Everything in the Garden
is coming up smelling of Roses
The Radical’s Garden -3rd July 2016
All things are Bright and Beautiful this year thanks to the warm and gentle ? summer rain.
I will speak first of the Vegetable garden.
Broad Beans and Shelling Peas planted last Autumn gave an early crop into May this year.
Pea Avola can be planted under cover in September for a Spring crop and Broad Bean Aquadulce Claudia are the best for overwintering.
These were on the table from May onwards.
We started with a Summer Cabbage in April last year which lasted as a kitchen dish until this March, because we planted them on outside rows of second early potatoes and then thinned and transplanted them when the space became available
Last year with all the dry weather the White Fly invasion beat us to our covers but this year the plants are healthy and fly free -so far.
Last years potato crop was good but only because each raised bed got a 10 litre watering can each evening.
We had planted Arran Pilot and Kestrel.
Against all good advice the same beds are all planted with Kestrel this year and odd vacant patches in the garden with Saxon main crop potatoes.
Because of the rain the crop is huge. and we are just digging a plant or two at a time and I never start lifting earlies until the 1st July.
Kestrel potato variety is the one with the purple eyes and a result of Jack Dunnett’s efforts.
They mash,boil, roast or fry so meet every cooks desires.
Beans come in three types – Runner, Dwarf and Climbing and are thriving
Courgettes and Squash we grow in small tubs for convenience and raised protection from slugs and snails.
Swede and Turnip are grown from seed in the greenhouse and have been planted out. Whether they like it or not to be transplanted as they are thinned.
We are using up old pea seeds – Onward and Early Onward, Ambassador and Canoe
It’s early July and we have lifted over 2 kgs of full pods from one raised bed with only a quarter of the space vacated for sowing succession and that does not include those that never reach the kitchen.
Second Early or Maincrop peas can be sown into July if first germinated to about 1-2 inches under glass.
We can eat peas every day as a side veg and with the soft melt in the mouth Kestrel potatoes who wants to travel far from home to eat ?
This year as beds become vacant we also will plant Tomato – Money Maker and Gardeners Delight and between some carrots, but most Tomato plants are in pots.
Let me tell you our carrot seeds have been germinated in the greenhouse and carefully, when germination to and inch or more has taken place, we have transplanted the whole indoor seed bed on to the top of the outdoor soil in strips and hey presto all have taken to outdoors with flying colours.
There is still time for carrots to go into raised beds and the same applies to leeks.
Carrots can be covered later to keep any frost off them
So where was I ? – Oh Yes-
I was a farmer so things that grow into money interest me.
This year we started earlier in the year with bulbs in pots and I bought £160 of bedding plug plants for May onward flowering.
Added to these we grew from seed, Godetia, Marigolds,French & Scotch, Aster, Larkspur, Wallflowers, Antirrhinums, Lobelia and Californian Poppy along with Malvi Zebrina.
We offer surplus veggie plants and will sell surplus Beans Tomatoes, Cooking Apples etc..
These are to pleasure our own garden and sell the surplus.
By the time we buy compost and the pots. signs and tables their is little in it for our labours but this year we are over the £900 return,from sales in the front courtyard by the beginning of July.
We must thank the rain which has kept our 2000 litre tanks and 200 litre drums full from gutter run off.
Raspberries and Black Currants are ripening for the table but strawberries are a disappointment .
Lets hope the rain eases off for the start of the farmers cereal harvest, but those “Up Horn” will have seen the grass grow in abundance this year and cattle and lambs finish on grass.
The flavour will be sealed in for the consumer !!!
More gardens should be into food growing gardens and Gardeners World and other Websites can be helpful.
Keep it simple and only grow what you like to eat.
There is nothing better in the world than Home Grown food but without my Rene non of this would be possible.