thesticks

tomato vine with red and green tomatoes

At the start of August we planted the new bed with winter brassicas, covered them with super-fine micro mesh and looked forward to curly kale, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower in the darker months to come. Our summer cabbage and kale had been plagued with snails and slugs and, despite the butterfly mesh, ravaged by caterpillars. With the new plantings we were taking no chances. A month later and they are looking good and I've replaced the mesh with standard mesh.

sweet aperitif tomatoes on vine

The first batch of seeds I sowed this year either germinated quickly, became straggly and many died or did not germinate at all.  On the second attempt I sowed far more than I needed not expecting much success. However, all but the cape gooseberries germinated and thrived. Result: too many seedlings.

Mixed veg garden

In a previous article I lamented the fact that my parsnips had failed. I spoke to soon or was too impatient. A couple of weeks later they appeared. Not all of them but more than half, so there will be enough for Christmas dinner. After a slow start the kale also shot up and not all of it has been eaten by caterpillars. I've used Grazers sprays to fend of caterpillars and slugs but they have only been partially effective. Not sure whether it is the product or my faulty application of it.

Bean garden 2019

In my last article I said we were nearing the end of the broad beans I had grown over winter. That was wrong. We were still harvesting those I'd grown in pots in the greenhouse and then moved outside.  We only started eating those planted directly in the garden  about 10 days ago and there are plenty more on the plants yet. The Webmaster come chef groaned when I said I thought we would have fresh broad beens through to end of September.

Vine tomatoes in greenhouse

Our local supermarket recently changed hands and the new owners altered the separate workshop section where it was possible to buy pretty much any emergency DIY, hardware or gardening item into a discount section. I think mass panic broke out in the neighbourhood and some of the old items started to find their way back. At the end of April while the Webmaster was popping into the main store, I decided to take another look in the old Workshop section. "Don't buy anything" he shouted as I went in through the door.

Bean canes and gardens

Despite adding three new beds to our vegetable garden, effectively doubling the capacity since last year, we have almost run out of space. The garlic, onions and some of the brassicas, beans and peas I planted last Autumn are not yet ready to harvest and new plants are waiting to be planted out. Mainly squashes. I sowed ten seeds each of butternut and patty pan and all of them came up. We're going to try to grow them in large containers rather than plant them directly and we are hoping to use less space and improve on last year by getting them to grow up a mesh frame.