Thursday, 23 July 2015

The Veg Patch

It's not been a good year for growing veg, and certainly not a good year for this vegetable novice.  Cold, wind, rain and slugs have succeeded where my horticultural skills have failed and I am thoroughly fed up and disappointed about the whole 'grow your own' thing.

We had one picking of early sprouting broccoli, it was foul - very bitter and the beetroot isn't much better.  The broccoli which hasn't completely disappeared thanks to the slugs has now gone to seed followed rapidly by the spinach.  I'm rubbish at this 'succession sowing' lark so there's nothing following on.



Once again, the potatoes got early blight, and the peas, specially chosen old fashioned varieties which should grow six to eight feet tall have barely made it to the bottom of steel mesh.

I realised that the Fort Knox like barricades necessary to keep pests out of the brassicas also keep me out and have proved a huge disincentive to staying on top of maintenance.  Frankly, this part of the garden has given very little pleasure so far this year.



But there's always a Plan B at Bag End, and these gorgeous raised beds are not going to go to waste, I'm going to use them as proper nursery beds to raise perennials.  I've already planted up one section with bluebell seed from a neighbour's garden and as soon as I can summon the energy and enthusiasm I've got other recently collected seeds to plant.



As for the desire for fresh, organic vegetables, that's been easily solved with a call to a local company, Eva's Organics.  Debbie is friendly, helpful, incredibly flexible and I'm going to have a different box delivered each week on a rotating basis.  I tend to plan next week's meals on a Thursday or Friday so today's delivery fits perfectly into my schedule and the Small Mediterranean Veg Box which has just arrived looks fantastic.  All I need now is now some good Mozzarella for the Aubergine Parmigiana which has been winking temptingly at me from the pages of River Cottage Veg:-)




And in best 'Valerie Singleton', "here's one I made earlier" or rather - here are the two I made later.











12 comments:

  1. As you say this year has been a trying year for all of us and I can see why you have been put off. Will you try again next year maybe something small like a salad bed.

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    1. Absolutely Sue. I've been gardening for long enough to know that this is not a normal year. I will, however, be thinking very carefully about what we grow. Right now, brassicas are not on any future plan :-)

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  2. So far all I've cropped are peas, we had just one meal's worth out of an entire row. Hardly worth the effort.

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    1. I only use the peas as a "drive by" snack when I'm near the shed, or a handful is a lovely addition to a lentil-based salad mix. As you say, this year it's hardly been worth the effort.

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  3. Hey Jayne, we all have good and bad years with our gardens, whether it veg or ornamental. We also have years when life tends to get in the way, but as long as the garden is there, we know that we can go out and enjoy thinking about what we can do next. I love the ornamental side and being able to pick for arranging, but also love to be able to gather a little food from time to time too. I'll never be a Monty Don or Alan Titchmarsh, but I'll always like to potter. I do a menu plan for each week and I do envy your veg box schemes over there. We have a few, but they are hard to find. Hope the weekend goes well and take care.

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    1. Susan, you are absolutely right, and as you know, sometimes 'stuff' gets in the way. I must do a post about the greenhouse which, by contrast, looks great. The tomatoes are growing very well and I have more lettuce than I know what to do with :-)

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  4. I've grown all sorts of veg over the years and have given up most as not worth the bother. Courgettes and climbing french and runner beans are the exception. They seem to thrive whatever I do and aren't plagued by pests. Your veg box looks good and you won't end up with gluts of things you can't use.

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    1. Hi Debbie, oh you're back :-) How lovely, I thought you'd gone away from blogland. Hope you are all well, will pop to yours over in a minute. You're right about the 'stalwarts' and if I grow veg next year then yours suggestion are exactly what I should try.

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    2. I was only talking about your blog this morning Debbie and said to Hubby how I missed it , so will pop over too right now. Ta Jayne.

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  5. We have beetroot like marbles, tasting lovely if you can be bothered to cook and peel, broad beans with one big bean or four tiny ones or none at all but the runner beans are doing well and taste good. Disappointing when things don't turn out as you want them to but it has been very chilly lately and for us on the east side, not much rain either till this week! Toms, cucumber, and courgettes in the greenhouse but the only things we are eating regularly at the moment are the cucumbers! Your organic veg box looked good.

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    1. Hi Jill, I think you have to be seasoned and experienced like Sue & Martyn at GL Allotments to be getting good harvests this year :-)

      The organic box was fabulous, everything was delicious.

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    2. Nor everything on our plot has been rosy either :(

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So there I am, chuntering on to myself, but it would be lovely to hear from you. Thanks to all who take the time to comment - it makes my day :)

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