GBHD – What’s in the vegetable garden

I’m joining in with Barbara and Christine with their What we’re harvesting today meme; it’s interesting because they are now approaching winter and in Italy we’re going slowly into summer.

There are some strawberries almost every day

The strawberries have slowed down considerably since last month (am I really thinking “thank goodness”?)  There are some to eat most days and lots more flowers to give hopes of many more to come soon.

…and lots of promise of more to come with lots of flowers

Broad beans don’t always fulfill their promise

Having our own lemons is a treat

This year I decided not to buy grafted pepper plants and I am sure that this year the peppers will in fact be ready earlier.  If I wanted green peppers there are already a couple that are large enough to use.

Not actually harvesting peppers yet as I don’t usually eat them while they’re still green, except in Gazpacho, but I don’t have the other ingredients yet.

Not actually harvesting peppers yet as I don’t usually eat them while they’re still green, except in Gazpacho

The vegetable garden is already quite productive.  The greenhouse enables me to buy in small plug plants of many things early and grow them on, so that when I plant them out they are already good sized plants.  The tomatoes in the greenhouse have mostly already reached the top of their canes and those outside are well on the way to doing so too; the job of the moment is to keep them tied in and the side shoots pinched out.  When I plant the tomatoes I add an alkaline tablet to each planting hole to help prevent bottom rot.

The soil was, I think, a little acid for some of my herbs and vegetables as I’d used my own compost as top dressing and perhaps it needed a little longer to decompose.  Initially the basil was very yellow and it is only after watering with the heavily alkaline water from the well that it is now looking temptingly green and ready to use with tomatoes and very soon the first pesto sauce of the year.

The outdoor tomatoes are winning the race as to which will have the first ripe tomao to pick, this week, I think

The Basil was really yellow and sick looking but is now looking much better, I love using fresh basil with tomatoes and mozzarela de Buffalo

The Basil is looking beautifully green now

We have had rain all day today and when I went out to take these photographs it seemed that the sweetcorn had grown 10 cm during the day!  They are under-planted with melons, which are growing slowly, and Rainbow chard planted between them that will fill the space when the corn has been harvested (this inter-planting is also a sign that I am running out of space).

I can almost see the sweetcorn growing

I have already harvested quite a few of zucchini and the yellow variety that I grew from seed is just producing its first, rather weak-looking specimen.  I’ve used them in frittata, pasta sauce and in salad to replace cucumber which isn’t ready yet.  I like them cut very thinly into ribbons (like pappardelle) and served with an olive oil dressing.

Onions and garlic are growing well and I have been using any of the onions that have tried to produce flowers and young fresh garlic is perfect for Spaghetti, aglio e olio e pepperoncino (spaghetti dressed with garlic, oil and chilli with a topping of some freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano.

Garlic on the right and red onions on the left

There are various lettuces popped in around the plot, we’ve been eating them all through the winter

On the right misticanza, there is a lot of mustard leaves included, some would have been great but there is too much, on the left Barlotti beans are flowering now the cool weather has delayed their growth

Pak Choi has been a big success; it tastes delicious and grew from seed that I planted in April, I’ve been harvesting the outer leaves and leaving the rest to grow, I don’t know if this is standard practice but seems to work.

There is rocket around the garden that I add to salads and also Syrian thyme which adds a spicy edge.

15 thoughts on “GBHD – What’s in the vegetable garden

    • I was very impressd with how quick the germination was and the time from that to edible plants. Christina. It bolts in very hot weather I think but stands the cold very well, I bought seed of a red variety at Chelsea which I’ll try for the autumn. Christina

  1. My goodness Christina but that is one healthy lush yummy veg garden. Mine is sad as it sits in wet, cool soil. Although the lettuces and peas are happy. And you have quite a large garden….wonderful post!

  2. Great to see all that flourishing veg Christina,mouth- watering stuff! Here the courgette plants are still only beginning to grow,and the salads are still small-tho potatos love the wet weather,and are huge leafy plants. I love that dark red salad leaf.Is it a mustard?

  3. Think I could join in with this meme. My pak choi has bolted twice this year. Our weather is either rain or hot and it doesnt seem to like it. Garlic has rust as it has been so wet. Never mind harvested first onions this week which were delicious and moist

    • I think pak choi is like that either really easy or impossible depending when in the year its planted, I’d like to try another batch but I think I’m too late. Do join in with the meme; I think its good if all memes originate in different continents! Christina

  4. Hi Christina! My stomach is growling after reading this – oh and my mouth is watering after looking at the picture of your beautiful lemon tree!!!!! YUM! Now that is eating local! 🙂 Looks amazing – cheers!

    • The first heavy flush of strawberries has already finished here; harvesting all kinds of things can take more time than anyone ever tells you in books about ‘growing your own’ Christina

  5. I’ve just started to pick some strawberries but it is a bit like the TV programme the Good Life with only 3 at a time, so 1 and a half each!!! Your veg plot is just so productive. I’m impatiently waiting for my broad beans to swell a bit more, hopefully they’ll be ready when we get back from our hols.

    • I’m not all that convinced broad beans are a very productive crop! My husband likes to eat them small and raw with salami or pecorino cheese or cooked in the pods (they must be very young and tender for this). I don’t actually like them at all! Christina

      • My broad beans have not been all that successful this year – I sowed in early December and again in Feb/March – and neither was ready until late May and even then not particularly good. Strange considering so many people here do grow them. My efforts in UK were more productive etc. Not sure where I am going wrong!

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