Archive for April, 2012

First harvest of 2012!

Well here we are.  Cabbage sown inside in September and planted out in October into the brand new veg bed.  I’ve just cut the first one to go with our dinner this evening, how exciting!!  Seeds from SimplySeed, variety Advantage F1.  Hope it tastes as good as it looks!!

I’ve got a Square Foot Garden

Well not officially.  I saw this growing bag in Morrisons a few weeks ago for a fiver and bought it, not knowing what size it was!  When I got it home it turned out to be a metre square divided into 9 sections.  So theoretically in old money each section is approximately a square foot.  So I have dug out my copy of All New Square Foot Gardening to have a proper look at.

We set it out today and so far there are 3 and a half 60litre bags of peat-free organic compost in there. And the first small offering from the bottom door of my compost Dalek, how exciting. I’ve watered it and will allow it to settle before I add any more, but it may not need it.  I’m not planning to grow the longest carrot in Cheshire in there!

I shall probably do lettuce, rainbow chard, leeks, and a few other bits and pieces with some kind of squash in the middle.  Or perhaps a tumbler tomato could go in the middle and I could keep my fingers crossed the dog can’t reach across that far!  I won’t be able to put anything fruiting in it for that reason, she’ll have the lot!

Any ideas for other things I can put in there?  I’ve got so many seeds I’ve probably got something anyone might suggest!!

Kitchen table nursery

This is the state of my kitchen table, covered with all my little seedlings growing away.

I have patio doors there so it is the place with the most light.  On there I have 4 types of tomato, 4 types of bean, rainbow chard, sweet peppers, 2 types of leek, 2 types of lettuce, butternut squash, peas, sweet peas, sunflowers, basil and cress.  The beans are way too early and will probably get chucked except the dwarf ones which are actually starting to flower!  The tomatoes got a little bit scorched when I put them out in the sun but have made a stirling recovery and I think they are going to be ok.  I’m a bit scared to put them out into the mini plastic greenhouse as they might all die and I’d be left with nothing.

I bought the packet of cress seeds in Morrisons, but it doesn’t look like the cress I’m used to…..these are like little umbrellas

I tasted some and it was quite peppery.

A lovely member of my local knititng group very kindly gave me some terracotta pots last week as she is moving away and can’t take everything with her.  I got quite a haul and am very grateful….thanks Sarah!

I ordered a few more seeds yesterday from MoreVeg who sell small quantities for 50p, cos I don’t need many.  I’ve got a couple of different squashes coming, some alpine strawberries and asparagus peas (and a few others, ahem!).  My veg patch is going to be absolutely heaving in the height of the growing season!!

In the next few days I shall be sowing some nasturtiums and pot marigold seeds which Flighty kindly sent me to use as companion plants and attract insects, and hopefully getting the rest of my seed potatoes into the ground as their chits are getting rather long now.  Looks like it is going to be warming up a bit again at the weekend although it could be a bit damp.

I shall also be going to The Chester Food & Drink Festival this weekend.  We go every year and my favourite bit is the lunchtime hog roast,  yum!  On Sunday, Eaton Hall is open to the public for the day so depending on the weather we may go along to that.  We went at the end of the summer last year so it will be interesting to see the difference at this time of year.

Book review: Taste of the Unexpected

A Taste of the Unexpected. Mark DiaconoA Taste of the Unexpected. Mark Diacono by Diacono

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a bit different to other veg gardening books I have read. It doesn’t include the usual suspects of carrots, spuds and tomatoes, but tells you to make a wishlist of things you would like to eat and then see if it is possible to grow them. And surprisingly you can actually grow quite a few unusual things in the UK.
The book includes fruit, veggies, nuts and seeds, herbs.
I like the way Mark Diacono writes and regularly read his blog posts.
This book certainly gives you things to think about growing that are definitely a little out of the ordinary. After all, you can buy spuds and carrots anywhere can’t you? (Saying that though, this is my first proper growing year so i have included these in my small veg patch. But I might have a think about including some of these “unexpected” plants in the future.)

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