When we are away from home taking a break at the coast – I think about the garden – will my neighbour keep everything well watered – will I have huge marrow like courgettes to come back to – will all my new seedlings have withered in my absence.
I needn’t have worried. I harvested as much as I could before we went away – told my neighbour to concentrate on the greenhouse should she be pushed for time – and kept my fingers crossed that everything would be okay.
And as you can see – no huge marrows – a few beans from the greenhouse – loads of patty pan squash – and all the chillies ripened.
There were one or two problems though. My two wigwams of late sown runners had serious problems.
One was infested by blackfly – I have never seen anything like it – unfortunately I couldn’t get a good photo to show you – and the other has an infestation of green beasties (shield bugs maybe)? These are eating the buds as they emerge.
So the whole crop is ruined and will have to be pulled out tout suite.
I still have masses of Sungold tomatoes ripening outside – no sign of blight (touch wood).
The patty pan squash plant is rampant and full of what look like baby space ships – so cute.
The seedlings in the greenhouse have doubled in size – although something has eaten the baby lettuce (on inspection I found a big slug sleeping under a pot).
And the kale plants that are waiting to be put in the courgette bed are looking pretty healthy and don’t seem to be suffering from being kept in pots. I have put them outside now to harden off.
The winter onions have sprouted too – so very soon I will have to find space for them in the raised beds. Has anyone ever grown onions in containers? – did they do okay? – that is something I may have to resort to – it’s all going to be a bit of a tight squeeze out there.
So, all in all I can breathe a sigh of relief. I did get a veggie garden fix whilst I was away though. In Wells there is a fantastic allotment area - just one field away from the sea. The plots are on the whole beautifully kept and one in particular that you can see from the lane is a model of perfection – I didn’t have my camera with me (slapped wrists) – I am sure you would have been as impressed as I – talk about busman’s holiday!
The other thing I wanted to mention is why are restaurants so stingey with veg? They never seem to include them with the meal – sometimes they are listed as a side order – when the meal could really do with a bit of green on the plate. The fashionable thing seems to be to put on the menu where all the meat and fish is sourced locally – on one menu in particular the veg was supplied by Fred So-and-So from his allotment. Well, all I can say is, that Fred was having a bad year with his veg, or he was keeping the best for himself. Where were the runner beans, where were the French beans, where were the spinach and chard - surely he must have had loads to sell on – one meal we had, included some curly kale, which was as tough as old boots and certainly didn’t add any flavour to the meal at all. I know in the main restaurants like keep things seasonal, but even I, with my limited means, could have found something green to add to the meals – they all seemed to be very keen to add salad leaves to everything though. Sorry – rant over – you have discovered one of my ‘bete noirs’.
‘Til next time – happy harvesting.