This is Chilli Guindilla Roja, a new chill for me this year. I've got a few peppers, capsicums and chillies…Continue
Added by Caro on July 10, 2012 at 9:27 — No Comments
I'd like to say that I've been enjoying a bumper strawberry harvest from my veg patch - but I can't. Last year's runners taste revolting: watery and bland. Really, I don't know why I bother to pick them, except that I don't want to encourage the slugs. It was no better last year so I can't blame the weather. I've decided to pull them up when they've finished fruiting and start again, with the exception of the Rambling Cascade strawberries which came from Victoriana last summer. Maybe it…Continue
Last July I planted 5 perennial cauliflower plugs which had been supplied to me by our own UK Veg Gardener Stephen Shirley from Victoriana Nurseries. I was intrigued by the idea of a plant which would produce not one but several cauliflower heads - and regrow at the end of the season for the next four…Continue
What a treat to see blue skies yesterday (and again this morning!). It stayed dry so as soon as I'd finished work (and had a cup of tea), I went straight down to the veg garden. First task was to cut down the perennial cauliflowers, a marvellous vegetable kindly provided to the veg patch by Stephen Shirley at Victoriana Nurseries. …Continue
Now that the sun is shining again (at least for the next few days), the extra warmth and light is having a very positive effect on my recently sown seedlings. Never mind radish cress, beans are germinating within 2 days, peas shoots will be ready to go out very soon (weather permitting) and I really need to get outside and clear more space for all these plants. Carrots in tubs and potatoes in sacks are growing by the day; I'm looking forward to having dwarf beans and peas on my balcony.…Continue
Added by Caro on May 13, 2012 at 14:30 — No Comments
My ability to identify the good from the bad in the insect world is limited to the basics. A recent discovery of some beautiful striped beetles on the herbs in the veg garden has increased my knowledge by one insect, the rosemary beetle. This insect falls into the very bad category as it likes to eat the top growth of herbs, especially but not exclusively, rosemary and, once a colony has established itself, you can kiss your herbs goodbye. I've written a post about it here:…Continue
Added by Caro on May 2, 2012 at 22:02 — No Comments
Anyone trying to garden with children in tow might be interested to read a bit more about this new book by Dawn Isaac, the writer behind the Little Green Fingers blog. It's packed with projects to keep children entertained and busy in the garden. You never know, we might get some good outdoor weather this summer! I've reviewed it on my blog and would love you to pop over and have a read ...…Continue
Added by Caro on April 14, 2012 at 8:57 — No Comments
Wonderful day in the garden yesterday, warm sunshine and all quiet apart from some very busy bees. I'd taken my camera with me for an end of summer photo record and managed to get some super close up shots of the bees in action, busy collecting nectar from the Cerinthe.
More on my blog, here:
Added by Caro on September 24, 2011 at 9:38 — No Comments
I went down to the veg patch to water late yesterday evening. All was not well. Bricks which had been holding down some netting had been hurled randomly around, damaging my strawberries, raspberries, corn, sweet peas, etc. I was saddened and dismayed by the sight - and somewhat perplexed. Why would someone do this? While I hate to jump to conclusions, a group of young children who are rarely allowed out to play were seen 'going a bit crazy' - the joy of freedom? - in the area that same…Continue
Being rather taken with the idea of having squash scrambling around the base of corn, I decided to adapt the idea and plonked 4 courgette seedlings into the corners of a 1m by 1.5metre bed in late May and put a couple of rows of sweetcorn down the middle. Obviously the idea was that if the sweetcorn got on with it, they'd be standing proud whilst the courgettes fawned at their feet. All I can say is two words: sibling rivalry. The courgette leaves are like dinner plates whilst the sweet…Continue
Poking around the beetroot bed yesterday evening, I judged a few of the roots big enough to gently tease out and cook ...
Yesterday my new secateurs arrived! At last, a pair of Felco no 12s are mine, ha ha hah! These are the ones with the swivelling handle, made for small hands. I'm fighting the urge to go mad pruning and snipping in the garden. So far, I've restricted myself to snipping off brown leaves from my houseplants ... that and picking them up for a quick squeeze every time I pass them. Daft, I know, but having had perfectly good secateurs from Wilkinson Sword (or such like) up until now, these…Continue
Anyone just starting out with an allotment or food-growing might be interested to know of a book I've just reviewed called 'Grow Your Food for Free' by Dave Hamilton (who also co-wrote 'The Self-Sufficientish Bible').
It's a book leaning heavily towards the practical side of gardening (pallet shed, anyone?) with less emphasis on the how to of plant nurturing, although there's plenty of advice for veg growers that draws on the author's vast experience of food growing…Continue
I enjoyed the most delicious dinner last night (Potatoes Dauphinoise from my new cookbook Skinny French Kitchen) with a side order of First Harvest Baby Spinach Leaves!! Yep, I raided the veg patch for the first time last night (although, in truth, the leaves have been ready for over a week), took a huge handful of freshly picked leaves home, washed them, steamed them, seasoned them and served them with a knob of butter slowly melting over the top.... Excuse me while I step back and…Continue
To coin a phrase, that's how I'm feeling today. It's only 3.30 and, shockingly, I'm fighting the urge for a little mid-afternoon siesta! Mind you, despite buffeting winds at the weekend, I crossed off a few more jobs on my To-Do List. My garlic and onion beds are regularly dug up by (I think) a cat so it was a priority to get that netted off: Tick. I filled up half a dozen recycling bags with well-rotted manure, collected from the farm on Friday, that needed to be spread over and dug into…Continue
I've been to our local City Farm this morning, the animals are great for the kids to look at but my main motivation in going is to ogle the allotments! Today, having had a lovely chat with a lady gardener over the fence of her plot, I came down the hill to find the remnants of a plant sale (take what you want, leave the money in the postbox by the gate).
So, swayed by the lovely old-fashioned names, I've come home with 3 Sweet Cicely* (Myrrhis odorata) plants for £1 (£5.50 each at…Continue
I had a feeling this might be a problem. I meant to dig up my horseradish last winter (after first frosts) but somehow (work, life, weather, etc) it didn't get done. It's now regrowing (2nd year) and promising to be as lush as it was last year - exceeding 2 feet tall! All very well, but it will put my other herbs in the shade so it's time for some rethinking of the plan. (So soon!)
Here it is just 5 weeks after the first leaves started to show, lurking behind the…Continue
18 months after planting, the fruit trees in our little mini-orchard are looking good! Lots of blossom on the pears and Victoria plums with plenty of buds waiting to burst open on the apples and cherries. Yum!
Full article: http://urbanvegpatch.blogspot.com/2011/03/thrilled.html
I've not been inspired over the winter months to go down to the veg patch and see what was happening which is why I was very pleasantly surprised to find that my autumn planted Romanesco cauliflowers had been quietly persevering to produce small but perfectly formed heads, without any help from me. The above…Continue