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.

Early beans

It's just over a year since we started renovating our vegetable garden and recommissioning the greenhouse. Looking back at the old photos (below left April 2019, below right, same place April 2018) shows just how much we have managed to achieve - and more importantly sustain. Have we finally got the weeds under control?

The first thing we did last year was to renew most of the edging boards around the beds and refresh the soil with a good dose of horse manure. The final thing we did over winter was to thin and lower the hedge at the bottom of the garden to let in more light. That then allowed us to construct a fourth bed in time to plant potatoes in late March and early April.


Our first "full time" season of vegetable gardening for some years was admittedly trial and error. We relied on a combination of old experience (rusty, like a lot of our ill maintained equipment) and advice found on line from the RHS and many very enthusiastic and apparently organised and successful allotment owners. 

So how did we do? Unsurprisingly we had mixed results but none of our crops completely failed.