Tag Archives: Spring Cabbage

Plot update

It’s been a while since my last post as I’ve been very busy in the garden. Things are moving on quickly now as the weather is warming up.

Brassicas

The brassicas are coming along well. There’s 4 cabbages – Dutch White, a few broccoli – Aquiles, and Cauliflower – a Romenesco variety, the purple Graffiti and the standard white variety Cornell.

Cabbages

And the spring cabbages are almost ready to start cutting. I usually cut a cross in the stem from which more spring greens will sprout. Very nice with a Sunday roast and also great shredded as an alternative to rice if you’re watching the calories.

Long carrots

The long carrots are starting to take off now, still fairly small but they will put on loads of growth in the next few weeks.

Shallot thinnings

And finally I thinned my exhibition shallots down to 3 shallots per plant and these have been very tasty in our lunchtime wraps over the last couple of weeks.

After recent renovations of the front garden I’m planning some new raised beds – more of this in the next post – needless to say the extra work is keeping me very busy!!

Winter Greens

The lettuce planted in the greenhouse have done really well over winter and keep us supplied with plenty of leaves for sandwiches. There’s a couple of land cress plants also which are easy to grow and give a bit of variety at this time of year.

Winter lettuce

With the warmer weather I decided to sow some parsnips (Gladiator), carrots (Sweet Candle, Match, Flyaway, Purple Haze) and some broad beans (Longfellow) direct in the beds. And I also finally got round to planting out a few spring cabbages I had in pots.

Spring Cabbage

The shallots are coming on well – now thinking of keeping them in pots to save space in the beds.

Shallots

On various windowsills indoors there’s chillies, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and potatoes chitting. I’ve just sown another batch of tomatoes and some cabbages.

All in all quite a productive day and long may this warmer weather continue!!

Did you miss me?

Naively I thought the garden would really struggle without my expert attention whilst we were on holiday for the last two weeks. How wrong I was, it quite happily looked after itself, everything has come on in leaps and bounds, basically a big two fingers up to the landlord – sod off we don’t need you!

Apart from friends watering and taking whatever fruit and veg was available nothing was done. But other than harvesting the last of the caulies and spring cabbage when we got back there wasn’t much to do. So here’s a quick catch up on progress so far.

The runners have come on well, at the top of their canes now.

The courgettes are well away, a bit of blackfly but nothing to worry about. This is F1 Orelia and the Black Beauty plants are also fruiting nicely.

The greenhouse is full. There’s a couple of cucumbers at the end, tomatoes down the side edged with salad bowl and french marigolds. On the staging are chillies, peppers and aubergines.

Harvested a few courgettes, broad beans and squash.

And the first tomatoes, these are Brasero.

The first raspberries were ready as well which were fantastic. The strawberries keep coming to, we only have a dozen plants and are into our fifth week of picking now, they have gone mad this year.

And the chillies are getting big. This one is Fresno Supreme, I also have Cayenne, Jalapeno, Californian Wonder and Scotch Bonnet growing.

The front garden flower bed is in full bloom. The Red Orach that I grew from the seeds Maureen sent me are now 7 feet tall, I love the coulour which is a great backdrop for the sweet peas.

I grew the carnations from seed last year from a Woolies flower selection pack that work colleagues gave me for my birthday. They didn’t do anything in their first year but are now making up for it. The Sweet Peas are over 4 feet high on the wigwams. Just after taking this photo I cut most of them to encourage more flowers.

Finally the Dahlias have started flowering. This one is my favourite so far, Atika. More on the Dahlia progress next time.

So everything has pretty much run to plan, I should go away more often!

Harvesting: Spring cabbage, Cauliflower, Calabrese, Lettuce, Rocket, Radish, Tomatoes, Courgette, Broad Beans, Squash, Strawberries, Raspberries.

First Cauliflower and Broccoli

We’re off to France very soon and are taking as much veg as possible with us in the cool box. I’ve cut the first cauliflower and broccoli today which I am really pleased with. Pretty much the same size as the supermarket but I bet they taste better!

There’s loads to follow so I’m hoping the rest will develop over the next two weeks and I’ve told our friends who are looking after the garden to take what is ready. There’s never a good time to go on holiday when you have a garden (although I say anytime is a good time for a holiday!). I’m sure there will be loads of veg coming to harvest just when we are away but it means I’ll be back to man the defenses against the cabbage white invasion later in the season. I’ve just cut the main head off the first broccoli so it should now sprout more heads to follow on. It’s the first time I’ve grown them so it’s all new but I am very happy with the results so far!

Elsewhere in the garden the rambling rose is in flower.

And the first cornflower.

The Red Orach are between 4-5 foot tall now but the Sweet Peas are catching up fast.

And the Dianthus dotted around the flower bed are in full bloom.

