Posted By admin on September 11, 2009
Well, despite all good intentions, it all got away from us. We have been so busy in the garden that time on the computer has become a hazy memory!
This year we decided to part company with a huge chunk of lawn and dug it up to plant spuds. We grew First Earlies, Pink Fir Apple (which became known here as Pink Fur Ball) and King Edward maincrop. We harvested over 100lbs of spuds from that! The other spare lawn was given over to a raised bed, constructed of breeze blocks and filled with home made compost from our ten compost bins. This became the outdoor tomato bed, as the greenhouse was full of pepper plants. The tomatoes we grew were Plum Roma, (good, but we still prefer Il Romano), Orange Banana, another plum tom, nice flavour but not outstanding, and Tamina, a salad tomato. Not very tomatoey, but pleasant enough. We’ll try different ones again next year.
Red onions and garlic did spectacularly well, but we’ve decided not to grow them next year, and use the extra space for more garlic, as we use such a lot. It will save more money growing garlic. Beetroot was a good crop , as were (and still are, due to succession sowing) Little Gem lettuces and French Breakfast radishes.
Summer cabbage was good and the red cabbages are now sitting in jars of vinegar, waiting for Christmas. The brassicas are another story.
We were dilligent, we rubbed eggs off by the million, we squished caterpillars by the thousand, we washed them off with the hose. No good. The Cabbage White butterfly had a good time at our expense. next year we will net them.
We’ve had carrots all season, and it’s such a treat to eat a carrot that tastes like a carrot. A lot of the supermarket ones are a lovely bright orange, but have little flavour. We grew Early Nantes and Autumn King. Some of the latter are still in the garden. The leeks look healthy enough too. Plenty of Leek and Potato Soup this winter. I’ll put the recipe on the cooking thread later.
The runner beans were slow to start, but once they took off, they went like the clappers! We have over 30lbs of beans in the freezer. We grew Scarlet Emperor, Streamline (good for freezing), and tried Haricot beans too. They grew well, but we came to the conclusion that a decent crop would take too much ground, so it would probably be more economical to buy haricot beans and use the ground for something else.
Courgettes grew so fast that we had too many marrows. Fun to grow, but difficult to use up at their peak, so maybe no more of them next year.
The fruit harvest has been a bit like the Curate’s Egg…good in parts. We had a splendid harvest of mid season raspberries, plenty to eat, freeze and make into jam from just six original canes, but the autumn ones are a poor show. Despite watering, we have had no real rain for about 6 weeks here now, it is the driest summer I can remember. The jostaberries were plentiful, as are the blackberries and apples. Greengages were disappointing, but the cherries were wonderful! We have a Stella cherry tree, about five years old and grafted onto a dwarf rootstock so it doesn’t outgrow our smallish garden. The fruit was delicious, ane we beat the birds to them!
Our biggest ‘investment’ this year has been the addition of our ladies, four hybrid hens! They arrived at the end of May as Point of Lay Pullets, and we are getting a steady 3/4 eggs a day. They are little trouble, fun to watch, eat the weeds and vegetable scraps, enrich our compost with their droppings, give us eggs…all this for a few pence a day!
Meet the girls, Kay, Chicken, Chips, and Stew
Back soon with more pics and news