Tuesday, 17 July 2012

I shouldn't complain, but...

everything's coming at once. I always sow/plant small blocks of veg. in order not to have a glut but this year, because of the weather, the early plantings just sat there for ages and have now all spurted into production. Broad beans sowed six weeks apart are all at the same stage and ditto the peas. That means I've spent most of the day picking and shelling for the freezer.

Some of the overwintered onions and the shallots had started to rot so they've all had to be lifted and are trying to dry. A week of sun would help but I'm not sure we'll get that.
shallots drying

The shallots harvest is a real disappointment. Those that haven't bolted or rotted are often no bigger than spring onions. On the other hand I've got some good big onions if I can get them dried. The problem there is that you never know how well they're going to keep until you open the net and find the rotten ones.
the biggest of this bunch weighed in at 353g

I also had to cut three cauliflowers today as they were getting very close to 'blowing'. Another couple of days and they would have gone, so more chopping, blanching and freezing. Cabbages I always sow in modules then pot on into 3-4 inch pots before putting them out on the plot with a good root ball. This ensures a good start and a quick getaway for them. By only putting them out a few at a time with a couple of weeks between them I aim to have a constant supply of young cabbages through the season. Not this year, though. When I removed the anti-butterfly netting to get the cauliflowers I found about a dozen mature plants ready for cutting. They will stand for a while but I prefer them small and tender.

Picked tomatoes are now starting to pile up in the kitchen (not literally, but there's more than we can eat) but I still have loads of chutney from previous years so I'm going to have to think of something else to do with them. I might have a go at making ketchup if I get the time.

OK moaning over but you know that gardeners and farmers are never happy unless they're complaining.

Those of you who like to grow things in neatly ordered rows should look away now. My theory is that the space between rows is completely wasted so you might as well fill it with something. If you do that there's no longer any point in the rows in the first place and you end up with a chaotic mix of plants like this. It works and weeds are not a problem because they don't stand a chance among this lot.

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