Sunday, 24 July 2016

Garden Update and Lettuce Glut

I haven't had much time for the garden lately, what with cleaning the house ready for our visitors this weekend, but I did manage half an hour or so in there before they arrived and managed to plant the cheap strawberry plants I'd bought a few weeks ago, into their new home.

I had to harvest the lettuce out of here first, but had munched my way through it this week, so I could get the strawberry plants in.  Here's what the old shoe basket/new strawberry patch looks like now.

I also re-purposed LB's old moses basket from the shed to plant up a few more.  I know it looks a bit odd, and OH isn't exactly thrilled by it, but I don't think they would accept this at a CS, due to potential mould spores, after having stored it in the shed for a few years, so it was better to do something with it than send it to landfill.  This way it should rot away eventually and come to a natural end.  I just lined it with an old compost bag, filled it with compost, then planted into it.

The dog took a liking to eating the leaves of my Dwarf French beans this weekend.  She hadn't previously shown any interest in any of the things I've grown in the garden, but was yomping away on these.  I don't think they did her any harm and she didn't eat the beans, fortunately, which are still growing and should be ready for harvesting soon.

I was forced to harvest lots more lettuce this weekend, as several heads were almost going over.  We are going away soon for a week, so I filled our fridge with as much as I could, but we are never going to eat enough this week to use up what is ready, so I redistributed quite a bit to neighbours and friends. Even having done this, there's still far too much left to harvest, so I will have to leave some to go to seed or compost some of it. Here's a picture of what is still left.

I admit that this bed looks a complete mess. I got way too enthusiastic when the raised bed was ready to plant into and didn't think enough about what we would realistically need.  In all honesty, I also didn't think as much would germinate as did. It's been a learning curve.  I may clear most of the bed and sow some new seeds into it before we go away, so they will have germinated by the time we come back. I'm hoping to make it look more attractive in the future, with a bit more thought.

In the other bed, the sweetcorn is doing really well in the hot weather and the cobs are starting to form. I'm not sure how many we'll get from these plants. I'm just hoping the foxes don't eat them when we're away, as they have done this at the allotment before now.

I planted some courgette plants amongst them, but they are still very small, as I was late growing them from seed. The remainder went into the allotment to fill out the spaces. Hopefully, they will fruit before the end of the season.

On the tomato front, there are lots of fruit developing, but none turning red yet.  I will have to leave some sort of irrigation in place when we go away and hope it rains in our absence.  The roof of the greenhouse has been rolled back, so rain would now water them if it came.

The only other news is that I dug up some rhubarb tubers from the allotment and a self propagated gooseberry plant and have potted these up at home in case the allotment goes this year.  There's still a couple more gooseberry plants to bring back on another visit.  I'm just not sure where they're going to go here, as space is very limited.

Finally, whilst at the allotment the other day I also managed to pick some blackberries from nearby bushes and made two pots of jam on Friday night.  I'm looking forward to eating this.

It's nice to have some time again to potter in the garden.  I do hate leaving my garden and allotment when I'm growing food, but there's not much I can do about it.  At least it's only for a week this time and not two or even three,  which has been the case in the past.  I can always tell if there's been rain, as I often come back to a complete jungle.

I hope your gardening efforts are going well.


  1. Going away equals weeds. Rain equals weeds. Sitting watching equals weeds. Enjoy your trip.


    1. Thanks.Mum. It will be better for me and more relaxing than watching the weeds grow, that's for sure.

  2. Always difficult to arrange time away from the garden! Our sweetcorn are swelling nicely but they are not quite as tall as usual.

    1. I agree. I have a friend whose husband won't go away in the summer months because of his allotment. As they can go at other times and don't have to worry about school holidays, I don't blame him.

  3. I am hoping to get most of our garden harvested before we go on our bit of a break. Not leaving until the end of August (well from the 21st to the 28th) so should make a bit of headway.

    God bless.