New Vegetable Garden (2)

The beds are full, not with everything I wanted but the squashes have taken over as a result of the warmth and then the rain! have had to cut them back to let the other plants have room to grow. The sweet potatoes also are growing well, let’s hope that is reflected in the crop below.

In July I sowed a row of a new french bean we will be offering for next year, it has grown brilliantly, no slug damage, and if the amount of flowers are anything to go by, ift will be an excellent cropper. Just got to assess the taste now!

The brassicas (plants purchased from Delfland) are growing like mad. I think I should have given them more space. Have them covered with enviromesh but a cabbage white still managed to get to one bed, think it was when I was changing covers! A little damage but think we captured all the caterpillars in the end and they made an extra feed for the birds.

It’s time to think about sowing a few crops for the winter – have sown some mixed lettuce in troughs in the greenhouse, have the Elephant Garlic ready to go in and Broad Beans and Onion sets for early October.

New vegetable garden July 2020

Although times have been difficult the last few months we have kept busy dispatching orders of seeds and plants for people to ‘grow their own’, things are now quietening down and getting back to some sort of normality. I decided, as my greenhouse at home had to be moved, to construct a new vegetable garden with some raised beds and this will be the start of many (I hope) jottings about what I am growing.

Needless to say the new garden isn’t finished! Decided on paved paths in order to make it easier to get around it in later life! but unfortunately as the area became larger we ran out of stone and so did the supplier so still waiting on another crate! however the beds are finished and some are planted.

It was too late to sow seed for the winter brassica crop so I decided to buy some plug plants.We have used Delfland in the past for commercial quantities of plugs but they have a retail arm too sending out small quantities. Bought the ‘Brussel Sprout Collection’, the ‘Cauliflower collection’, some leeks and some ‘Kalelettes’.  This is the ideal way to purchase as the quantities are small and the collections offer different varieties so that not everything becomes ready at the same time.Particularly important with cauliflowers for example as 10 cauliflowers ready together are a challenge and they don’t hold! the collection had 5 varieties, 2 of each so hopefully no glut.

‘Kalelettes’ I have grown before, a sort of cross between sprouts and kale, they are delicious steamed. They sometimes appear in the supermarket but hopefully by growing some I can have a constant supply through winter, they can get tall however so may need staking.

Have used enviromesh cover over all of the young plants to keep off the cabbage white and also the pigeons which seem to have appeared from nowhere in recent months and are now eyeing their winter food! I will shortly be getting some more permanent cages for the brassica beds and will post some pictures if they work.

Have sown some french beans as a late crop, these should be ready in late August/early September, have used a variety new to us ‘Elba’, so if they do well will be adding those to the catalogue later in the year.

Have filled the rest of the beds with some left over squash plants and a couple of sweet potatoes as a trial, bit late on the squash but you never know.

Determined also to grow a steady supply of salads. Have done this in the greenhouse using small troughs. As one lot grows I am starting another and hope to continue through winter. So far have sown ‘a taste of America’ and ‘Out of this World’ and will follow with ‘Hardy cold Snap’. The oriental mixes are good to sow now too.

 

 

 

Recipe for Lemon Verbena Syrup

You will need:
2 cups granulated Sugar
Handful Lemon verbena leaves (on stems is fine)

Dissolve sugar in the same quantity of water by volume until almost boiling, remove from heat.
Throw in the Lemon Verbena cuttings and allow to cool. I usually leave for an hour or so but you can leave overnight if you like a stronger syrup.
Bottle in steralised bottles. Best stored in the refrigerator and once opened used within 4-5 days.

Drizzle over ice cream, use in lemon drizzle cake, great in summer drinks.