Our second cauliflower is growing well and has grown even more since i took the pic 2 days ago. I generally get annoyed at how long it takes for things to grow, so this little white thing is making me quite pleased. I’ve bent one of the leaves over to protect the curd from the sun (what little of it there is!), so should be Cauliflower Cheese tomorrow night!
We’ve already had one cauliflower, which we cut, and a tiny, deformed cauli has begun to grow from behind the stump. Some sort of evil twin. Not sure it looks too edible…didn’t think Cauli’s ever produced more than one head myself.
The garlic we sowed back in April is growing nicely. The variety is Solent Wight which is usually sowed in November. I thought we’d go for a Spring sowing to see what would happen, and sowed it in pots as garlic likes good drainage. It’s also easy to weed as we don’t have to scramble through the beds like for the onions!
We have just started feeding the garlic with a general purpose fertiliser, and will need to do so every two weeks until it is ready.
Should be ready about August time i think, that’s if the pots are big enough and it doesn’t die! The garlic is in a temporary position at the moment as we are putting a new surface down between the beds…it’ll need to go back into full sun as soon as poss!
Legumes – The far bed has runner beans which have just reached the top of their canes, and the broad beans which are still producing, but the blackfly is taking over. Next to that i have planted some more broad beans and have decided on 8ft canes…not sure i’ll be able to reach the tops to pinch them out! We’ve also got a variety of lettuce and Endive in here, which we seem to have a never ending supply of!
Brassicas – The cauliflowers all have heads…much earlier than i thought they would, and the rocket is growing nicely in their shade. We’ve also got turnips hiding in there, which i planted just to see what they would do, but which are growing quicker than anything else. The purple sprouting broccoli is alive still after having a bit of a munching lately, but nothing that a picking off of a few caterpillars won’t solve. This bed also contains a foxglove, poached egg flower which will encourage pest-eating insects into the garden when they flower!
These are the first carrots – Amsterdam Forcing – that have poked their tops above the soil, and i just could not resist pulling them up. They aren’t as long as we expected, and not as straight and perfect but they tasted fantastic…a hundred times tastier than anything you can buy in the shops. We planted these from seed back in Feb, then moved them outside in April.
I will have to be a lot more disciplined in pulling them up or we’ll only be eating baby carrots this year.
Will plant a final row if i can find the space next week, that will be ready around November time…that is if we get a little sun.
It’s interesting to think about food miles. How far does veg actually travel to be stored, packed etc? How far do you travel to fetch it? We were chopped and cooked within an hour, and the veg travelled less than 5 metres….def something to get you thinking!
The runner beans have taken just two weeks to climb right to the top of the six ft canes. I’ve just today pinched out the tips of the vines so that they won’t put any more energy into growing upwards, and will hopefully put it into producing beans!
The runner beans next to them are being devoured by blackfly, something i’ve come to not actually mind! They generally just pick on a few vulnerable beans, and leave the rest to grow.
The second row of runners has just gone in (on 8ft canes this time!), so they should begin to start cropping when the first batch is at its height! Spinach has also been planted in between the rows to give it a bit of shade while growing. We’ve used garden twine to attach the canes together, as it’s more hardy than string, and easier to manipulate than wire
The Bordeaux spinach that we planted on 16/4 straight into the ground has done great. It has flopped a little today, with the rain, but is serving us well, with pretty much every evening meal, and will help create a couple of canneloni dishes next week. We planted it 10 cm apart each way. Bordeaux has lovely red stalks, quite lke Swiss Chard.
The bunches we cut last week have already started to sprout from the leftover stump, so we will have plenty for the summer. It has to be well watered though, as most varieties have a tendency to bolt in warm weather.
I planted a delphinium in the middle of the spinach plant yesterday, ( if you look carefully!) which should add a nice bit of colour once it flowers.