How Does Your Garden Grow?

Not with pretty bells all in a row, row, row unfortunately! Although for years and years I thought being contrary was a good thing…..

The peas are finished and the French beans are about 3/4 done.

20160808_134535
Cobra french beans

The courgettes are getting their second wind and the cucumbers are filling out nicely. My kiwi plant I bought last year has put on plenty of foliage but there’s no sign of fruit or flowers.

Studio_20160808_135828
Self fertile kiwi…..but surely it needs some flowers?

The blueberries have plenty of fruit (though not very sweet) and are thriving now that they are in the correct ericaceous compost (oopsie!).

20160808_134223
Blueberries….they do so much better in the correct soil….who knew!

This is part of my second round of methi (fenugreek).

20160808_134334
Methi, you may have seen it in your local Indian shop or market and wondered what it is

I usually cut it 2 inches from the soil and dig it in. Like peas and beans it adds nitrogen to the soil so I throw a load of seeds on bare land over winter to act as a green manure/weed suppressant and dig it in at the start of Spring There’s no need to buy the fancy, expensive stuff. I get a big bagful from the Indian shop for a couple of quid. The chillies are doing quite well but there’ll be more about them later

20160808_135115
Chillies.

…..ooo I’m such a tease(!)

This year, I made my own fertiliser out of comfrey. I’d heard all sorts of horror stories about how it spreads everywhere but so far, so good. I planted two lots into neglected parts of the garden so that if it did spread it wouldn’t be a disaster. This picture is from one seed sown in spring.

Studio_20160808_135634
Comfrey: more tea, Vicar

Bear in mind it’s had plenty of leaves removed for fertiliser making. All you do is get a bucket or watering can and fill it up with loads of torn up leaves. Top it up with water and leave it for a week. Top it up with water again. I tend to keep it covered be a use it is stinky stuff! I dilute it 1 part comfrey tea to 10-ish parts of water. Then keep topping up your bucket. Comfrey grows FAST.

One of the plants I grow because of the expense/food miles issue is Physalis or syphilis as it’s known as in our house. It’s super easy to grow, it needs plenty of heat and water but really, if you could grow tomatoes you could grow these.

20160809_105932
Physalis/syphilis starting to fruit. When the lanterns go papery, you’re in business!

 

The other thing I do is cut the spent heads off the sunflowers and leave them to dry. I can plant the seed next year and the birds are grateful of the excess come winter.

Studio_20160808_135712
Dead sunflowers, hanging upside down 😦 but actually 🙂

I choose what to grow based on the following:

  • What tastes better fresh, plucked from the plant and straight into the mouth. Peas for example and tomatoes and strawberries just warmed by the sun.
  • What is easy to grow and delicious?
  • What is difficult to find fresh in the shops?
  • What is ridiculously expensive in the shops?
  • What incurs ridiculous food miles?
  • What is only available in bog standard varieties? Eg tomatoes
  • What gives a good yield per square foot? Eg climbing beans?

Over the next few weeks many of the garden centres have seed sales so now’s the time to start thinking about next summer’s crop.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Advertisements
How Does Your Garden Grow?