Summer is in full swing and so are the veggies in the polytunnel and veg beds. Even though I do not have a lot of time, or maybe in spite it, the veg are doing marvellously.
Touch wood, apart from a few aphids on my Cavolo Nero kale I am not having any bug or fungi problems. The garden is full of ladybird larvae which is always a welcome sight!
Every day when I come home from work I go to the polytunnel and every day it looks different inside. This year I am growing a lot more flowers next to the veggies. Zinnia, Calendula, Hibiscus and Nasturtium are giving the poly a cheerful look and are attracting all kinds of pollinators.
The two courgette plants inside the poly are cropping like crazy which is giving me a little pocket money by selling them to my colleagues who are rave about the flavour. I am growing the yellow variety One Ball from seeds I saved from last year’s harvest. A funny thing to note is that they are more pear shaped than round… I wonder why that is?!
Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes, oh and more tomatoes! The two planters we made at the beginning of the season out of bicycle wheel rims and wired mesh are proving to be a success. In the middle we dug in a 20 liter bucket half in the soil and half full with compost. Later I added some nettle and comfrey leaves to it. The three tomato plants planted around it are getting just the right amount of water just where they need it – the roots and not the leaves. I am growing variety Money Maker and it sure does look like a money making business because there are kilos and kilos of tomatoes on them. The planters also provide some stability for the plants so I only need to tie up a few stems here and there. If the tomatoes all go on to ripen successfully I think we will maybe do two more of these planters next year…
This year I am attempting to grow watermelon. The plants took a bit of time to get started but are now growing very rapidly with lots of little yellow flowers and tiny watermelons. My only concern is that these tiny watermelons will not have sufficient time to mature. Maybe our growing season here is too short, even though we are having a smashing summer up till now. Fingers crossed for at least one anyway…!
Another experiment which seems to be going well is chick peas. I am amazed at how easy it is to grow them. I read on the seed pack that for our climate we should really grow them indoors, so I sowed my seeds in pots and planted most of them in the polytunnel. Due to lack of space I had a few plants left over and planted them in a secluded place in front of the rapidly growing hedge and in between some flax plants. So not only the plants in the poly are doing well, the ones planted outside also. Chickpea plants are lovely, they have such nice leaves, extremely small flowers which bees seem to love that turn into bright green pods. Each pod contains one or two chick pea. You can leave them on the plant until the plant turns yellow and dry them while still on the plant for storage but you can also eat them young and green for example mashed with avocado’s as a guacamole. Now that sounds yummy!
Last weekend I harvested two kilos of green beans from plants planted inside and outside the poly. They are exactly the same variety but the ones growing outside are tougher and darker than the ones in the poly. Other than that we have lots of peas, lettuce, chard and green leafs.
What a great time of the year this is!