The compost heaps are now planted, the second one was planted up today with the Gourds, yesterday it was the other one with the Pumpkins, we also plated the Zucchini yesterday, I am very happy to have them all in the ground and the water on them, we do have to use slug pellets around these plants, you can lose a whole crop in a night if not. thank you Kyle for a lot of the seeds, I am glad you will be over soon to see the plants.
I was up in the Vegetable Garden on the weekend, while up there a man asked me why we have poppies in the Fruit Cage, there was only one answer I could give him, because I like them, I think they give a since of fun to have them in a cage, the way they float reminds me of birds in a cage (do not worry it is a very big cage). But the next time I was up there I really had a look at them and decided the red ones do not look good with the other colours, they will have to come out now because I can not stop thinking about it. this is a reason why it is good having public looking at the garden, they ask the questions that make you look and not just see something. The red ones look too hard at you from the cage.
I have very mixed feeling about Bank Holiday Mondays and how much I really want to loose a day in the working week at this time of the year, with so much to sort out in the garden and being a man of routine and order they do throw me a little. But todays Bank Holiday was a very good day for getting things sorted and put behind me, Tom came over on Saturday night with some interesting Tomatoes for me to try and because we still do not know what kind of summer we are going to have I decided to plant them in large pots in Mrs Next-door’s glasshouse, I used two 75L pots and put three in each, I had two left over so I have put them in a large pot in the kitchen yard, so this year I have spread the Tomatoes out a little with the hope that at least two lots will do well.
The Potatoes needed to be earthed up this week which worked very well because Thomas went back to Australia Wednesday night so we did the job together and with earthing up Potatoes it is like a problem shared is a problem halved , but replace problem with job, it all went very well and did not take too long at all. I will not have to do it again, the next time I am moving soil near the Potatoes will be the lifting of them, Thomas will be back by then.
You can not beat beet tops this time of the year to add to tarts or have as a cooked green. These Beetroot we sown in the late summer as a salad leaf crop, and over the winter used some of the leaves as a cooked green, we left them in to go to seed, this is the moment I wait for in both summer and now, when the Beetroot run to seed, they have such great flavour but you do not get a great deal from them, I have taken also all the tops and will wait a bit till they produce a bit of seed on the side and the take them out and wait till August time for another lot.
We have guests staying, nothing new there but I needed to get some flowers in, to give some of the rooms that little bit extra and because I am thinking a lot about the talk I am going to give in the states at the end of July, I was thinking about using the vegetables that flower and what use they are, other than letting them set seed and keep it, so I cut Parsnip and Sorrel flowers and used them in my display, I am very happy with the results, they both stand up very well to being cut and used in this way, as they season goes on I will let you know what else is of use, maybe I should eat more and let less go to seed…..some things can not be helped and sometimes a room need flowers like a dog needs love.
We have Spinach, we did not get a single plant come up with our first sowing so we started to worry, I wanted to see what would happen if sown in plug trays, the rest is history as they say, we have had a great result from this,we now have a plug tray of plants to put in the ground. I think this week I will give Parsnips a try in plug trays or we are going to be without them this winter.
The Tomatoes are in I am very happy to report, as we got them in the rain started to fall which I felt was a good start to there time in the garden and then we woke to a light frost which is not the best but at this time of the year the cold does not last as long because the sun is so much stronger, and I did harden them off so they should cope just fine and get on with what they need to do. I am going to do what I did last year and keep to lower leaves off to let air flow round them to help keep blight away. As I was planting them a man asked was there any point in this country, I did want to hit him but I said as a gardener hope is the only thing that keeps us doing what we do.