I’ve just realised that we’ve spent the past few weekends revelling in the extended period of dry, warm and, (mostly) sunny weather and I haven’t recorded any of our labours. Rather than trying to remember everything we’ve done I’m going to cheat by going through all the cards and seed packets to see what we’ve sown/planted so far this year – it’s quite an impressive list! Continue reading A Planting Extravaganza
After last year’s disappointments we’re hoping for a bumper crop of fruit and vegetables from our garden this year and have created a new raised bed and added some new and more unusual varieties to our growing list. Since starting my MSc in Gastronomy I’ve learnt a lot about soil science and food production and we’re putting some of these learnings into practice – this year we’re all about biodiversity and organic methods.
So it was rather timely when I was asked if I would like to receive a box of organic vegetables and salads from Rocket Gardens – a Cornish-based company that allow you to pick and choose from a number of varieties and then deliver them to your door. Time has been a big issue for me with my studies so thought this would be a great way to get the gyo-ing going quickly.
The ‘Family Favourites Veg Patch‘ duly arrived and I have to say, it was better than Christmas opening it up and unraveling all the layers. The plantlings had all been tucked up in a bed of straw for their travels. Not all the plants had labels on them but they were grouped together so it was easier for identification. So I spent a very pleasant hour laying them all out to see what was what.
Our box contained two different lettuces (Buttercrunch and Red Salad Bowl), yellow courgettes, rainbow chard, carrots, wild rocket, Beetroot (Detroit), Cucumber (Marketmore), Green Sprouting Calabrese, Cavalo nero (Nero di Toscana), peas (Kelvedon Wonder), Giant Winter Leeks, two types of tomato (Tigerella and Golden Sunrise), runner beans (Enorma), dwarf french beans (Tender Green) and seed potatoes (Electra).
Sadly we had some issues with a soil delivery so I wasn’t able to put them straight into the garden so popped them all into pots until we were ready. But they don’t seem to be any the worse for spending, what turned out to be quite a while, in waiting. They all seem to be growing away quite nicely now – I had wondered how they might cope with our altitude and colder climate compared to the South West.
We already had four lots of potatoes and four lots of tomatoes on the go so I gave those to neighbours but you can select a mixture of the plants that you want if you don’t choose a selection box. At £34.99 for 125 plants I think this is an absolute bargain – the price is comparable for what we’ve paid in Homebase or such like, and those had no organic credentials. This is definitely a service I would use again, they also do gift vouchers which would make a brilliant present for some of my green fingered friends.
My only slight issue is that I now appear to have a courgette growing in amongst my cucumbers, they were very similar looking plants and not all of them are labelled, still it adds some extra interest to that pot.
After the continued rubbish weather I decided to take the Bank Holiday Monday off to relieve my itchy green fingers and start clearing some things off my gardening ‘to do’ list.
I finally got our potato barrel started off with some Maris Pipers, and found a nice a little spot for it, although at the risk of it getting waterlogged and rotting them, I think I’ll need to put it in the shed for now.
We decided to take a cheeky long weekend and get stuck into the gardening we missed out on after last weekend’s return of Winter weather.
We had a ton of soil to move from the front of the cottage to the back garden, a job in itself. This year we ordered it from onlinesoil.co.uk – we certainly paid for the 20kg sack convenience and for the high quality (screened to 10mm) this time (last year we bought 3 x ton bags of standard top soil and the lorry couldn’t get close enough to deliver it where it was needed) but I think it’s well worth it, it feels, amazing and is a really rich dark brown – think our veggies will love it!