Monday 21 May 2012

The Mid-May veg plot

Well, the temperatures have gradually climbed a little, and the vegetable plants have responded accordingly.

This is what the peas look like (Purple-podded ones nearest camera):

Here's a view from the other end of the row, with Rosemary bushes at the left, and Broad Beans to the right.

The Broad Beans are looking very "clean" this time, with little insect damage. Flowers are forming on most of the plants now.

The other beans are mostly still awaiting planting-out. They have been treated with the "Nemasys Grow your Own" nematodes, so let's hope they don't suffer like they did last year.

The ones nearest the camera in this shot are my second batch of Cherokee Trail of Tears - sown as an 'insurance policy' in case the first ones failed or were eaten by slugs. Although all of the first batch (planted out as part of the Three Sisters bed) are still looking fine, I think I will also plant out the second batch shortly, hoping to perhaps double the harvest, or at least increase it significantly.

The second half-rows of Beetroot and Parsnips are at least in the "Visible" category now, having taken ages to appear. This photo shows the place where two half-rows of Beetroot join.

In this shot you can see how some of the Beetroot leaves are still attached to the corky seed husks.

With the Parsnips I found that (curiously) the seeds closest to the ends of the cloches germinated first - presumably because they got more moisture. I had thought that since they would presumably be a bit colder, they would be the last ones to germinate.

The seeds towards the middle of the cloches have only just come through. I had been sorely tempted to re-sow, because I had almost given them up as lost, but it looks as if they will do OK now.

Do you remember that I found a volunteer lettuce? Well, I put in a few sticks to stop it being trampled by cats/foxes, and one of the sticks is sprouting leaves! This stick was salvaged from a recent pruning of my Philadelphus tree, so it obviously considers itself to be a cutting rather than a stake.

Talking of which, the blessed pigeons are also doing their best (worst) to "prune" the Philadelphus tree. For some reason they have decided that its flower buds and young leaves are delicious to eat, and I keep having to shoo hordes of them away. This has never happened before. The poor tree is not looking good, and the ground beneath it is strewn with twigs and half-eaten leaves. If this carries on much longer the tree will be stripped bare.

Down at the bottom of the garden I have planted an "Autumn Crown" winter squash, in the big ex-compost-bin tub. I have protected it with a plastic cloche to help get it used to outdoor conditions, but it won't be able to stay under that for long because the cloche is not very big.

The second batch of potatoes is beginning to put on weight now. I expect they will soon be as big as the first batch, even though they have not benefitted from the protection of the Seedling Greenhouse.

The Chilli plants that are now inside the Seedling Greenhouse had to endure a few nights of extremely cold temperatures last week, (below zero on one night) and some of them suffered frosted leaves. Nothing too dramatic by the look of it - just a few of the top leaves curled and browned - so I think they will recover. Unfortunately they, and most other things, are too big to bring indoors any more, so they just have to take their chances...

Well, that's it for now. There are loads of other things I could show you, but this post is long enough already!


P.S. What do you think of the new, simpler blog header picture? I felt that the one I put in only a couple of weeks ago was too "busy", and I wanted something cleaner and more stylish. And, yes, that is a real chilli - one of my home-grown ones.


  1. I never doubted for a second that the header chilli was one of your homegrown ones.
    Header looks great but I like the other one too and the one before that....
    I had a play with my header yesterday but it's always a struggle for me.

    You're looking very green, healthy and lush in your neck of the woods. All very exciting.
    Hopefully the sun will continue to visit you ...I'll not tell you that we have 19 degrees, whoops me and my big mouth! ;D

  2. I love your new header picture. It is so you. If there was anybody who did not know your special interest for chilies then they will definitely know now.

    The beans and peas in the raised beds look good. Your potatoes have done well to since their last appearance in your blog.

  3. I love the new header! Hasn't this weather been so odd for the veg? As you know we've been in Spain for a week and have come back to little progress except the Pak Choy you sent me has gone crazy huge but half has been desimated by slugs!

  4. :) I've had a number of the dry variety of beans in the back yard get really munched up. What do you use to help them out a bit, Mark?

  5. The new look gets my vote.

    Everything is really coming on in your garden now - I'm envious.

    At least you have a philadelphus cutting if the pigeons do their worst.

  6. I like the new header picture, very appropriate for your blog. I haven't got round to sowing my parsnips yet, and the beetroot I sowed weeks ago are a no show so I shall have to resow those. Everything's looking good in your neck of the woods.

  7. Your garden is a credit to you Mark - I think everything will take off now as the weather is getting warmer bit by bit - I love your new minimalist header, I liked the other one too but I think this one says Mark all over.

  8. I too prefer the chilli. Loving the potato pots too.

  9. Things look wonderful. I especially like your rosemary bush. Here we have small plants that I just hope each year live through the winter. I plant the hardiest varieties and pray. Of course last year's winter was so mild they all lived. I don't think that will be the case in a bad year.

  10. Everything is growing nicely! I like the header shot. It is clean and really "pops"

  11. Loved looking at all the plants. It is educative to look at the pics and learn . Thanks for sharing.
    The pigeons do that for our trees at home too. The green leaves will be strewn over every day.

  12. Mark, I would like to request: Can I publicize your blog in my city garden lovers circle.(Hyderabad , India) It is so educative and inspiring.

  13. Hi Vetrimagal; Yes, I'd be delighted if you would publicize my blog! I love having more visitors - but I also want to know more about what you folks in India grow and eat, so I'd love to discover a few good Indian blogs if you can recommend any.

  14. Your veg are looking really fab, healthy and quite established. My peas haven't even germinated properly! I had a success rate of 1:8. It's great to see your progress. One of these days I need to purchase some cloches!

  15. I like the chili ... especially after i realized the rest of you blog hadn't changed! Thanks for the inspiration.


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