Despite only getting things planted at the beginning of May, I've just about caught up with the sensible people who plant early. Imagine though how far ahead I'd be now if I'd planted in March!
I took these pictures on Friday and already the beans have doubled in height and the leeks look less like fragile blades of grass. Ugly though it is, my incident tent has made a huge difference.
To the right of this picture are my wonderful Monastic Coco french green beans. They are a heritage variety and are wonderful eaten small and green or allowed to ripen and the beans used in stews or casseroles. They can be dried, but I had limited success with this, maybe due to the jar I used. The beans on the left are the Cherokee Trail of Tears that Danielle sent me, thank you Danielle :)
My own courgettes are taking their time, but have doubled in size since this picture, so not too shabby there. They are another heritage variety called Tondo and are small round globes, although if left, quickly become footballs! These are top right and top left are the exploding cucumbers that Danielle sent me. They are romping away. As you can see at the bottom of this picture, I have a couple of melon plants. I'm surprised and hopeful for these, as I found an old packet of seeds among my stash and just thought I'd see if any were alive. It seems that a couple were, yaay!
This beautiful courgette was given to me by my sensible neighbour, so I'll be eating courgettes soon, despite my lackadaisicle approach to planting! I'll be giving her one of my Tondo courgettes in exchange.
Last week the Moomin and I went to a plant sale and managed to pick up some tomato plants at 20p each, not bad eh! I found the curiously named 'Saucey' and a little bush plant called 'Pomodorro', so along with my heritage plants, I should be well covered for toms this year. That is so long as I can protect them from the dreaded blight! These plants will be truly cosseted! I use an old cola bottle with a couple of holes in the lid sunk in the grow bag to water them. The water gets right down to the roots this way. Behind the grow bag is a Ghoji berry plant that I found at a fair a few weeks ago.
The tray to the front holds my whispy leeks and the one behind has a little row each of (LtoR) normal cucumbers, hot chilli peppers and a no show of aubergines! I'll bang some sweet peppers in there instead and either buy an aubergine plant or quickly try some more seeds.
All in all, I'm on track now to make up for lost time so now all I need to do is clear out the vegetable beds at the field. These are pretty full of weeds and looking mighty neglected!
However, what I'm mostly going to be writing about here is how much you can get from a small space. Here is my raised bed in the garden. It measures approx 3x5 feet and is small enough to fit into just about any garden. The mini cloche is perfect for this size bed and helps to raise the temperature enough to encourage your seeds to put in an appearance. This bed is in almost permanent shade due to a neighbours hedge which actually makes it perfect for growing spinach and mixed salad leaves. They have a much longer growing life due to the shade as too much heat makes them bolt. A few root vegetables will do nicely here too, like beets and maybe celeriac.
This corner is where the hens were and gets a moderate amount of sun. At the moment my mini apple and pear trees are there, but I may try some beans in tubs here too. The beauty of growing in tubs is that if something isn't working out, you can move it to another part of the garden.
I'm off to make some homemade grow bags now, which I'll talk about later. Enjoy the sun everyone :)