|The plot enjoying the rain on Tuesday (10 May)|
It has never been my intention to make us self-sufficient in fruit and veg - it needs a lot more space than I have to make that feasible - but I know how much nicer vegetables taste when they are freshly-picked, and I'm fairly sure they have more vitamins in them at that point, so my aim is to augment rather than replace the food we buy at the shops. Just for fun, I have decided to list the fruit and vegetables that are growing in my garden today:
Baby Leaf Salad - incl Red Mustard and Mizuna
That's 7 types of fruit and 40 types of vegetable or herb. Not bad, I'd say, considering that my garden is only about 10 metres square. Did you notice that I didn't list Purple Sprouting Broccoli? That's because I haven't yet sown any seeds for it this year, so I can't claim that it is growing NOW. It soon will be...
Regular readers of my blog will know that my policy is always to "spread my bets" as it were - to grow not only many types of plant, but also usually several varieties of each. Things respond differently to different weather patterns and different pests and diseases, so if one type fails another may do well. Novice gardeners who slavishly follow instructions in books and on seed-packets are often dismayed by poor results, but after a while (if they don't give up immediately!) they begin to understand how things work, and adjust accordingly. In a garden (particularly here in the UK), things are never the same from one year to the next, and one has to make adjustments, and get a "feel" for what to do and when. If you just went by official sowing dates and Last Frost Dates you would probably not be successful!
|Tues, May 10th 2016 - steady rain; hosepipe definitely redundant!|
It also has to be said that some plants are quite picky about the conditions in which will grow, and it is unreasonable to expect a plant to thrive in all types of soil, or in sun as well as shade. Some plants never do well in my garden. For instance Spinach (I love it, Jane hates it). It always bolts before delivering any worthwhile harvest. (Not the Perpetual Spinach. That does OK). Likewise, although I have tried several time, I have never managed to produce a Celeriac that is anything other than tiny by normal standards. Still, it's been fun experimenting!
|Celeriac, my first attempt - 2011|
After many years of gardening here (we've lived in the same property for 25 years now), I think I can safely say that my favourite plants to grow (and usually, though not always, the most successful) are PSB, chillis, tomatoes and Runner Beans.
Friends, readers, fellow gardeners, what are YOUR favourites and most successful veggies?