Archive for the ‘Vegetables’ Category

Wet and Damp – and some Fails

It has been very wet and damp these last weeks and now the sun is much lower during the day the garden does not get that much sun.  This means things will now be wet until the spring time and so I wonder how much more we will get out of the square foot garden until that time.

This weekend it has been different and not only sunny but hot too.  The garden is still soaked but I really did have to cut the grass before the lawn turned into a some wild forest.   Quite a challenge as the lawn mower no longer has any blades attached to it.  It is a cheap flymo rip off that we bought from B&Q a number of years ago for £10 or something silly and we have kept it outside ever since.  Probably not the recommended way to look after electric equipment and “don’t do this at home kids”.    As part of this the plastic blades get brittle from being outside and break all the time and currently we have not bought any more.   Amazingly, it does still cut grass even if it does no longer hover over the lawn.   On the wet long grass it was quite a job then to get it all cut, but cut it now is and all raked up.

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The square foot garden was in a bit of a sorry state and so today was chance to tidy it up a bit.  That cat is digging up as much as he can at the moment which was the end to some of our turnips the other week.    The turnips on the whole have not been a success.   Firstly the caterpillars stripped the leaves as quick as they could which was the end to many, while the others never really developed into much.   They all had roots but not as a turnip shape ball that you would want to eat, infact just the one was anything that looked like a turnip.   We did something a bit wrong here, off to look up what happened in my veg book.

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The sweetcorn I was not too surprised with our lack of result as they were planted very late.  Next year we will be much more organised and do it on time, I am thinking it this spot was still getting a lot of sun then we would have at least tiny baby corns.  As it is, we did have tiny baby corns but they were being eating by various insects and everything was extremely wet.   This was the first time ever for growing sweetcorn and we did not know what to expect at all, at least next year we will know a bit more and might even get to eat some of it ourselves.
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Not everything is bad though, our late peas have flowers and are podding and doing quite nice.  There probably won’t be a huge number of peas as we only did one square.  At this time of year it is clear now that these late plants could go in the majority of the free squares in order to get a good overall harvest especially peas which can be frozen once picked.      Doing well too are the late broad beans, despite the wind trying its best to keep knocking them down.   All broad bean plants are full of flowers and with hope might get to producing beans before the frosts come, these last couple of hot days will be a great help.

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The massive courgette plant is taking over the square feet, lots of leave but little else.   Courgettes come and go, mostly eaten by something or rotting before they get too big, probably too wet.   Keeping an eye on things each day and picking baby courgettes before this happens has given us a small harvest but nothing like last year when we had so many we ended up using courgettes in chocolate cake!

Winter onions are still there, some got dug up by the cat but the majority are hangining on.  We’ve never grown over wintering onions before and so I will be interested to see how they all cope with the winter and hope to have a good harvest.

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Late Broad Beans

Late Broad Beans

I never used to like broad beans, but now I think they are great both with skins on and without.  When we had the allotment I would see them growing as one of the first plants for the year and I always missed the time to plant.   We missed it again this time as the Square Foot Garden was not built at the time, so I thought I would have a go while we are growing late peas to do the same with late broad beans too.  Since this photo was taken the four plants are now much taller and have many flowers, so once again fingers crossed they have the chance to produce something before the frost.

Next to the beans are the tomato plants which despite not being tied up to anything is still allowing a good large handful of tomatoes each day.

Late Peas Flowering

Peas

These late peas are now flowering and so with hope might get one or two pods out of it before it gets too cold.    This year we have not had any pea problems and so for next year we will extend this to more than just one square.

Red Onion Harvest

Red Onions

Not the biggest onions in the world, but they were planted pretty late.  All the same though, these were the first things to be planted this year as soon as we had built the first bed and so it is quite a milestone.   The are red and they are very strong

Turnips all in a row

Turnips - 16 to a square

Very gloomy weather that seemed to hang over just our street which has given a wet drizzly winters day.   In the wet I decided to thin out the clumps of turnip seedlings which were really making the most of the warm weather of August and the rain.   I first planted these four per square but I decided that they should be able to cope with 16 per square possibly.  I have never grown turnips before or even really eaten them so I only have photos of small turnip plants to go by.   So I thinned these out and replanted as 16 per square and added a third square on top of the originally planted.    Time will tell if 16 in a square will be too much or not.

How are the winter seedlings doing?

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After a lot of rain the winter seedlings are popping up all over the place.   The turnips have come up and it that I was not too good at sowing just two seeds each time as I now have little clumps of them instead, they were very tiny seeds though.  Not a problem as I am undecided if I should have four turnips per square or 16, I am becoming more in favor for 16 like the onions in order to end up with smaller onion sized turnips when the time comes.   In a little bit then I will thin these seedlings out and put in formation for 16 per square if I am still thinking that way.   Note the metal grilling over the top, the cat has not been back to dig it all up since but I will keep this all covered just in case.

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Three squares of broad beans, one plant per square, and soon to be followed by a third when the carrots have been used up.   I planted two beans per square in order to introduce some redundancy and all have come up so I will either transplant them to other squares or bin them.  If these are meant to go over winter then I may as well keep as many squares as I can full for that time.

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The winter onions are all popping up, infact they look more impressive at the moment than our many failed spring onion sowings we did during the spring.  I will leave these for a little bit in order to get bigger before I thin any out and get each square filled with 16.   I am hoping for all these we keep with the current warm weather followed by rain followed by sun again, although maybe during the week I am off work it would be nice for just sun…

OK to Pod Peas – But Never To Eat

Podding Peas

Jack loves podding peas, but even at the mention of eating one and he will look at you in horror!