21st July, 2008

The harvest continues! The last of the overwintered broad beans were picked. A few had gone too far but there were some that could be popped out of their leathery skins after cooking and were made into a spicy dip. In place of the broad beans were planted two butternut squash.

It's goodbye to the overwintered broad beans and hello to the spring sown beans, and it's a very impressive crop.

The shallots were dug up as they were falling over and looked ready but also I used the space to plant out the pathetic parsnip plants as a last gasp attempt to rescue them. It's probably too late for them really but I have nothing to lose.

I'm still not sure why they didn't grow well. I have a suspicion that it may be due to a new hose I bought from Wilkinson's. When I turned the water on it came out smelling stongly of Jeyes fluid and foamed a lot. I don't think that would promote plant growth and several other plants appear to have suffered. But maybe the home made potting compost was to blame as there was too much clay in it I reckon.

For example, the dwarf beans struggled at first, but now they are planted out they are starting to look good.

The sweetcorn has struggled and I put that down to a cool summer so far. I'm not alone it seems, the grapevine forum members are also worried about the lack of swelling cobs. I'm hoping there is a hot spell coming to bring them on.

The spring planted onions are starting to bend over which indicates they are ready for lifting. I could plant a pumpkin in the space.

The garlic cleaned up nice too despite my concerns with the rust, although the bulbs are a bit on the small side. I had a go at plaiting them, but I didn't take a picture.

Finally, the beetroot are growing well and starting to swell.

This weekend saw the first tomatoes being picked from the greenhouse. They were nicely complimented with some freshly cut lettuce. More turnip and kohlrabi were dug up and the kohlrabi made an absolutley wonderful casserole! Yet, I have never seen it for sale in a supermarket, that's probably a good thing as with today's prices it would probably be sold at a premium.

I've been challenged by my better half to show that this veg growing lark is actually saving money. So I'm going to keep a check on how much I spend on seeds etc next season and then cost up the yields against supermarket prices. It's not all about cost though, the freshness and taste make it all worthwhile.

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