Successes and disasters so far!
The allotment is nearly full and the garden is stuffed! I’ve got the space to add my sweetcorn and hopefully to squeeze in a few sugar snaps and broccoli plants but I think that’s it! It is such a lovely time out in the garden/allotment now; we’ve started nibbling at some of the veg and everywhere you look there is promise of more delicious food to come. So I’ve taken this time to stop and reflect on where I’ve got to.
We have been eating our home-grown lettuce for over a month now, both cut and come again and larger headed varieties. I’m now growing it all in pots – all the lettuce in the garden was munched by slugs and no amount of coffee, eggshells, beer traps or even organic pellets seemed to stop them! HSL’s Black Seeded Samara has been especially good and huge! It seems really happy in my tomato planter alongside the Bath Cos and basil so I will keep replacing heads as I use them. My rocket has been really good (no sign of flea beetle yet this year) but has now gone to seed so I must get on and sow some more.
We are harvesting mangetout from the first sowing, they’re so sweet and crunchy, great in a salad or stir fry. There are tiny little beans on the dwarf beans so they shouldn’t be too long. We have also been tasting the Ave Juan peas which are delicious, just little tasters as they are really being grown for assessment and seed but it’s hard to keep our hands off them! My Blackdown Blue peas have the most beautiful flowers and now gorgeous small dark purple pods.
The allotment is a good way behind the garden, it’s more exposed and I don’t have any wind breaks there so I put things out in the garden earlier. Of course, my first attempt at planting out on the allotment ended in a Jack Frost disaster! However, my daughter’s bed is providing us with more lettuce and the first sowing of broad beans should be ready soon. I’ve had to prick out the tops of the beans earlier than I’d like but a few were just covered in blackfly, so I thought it best to do asap. The beans, both dwarf and climbing are looking great, but no flowers yet. The peas have been attacked by slugs, they should survive but I’ve got some replacements/additions growing and I’ve also got to find space somewhere for the sugar snaps so they might end up sharing the pea frame.
The soft fruit is coming along, I’ve got high hopes for the autumn raspberries but I don’t think we’ll be eating any currants, gooseberries or honeyberries. I guess it is only their first year so that is probably to be expected. We have picked a few small strawberries but the plants aren’t looking particularly good, I think I should have bought new ones rather than transferring the ones from the garden. But overall I feel like it’s going well and I haven’t had too many disasters yet!
More about Lucy...
Lucy is part of the fantastic Heritage Seed Library team, working hard to grow and preserve seed varieties that are no longer available so that our members can enjoy growing them at home. Raising two young children, Lucy is keen to grow an array of fruit and vegetables to become more sustainable and to encourage her children to get involved in growing.
Click here for a full list of our Organic Gardening Blogs. There's something to interest everyone, from frugal gardening, wildlife and starting out, to wellbeing and allotment growing. Each series is written by a member of our staff, touching on their own personal experiences. We hope you enjoy reading.