I’ve just sown Florence fennel, half a dozen varieties of lettuce and two plants new to me – Kailan, a kind of Chinese sprouting broccoli and Celtuse, an heirloom lettuce whose stems, when it bolts, are edible.
I’ve also sown some Palla Rossa chicory and some frizzy endive, called Wallone.
They pair up well with the lettuce to provide colourful leaves for winter salads.
The mizuna I was given has flowered as has the rocket – it’s too hot for them and they should be sown earlier or later in the cooler months so they don’t bolt, flower and run to seed – so I’m growing some more in modules to plant out at the end of August.
Some more dwarf green beans are on the go, again in modules, for a late crop which will probably need fleecing in October.
The carrots I sowed in spring have done well – no sign of carrot fly.
They’re cheek by jowl with my Chicken Thigh Shallots (cuisse de poulet is the variety I grew from seed) which so far show no signs of white onion rot!! Fingers crossed that continues.
I also interplanted my red cabbage with carrots and the white kale has a line of beetroot between the rows.
Alex and I weeded them today.
We also built a structure for the Crown Prince squash on the compost heap!
That was fun.
We filled up a “new” compost bin I scrounged for free off a village Facebook page.
There were two but I gave the other to Alex as she said she needed one.
Tomorrow Mum’s gardener, Sarah is coming.
I was going to ask her to help me plant my new Myoga plant but I think I will pot it on first and wait until it gets a bit bigger and tougher before finding it’s forever home!
By the way I picked some kale for supper as we had the covers back while we were weeding.
I’m not sure what I’ll make with it yet.
But a white cannelini bean and white kale stew/soup is crying out to be made.
And finally today I saw a tiny iridescent turquoise beetle while I was pruning back the silver birch.
We also see greater spotted and green woodpeckers, the swallows have fledged and are fattening themselves up for their epic journey back to South Africa and Jonathan who mows the lawns and cuts the hedges took this photograph of a White Admiral in our garden!
I’m growing winter squash on top of one of the compost heaps.
The two Crown Prince plants seem to love the protected, sunny site with unlimited access to rich nutrients.
I’m growing my other smaller squash (Hokkaido) up a trellis – also an experiment.
Two failed but there are six or seven more that have thrived despite being rolled on by pheasants trying to make shallow scrapes in the soil to nest.
My courgettes are just beginning to fruit – they take a good month to get established once they’ve been planted out but should now romp away.
The unknown variety of dwarf green beans are in flower so I have high hopes of harvesting them soon.
I’m looking forward to my favourite green bean and cashew curry for lunch!
I’ve mounded up my potatoes (Sarpo Mira, Sarpo Axona, Charlotte and Pink Fir Apple) with extra compost to stop light getting to the tubers and turning them green – I took Charles Dowding’s advice and just tipped a two litre pot filled with homemade rough compost over the base of the haulms or stems of each plant.
They should be ready in a month or so.
Finally we’ve been eating the artichokes dipped in olive oil and vinegar dressing.