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Saturday, 2 June 2012

Veg patch 2nd June

I keep on taking photos and never getting round to posting them, and then everything's gone and grown again! Right, so here are some pics of the veg patch taken during the last week!

First one is an overview, this was taken a couple of days ago as I'd just thinned out the lettuce. For Mr (Annony) Mouse who was asking about my wildflower bed - it's the strip in this first bed marked with pegs (you may have to click on the photo and look on your giant mac screen). I sowed the seed in diagonal lines so I could tell what was a wildflower rather than my usual weeds. It should be interesting as it's a mix especially for pollinators. This by the way is the space that would have been sweetcorn but I decided not to grow any this year as it's so hit and miss (explanation here).

Overview May 31st

I forgot I'd taken another photo of it! By the way the space above on the right (and below top right) is the frame for my cucumbers for when they are finally big enough to plant out! I grow them upwards which they do very well so they don't take up too much ground space.

'Wildflower meadow'

Spuds taken about a week ago, but I wanted a photo after earthing them up, when there were no weeds, so everyone would think what a neat and tidy gardener I am! The first two rows on the left are Belle de Fontenay which is a lovely early potato and the other smaller ones are Desiree, a red maincrop which stores really well. We were still eating last year's until about a month ago.

Beautiful weed free rows of spuds

Next one was taken about a week ago as the kale and PSB are still in place. My peas are flowering away merrily but I'm still waiting for the mange tout to start flowering and getting very impatient.

Sure enough blackfly has appeared on the broad beans but there are at least 4 red ladybirds and one of those tiny yellow and black ones on the plants. I have put down two saucers of old strawberry jam in the hope of enticing the ants to take more interest in that than protecting their aphids (blackfly), which they farm for the honeydew that the aphids secrete. If the ants are off the plants then the ladybirds can get in for the kill. That's the theory anyway; one year it worked and another I had a swarm of honeybees eating the jam so quickly I kept having to give them more!

Pea flowers, with broad beans in foreground

The peas are starting to swell up now and I have three successive sowings. I don't even really like peas very much, except raw! I am such a lovely wife, I am growing them for my OH, who adores them.

A pea pod

Just another view of peas, strawbs and spuds. My OH put a small bench in the veg patch for me so I can just sit and survey my domain! It's a bit hot sitting here though and there are stinging nettles right behind coming through the fence from the field!

Back of house from the potager

Little Gem lettuce which I sowed early into a pot protected in a cold frame then pricked out and later planted into this funny plasticky cold frame from Lidl. I'm so glad I did as this is miles ahead of the April sowing of various lettuces direct into the ground, so we have finally had our first harvest of something grown this year!

Little Gem lettuce

The best thing that's happening right now though are the strawberries. I have tons of Gariguette, which are an early non remontant variety. That means they only flower and fruit once. I also have a remontant called Charlotte (not to be confused with the spud of the same name!) which is incredibly sweet and that's already ripening up too and will continue to produce fruit until the autumn. I've just planted out a new row of Charlottes so between these two varieties I have 6 rows of strawbs! Maybe a bit OTT but they are on rotation and one row of Gariguette is on year 3 and will be taken out after fruiting.

Gariguette strawberries, netted against the birds

First strawberry harvest about a week ago. Since then they have gone bananas (haha) with the warm weather we've been having and last night I picked two plastic tubs worth and the fruit is bigger now. I guess I'll be making jam again (to feed to the ants!) and I really need to remember to get that darn ice cream maker bowl into the freezer!!!


What I haven't bothered to show yet is the onion plot as it's got some pink Roscoff onions doing nicely in it and some very small leeks and spring onions, so not a lot to show really. I'm currently in the process of planting out my pathetically small chillies into the space where the winter brassicas were. Cross fingers they will start to grow now they are in the soil!

Swallows zooming over the veg patch and perching on the cane tops

One last piccy which won't win any awards but just to show another use for cane tops. I noticed the swallows as I was taking buggy pics so shot (that sounds so wrong!) them from afar with the macro lens, which effectively zooms in on them. One was perching on the tomato canes. I love these birds!


  1. I was going to say 'I planted 3 tree's this week' but it seems somewhat inadequate compared to your gardening adventures.

    1. Do you or Jacqui not grow any veg then, Carl? I thought you would. Three trees is pretty hard work (well, depending on size!). What were they?

  2. 2 Birch and a Poplar tree. We have both decided we don't like being able to see one end of the garden from the other (in certain directions) so a few more trees would seem to be the answer.

    Veg is never going to happen in a big way round here although we do have a small accessible/raised garden. (ok, it's just a few wooden boxes set out so a wheelchair can get in) However, if you are not quick enough the guests snaffle everything.

    I did manage to nail a single strawberry on Friday without being seen ;-)

  3. But you have chickens and now pigs and a business to run so I can understand - it's pretty time consuming this veg growing malarky you know! I did better you on the strawberry front though ;-)