Sunday, 23 August 2009

Feeding the 5000

We had a family lunch for 12 of us today and the lottie provided all of the veg. We had a big garden salad with lettuce (4 different varieties), cucumber, radish, spring onion, carrot and pepper. We also used onion, garlic and potatoes in the main course all from the lottie. I've got beans and courgettes to weave into next weeks meal plan and a lovely bunch of calebrese from a plant I had given up on. Hurrah for the productive days of August!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Firming in

I emptied the big compost bin onto the main bed for winter brassicas. This is OS helping me to "firm" the soil prior to planting. Well I guess that's one way to do it...

On the harvest front I'm still eating courgettes and beans most days, the next wave of lettuce is not quite ready and there is a cucumber on my plant I seem to have rescued from whatever it had. It still looks distinctly under the weather but has grown two more cucumbers so I'm not complaining. You know what they say - don't judge a plant by it's leaves - or something like that.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Allotment essentials

I've got my gardening mojo back. After the disappointment of the tomatoes I was a bit less enthused than normal but now we are back to twice weekly allotment visits. Last night in the bath (sorry for putting that image into your mind) I was pondering what my allotment essentials are.
I came up with this top 5 list:
1. A stainless steel border fork, just the right weight for me and I can do most jobs with it - it is far and away my most used tool.
2. Grow your own vegetables by Joy Larkcom. My essential no nonsense reference book. I stopped buying books not long after this one because I didn't need any more.
3. My trusty knife. Working overtime on the courgettes today.
4. Muscle if required. OH is very patient with me. I am a slightly obsessive gardener, apparently it's not normal to read 6 month old gardening magazines in bed.
5. My gardening companions (see above) I wouldn't be without them - although I'd definitely be more productive! Photo taken as we gathered bits for bithday lunch for OS who requested "allotment rice". I'm off to get the party started, but in the meantme do you have any gardening essentials?

Friday, 7 August 2009

Squashed tomatoes, no stew

Today is the lotties birthday.
I haven't visited yet today but I may still get round to it (as cricket practice is off due to a waterlogged pitch). I was thinking of doing a retrospective post, what have I learned over the last year - you know the sort of thing. I just had a quick garden inspection outside before posting and discovered that the tomatoes have blight. I'm really disappointed as I got blight at Mum's last year and thought the change of location might be enough, not sure I'll bother with tomatoes next year. There is nothing better than a fresh picked tomato - but since I don't seem to be getting any of those... and then just to cheer me up even more the cucumber has cucumber mosaic virus. The gardening year starts full of hope and expectation and then my dreams come crashing down in a pile of caterpillars, molluscs, fungus and viral disease.
Ah well, on with the autumn planting.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Nothing but blue skies

Here's a shot of me not weeding on Sunday. Look at the beautiful blue sky! It certainly made a change from the weather on Saturday when we were forced to go and visit the fish at the garden centre (one of our favourite wet day things to do) and there just happened to be a half price seed sale.

Disaster! I now have even more planting to do which will mean less time for weeding. So I now have melon flavoured turnip(?) and two sorts of radish to look forward to as until the PSB gets too big I may as well under plant, and another two varieties of french bean (but I think I'll save those for next year). The boys found some things to spend pocket money on so it was a case of "rain, rain, go away, you've cost me too much money today". Now my Mum tells me that Wilkinsons have got a sale too...

I've decided weeding is overrated. Just look at the sweetpeas, and I've not weeded them.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Look what the sun brought out...

...a rare sighting of the lesser spotted hubby, drafted in to chop through the cauliflower and cabbage stems. Of course he just dug them up. Now why didn't I think of that?

YS is digging - again against a backdrop of sweetpeas. The "full frontal" of the boys had some graphic shots of weed in the background, hence this more "artistic" pic. Although now I look again, there are rather a lot of weeds here too. Are my posts following a pattern here?