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Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Veg patch update - October

This will be the last one of the season, that's for sure! I took these photos on Sunday when it was already rather soggy, but since then we've had an enormous amount of rain and yesterday morning our seasonal stream had started flowing into our lake and by the evening it was a raging torrent! This morning the lake level had filled to about 4" short of the overflow and very soon we will be hearing the sound of running water again as it flows over and feeds the stream which runs beside my orchard.

An overgrown jungle with plenty of flowers in it!

Possibly the only tidy(ish) area with my PSB and Purple Curly Kale.
The peaches this year were not very good and had a lot of rot, so although
I have picked and eaten some the rest the birds can have, which is why I have left
the non rotten ones in piles for them. They're not interested though!

Gardeners' Delight. These large cherry toms are always so loaded
in very long trusses it is impossible to get through them in a short
season without a greenhouse which would need to be heated both
early on and late in the season - which I don't have
and woudn't do anyway - toms are cheaper to buy than electricity!

My chillies are loaded and I've been picking and drying red Cayennes
for a month now. Not quite sure what is happening with the
Piment d'Espelette as I seem to have all shapes of chillies on those plants.
I feel I was sold a duff packet of seeds, and that cost me over €10
so I'm not entirely pleased. They also need to be red/ripe or they are no use.

Chinese Cabbage.
Full of slug holes but hopefully
the hearted bits when ready will be OK!

I do have other veg such as leeks, which are a bit small and pathetic this year and I hope they will swell up now that the soil is moist. There are still beetroot for harvesting, lots of spring onions, a few radishes and loads of rocket. I even have a few small cucumbers left even though the plants are finished. As for the courgettes, I had the grand total of 9 from 2 plants (should be more like 50!). The last two that were forming I waited about 5 days until they were big enough to pick because I wanted to make a last savoury cake, but when I went to harvest them they had pitted marks of rot all over them. Even waiting 5 days for a courgette to get big enough to pick as a smallish courgette is quite ridiculous.

My Sunflowers are a bit of a mess now but the Calendula is
still looking good and colourful, so long as I keep on deadheading!

By one of my gates. There were actually once some veg here -
now it's just a lovely flowering jungle of Nasturtiums (new ones as
the older ones have gone over) and self seeded Verbena b. and Dill.

There are still a few strawberries to harvest -
when I can be bothered!

Still tons of raspberries

I don't really like these orange ones as they lack flavour;
in fact I wasn't aware that I had transplanted one of these plants to my new raspberry bed.
However raspberries spread like crazy so there is no guarantee that what you dig up
will be the plant you thought it was!

Yesterday in the pouring rain I harvested all the remaining tomatoes; the cherry toms are now spread out on my living room floor and the big tomatoes spread out here in my cellar-come-mud room. This also is the sum total of my pumpkin harvest - 3 potimarrons from 2 plants! I shall be making green tomato chutney with some of the big green toms and the cherries should ripen up slowly indoors.

What's left of the tomatoes

Here's a recipe which I first made about 10 years ago and is incredibly tasty. As we've only really got rocket left as a salad green I remembered this recipe of 'Grilled Spanish onion salad with parmesan and rocket' from Delia Smith, who is a very well known English TV cook and cookery book writer. Ignore the salt, she's always heavy handed with it and there is absolutely no need with parmesan which is quite a salty cheese. I also use a frying pan or griddle rather than the grill in the oven.

Rocket, griddled onions and parmesan - delicious!


  1. I'm tempted to go out and take some photos of my garden, just for comparison, but I'm not sure it would be worth the effort when all I really want to say is, "You call that overgrown?!" and "Slug holes? What slug holes? My cabbages look like doilies!" etc, etc.


    I shall attempt to stop feeling like a sulky child and instead take inspiration from your lovely garden :-)

    1. Thank you Rachel but you can take heart that even here, where slugs and snails are practically unknown in my veg patch with my dry sandy soil, I have lost 90% of all lettuce seedlings and about 70% of all beetroot since July (even when it was really dry!!). How the slugs managed that I do not know - I first blamed it on sparrows so covered the seedlings up with cloches but they still all disappeared, so it wasn't the birds.

      The Chinese Cabbage looks worse close up and I saw a big slug in one of them yesterday. Oh well the chooks get the outer leaves anyway - and maybe this year they may be getting the hearted bit too - time will tell!

  2. What Rachel said.

    And that salad looks yummy. May give it a whirl though will be with all bought ingredients... bah!

    1. What, no onions? Sorry I couldn't reply earlier but I'm battling intermittent computer problems. Try the recipe and if you like it then you can grow rocket next year - I find it is good this time of year because it is quite hardy until a really bad well below freezing frost, and it can still be harvested even when it is flowering. Sorry about your doilies ;-)

  3. I am so deeply in awe of your tomato bush!

    1. Don't be, Sarah, because all those green toms are indoors now and some of them are going all blighty!