Growing Pains

It’s been a while since I blogged here about our – or should I say DJ’s – vegetable patch (I’m allowed to water it and plant the odd thing occasionally!) and how it’s coming along.  I think it’s looking pretty impressive now that summer is in full swing and we’ve had some delicious potatoes from it in the last few weeks, but it hasn’t been an easy ride.

Some of DJ’s old packets of seeds appear to have given up the ghost – we’re wondering if perhaps we didn’t store them correctly or they’ve got too old – so some of our peas and lettuces didn’t germinate. We had to buy new seeds and start again, which is why the lettuces in the photo are only tiny.

And the battle against the slug fraternity continues. DJ is trying out bran sprinkled around the plants to keep them off, which he read in a gardening magazine is a better and cheaper approach than using beer traps. His attempt at companion planting, where flowers are planted among the vegetables to attract pests away from the veg has partly worked and looks gorgeous. He says the marigolds have worked well in distracting pests, but the nasturtiums just went a bit nuts in the bed and he had to pull some of them out. And while the potatoes were fab, they completely overshadowed everything else in the bed around them so next DJ plans to grow them in pots.

But I’m sad to say that our apple tree is on its last legs. It’s had canker for years but a dangerous looking crack appeared in one of its remaining branches a few weeks ago, hastening its end. Luckily DJ noticed as I’d taken to sitting under it to work in the afternoons – and now it’s strapped up to keep it in one piece at least until we harvest the apples. We’re hoping that it’ll bear up under the weight of the fruit.

But on the bright side, the tomatoes are coming up, we have some beautiful looking cabbages, courgettes, sweetcorn coming through, delicious swedes and the garlic harvest has been so bumper that we’ve struggled to find somewhere to store it all. My mum who has a garlic allergy has been visiting, so I told DJ if he wants to keep on the right side of her it probably isn’t a good idea to keep it in the spare room as he’d planned!

Have a great weekend xxx Piper.

Do you grow your own veg? How is your plot doing this year?

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8 Responses to Growing Pains

  1. Christine says:

    Your peas are not the only ones that didn\’t germinate! I got so few to play that I threw the rest on the compost heap in a tantrum one muggy morning in a heavy shower and they all promptly proceeded to sprout. Now I have too many. These were old stock too. The lady who runs the community allotment locally said that none of her peas germinated and that it will teach her not to use old stock as she knows better. She did suggest that if all else fails try putting some on damp tissue (and keep it damp) in a cool but not cold place and see which ones "chit" a bit like potatoes. Apparently that is supposed to work (could be what happened to mine on compost heap as I didn\’t bury them) but I haven\’t officially done it. Now if you give DJ national garden centre vouchers for Christmas he can go and buy all new seeds next spring. Problem solved.

  2. Christine says:

    PS – grow carrots, parsnips and potatoes in large tubs placed on a couple of planks to keep them off the ground and allow for drainage. Gives you more space in the vegetable beds for other things. I\’ve got spring onions and rocket in smaller tubs too so that there is more space in the beds for important things like calabrese and purple sprouting broccoli, beetroot (yum freshly boiled beetroot and pick them not too big). Am having a go at bulb fennel this year just for the fun of it.

  3. gillian says:

    my cauliflowers have been extremely good this year. because of the adverse weather, i have not had one butterfly in my garden, hence the massive cauliflowers.on  the down side, my broad beans have been covered in blackfly. i have been washing them with fairy liquid, but they seem to like it. today i removed 5 large cucumbers from the greenhouse, but the tomatoes are very slow. cabbages and potatoes are looking good and so are the peas. but the wind is wrecking the runner beans and the apples are falling from the tree. oh well, can\’t win em all.

  4. david says:

    i have grown potatoes in tubs and got a good crop  and for the first time i have grown peppers and they are doing well
    all so i have grown swedes wot i want to know is should swedes flower while they are growing
    could some one answer me

  5. Unknown says:

    now in my third year on my local allotment.every year you learn a bit more. anyone growing veg to save money is in for a shock but i
    grow without chemicals and the fresh air and exercise is a bonus.

  6. Julie says:

    I have been growing Veg for years in my back garden, just a modest terrace house, but enough space for Beans, Potatoes (grown in sacks and pinned to the fence to keep them from flopping over) Lettuce, salad leaves, tomatoes & cucumbers  (in a couple of 3 tier plastic greenhouse (cheap from Instore) and standing on the path to save spack) sweetcorn, brussels etc etc, one thing I have learnt over the years is that in all the books they say things should be spaced so far apart – yes this is ideal if your planting on a acre of land (how many of us have that) but most of us have only a small space, I plant much closer together – not had many proplems and you can get loads more in your plot.
    There are some good bargings around at the moment, most of the shops are selling their seeds off on the cheap, ideal for next years veg, some of them are reducing equipment too.

  7. greg says:

    I\’ve found that all the veg I grew successfully last year are the one\’s not doing too well this year. Cucumbers dying on the vine, Toms seem O.K., but I had problems with them last year except for the Cherry variety.  Chillies very slow this year,as are Aubergines,(growing both outdoors as I did last year) but sweetcorn much more vigorous. Runner beans virtually a waste of space, but cabbage doing well and not too much slug or Cabbage white butterfly damage to date. Apparently, or should I say "allegedly",  there appears to have been a great deal of poor seed produced over the last two years by reputable seed merchants, and with the weather we\’ve had they have not had much of a chance of reasonable germination or growing on outdoors after transplanting.  Strawberries were  brilliant this year, and I\’m hoping for a second crop as good as the first.  Last year the first was hopeless, but they made up for it second time around, even though I thought they only cropped once.

  8. gail says:

    try wd 40f slugs & snails they hate the stuff

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