So Mick got a thorough weeding.
Weather has been only sort of kind, wet and warm, but extremely windy. Good job the sweet corn is not that tall yet, and the bean support has survived thankfully.
Tasks for what is left of this week are to pop some more lettuce and rocket to infill Charlie the asparagus bed, start some more brassicas off, to follow the first batch, and to plant the butter nut squash seedling that are looking pretty healthy. Any views anyone on how soon I should be. Taking a look under the spuds for signs of tubers? They look promising; should I be waiting for flowers?