One thing I think I’ll miss in the next 2 weeks is my first Dahlia flower as there are quite a few buds on the ones I started in containers in the greenhouse back in March.

Fingers crossed we’ll all see some good weather over the next two weeks, it’ll be “cracking the flags” as I would say.

I’m also starting a footnote on posts to keep a record of what I’m harvesting.

Harvesting: Spring Cabbage, Lettuce, Rocket, Radish, Courgette, Squash, Calabrese, Cauliflower, Strawberries.

Container Veg

The plot is full so it’s up to various containers to take the strain of the remaining planting. The first job was to get the rest of the tomatoes out. I used a couple of growbags with three tomotoes in each (Brasero, Moneymaker and Gardener’s Delight) grown in bottomless pots. I also stuck a couple of old squash bottles in each growbag for easy watering. The Brasero have started to fruit already. I’m hoping there’s no blight this year, we have enough green tomato chutney!

There’s also a couple of tomtoes (Tumbling Tom) in chimney pots.

And some runner beans in a plastic trug.

Carrots in tubs.

The long carrots in dustbins. They don’t look up to much but I thinned them out this weekend and the thinnings had 3-4 inch tap roots as straight as an arrow. I am cautiously optimistic.

Some potatoes in bags.

Herbs in an old Belfast sink.

I pulled out the last purple sprouting broccoli plant which had gone to flower and harvested the first of the spring cabbage.

And what about the rest of the weekend? We’ll be off out with the girls of course. But if I get a few minutes to myself I’ll be drinking a couple of beers. Tribute from St.Austell Brewery and Gem from Bath Ales, which I tried on a recent visit to Bath, are my favourites from the south-west.

And watching a Dennis Hopper film or two. Sad news to hear of his death, Easy Rider and Apocalypse Now are among my favourite films.

Looks like the rest of the weekend will be warmer now the rain has passed through. Hope you have a great Bank Holiday!

Bloomin’ Marvellous

I thought I’d take a few photos of all the lovely flowers in bloom in the garden and give you an update on veg progress.


The Iris that I got hold of through Freecycle last year is now in flower, I’m really pleased as I put it in a narrow space that runs alongside the beech hedge and it has flourished.


I love this yellow rose which is by the front door. I moved it a couple of years ago and it was in a bit of a state. Now there’s nearly 30 flower buds on it which is fantastic.


Just above the rose bush is a hanging basket with pansies in full bloom.


The first sweet pea flower isn’t far away.


Even the veg are getting in on the act, here the broad beans are blooming and the caulies are filling out nicely.


The Spring Cabbage aren’t far off harvesting now.


It’s the first time I’ve grown Calabrese and they are coming on well. The girls are going to love devouring the green florets when the appear.


I almost can’t wait for winter to taste the sprouts.


The front garden bed is now fully planted with courgette and squash. The gladioli along the wall of the house are starting to show. We should get dozens of strawberries and raspberries as well, I must get the netting organised to keep the birds off them!


It’s the first time I’ve grown this lettuce, Red Deers Tongue.


I took a gamble on this sweetcorn planting it out over a month ago, now it’s come through the plastic bottle cloche, so fingers crossed it was worth the risk. It’s the first time I’ve grown sweetcorn so we’ll see how it goes.

The onion bed looks a lot tidier now, I’m hoping that the ‘visitor’ doesn’t return, I lost 8 onions to the burrowing but I’m hoping the rest settle down and fatten up over the summer.

Finally I don’t know about you but I’ve been watching the Chelsea Flower Show in awe of what these people can achieve. It was great to see Medwyn win the President’s Award at Chelsea, how does he do it? Amazing veg display! One day I’ll get there!!!

What’s been growing?

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There’s lots growing in the garden and on the veg plot so following Flighty’s guidance I’ve set up a quick slideshow to keep you all updated. I’m off to Cambridge and Newmarket races for the weekend tomorrow so the garden jobs will have to wait again. Given the neglect most things seem to be looking after themselves. The photos include the rockery, mini-greenhouse, cauliflowers, broad beans, calabrese, spring cabbage and lettuce from the plot and some herbs and mixed salad leaves in the greenhouse.

But not all in the garden is rosy. I think I’ve lost three cucumbers that I transplanted to the greenhouse the other week. They look in a pretty bad state, I think the unheated greenhouse has been too cold for them at night, my own fault I moved them too early. I’m hoping they recover but I’ve just sown a couple more as emergency replacements. On the plot the frost has also caught some of my spuds, and a rogue slug has been nibbling at the bedding plants in the mini-greenhouse. To top it all off I think Polo has taken a fancy to digging in the onion bed and has made a bit of a mess of things so I’ve now got a temporary fence around that to keep him out.

But all in all despite the cold nights most of what has been sown is coming on in leaps and bounds and the photos give you a flavour of what’s happening. Hopefully it’ll all survive another weekend of neglect!