The Vegetable Garden in the third week of May

Yesterday was a lovely day for working out in the garden. It was overcast with only a very slight breeze. It is strange that one of the things I really disliked about England was that often the cloud cover seemed to be low enough to touch my head but here cloudy, dull days are so rare that I now actively enjoy them; but here the cloud is much higher so it never feels as oppressive.

I spent some time tying in the small sized tomatoes. I have to report that the hail on Easter Saturday did more damage than I had first thought; all of the leaves that had shown spot damage just after the hail are now yellow with huge black marks. I will definitely not plant out the tomatoes so early next year, even though the plants have put on lots of healthy new growth, I think they would be further advanced had I planted out larger plants later. Hail can happen at any time here so planting late won’t necessarily save the crop being damaged.

Even this tomato looks like it has a hail damage mark

Even this tomato looks like it has a hail damage mark

Tomatillos

Tomatillos

Rainbow chard, celary, parsley and various lettuce in this bed

Rainbow chard, celary, parsley and various lettuce in this bed

Radish, beetroot and Syrian thyme planted in pots, Some lilies are to the left

Radish, beetroot and Syrian thyme planted in pots, Some lilies are to the left

Peppers, aubergines and cucumbers

Peppers, aubergines and cucumbers

There are a huge amount of lettuces in various (actually almost all) beds. Most are from sowings I made at the end of January early February. This have been a success in that I had lots of leaves available to cut and come again from very early in the year and those that were planted outside are now fully grown lettuces. I think some will end up on the compost heap as some are beginning to bolt. It is a case “what will I eat today with salad”. Any interesting ideas will be gratefully received.

Onions and garlic

Onions and garlic

More garlic and onions near the greenhouse

More garlic and onions near the greenhouse

This is really the asparagus bed but I can't resist putting in other things so as not to waste the space, I planted out coriander when it started to bolt in the pot,  I will collect seed from it to grow more and to cook with

This is really the asparagus bed but I can’t resist putting in other things so as not to waste the space, I planted out coriander when it started to bolt in the pot, I will collect seed from it to grow more and to cook with

Sweetcorn with a row of dwarf beans on the left and courgettes at the end of the bed

Sweetcorn with a row of dwarf beans on the left and courgettes at the end of the bed

Peas and broad beans, slad leaves and courgettes

Peas and broad beans, salad leaves and courgettes

A new planting of Jeruselem artichokes (I've never grown them before, the other end of the bed has chillis

A new planting of Jeruselem artichokes (I’ve never grown them before, the other end of the bed has chillis

This bed is next to the leylandii hedge and is planted with perennials as they cope with the competion from the trees better.

In the same bed, my mint is trapped inside large, bottomless, plastic pots to try to stop them spreading too much

In the same bed, my mint is trapped inside large, bottomless, plastic pots to try to stop them spreading too much

We are more or less self-sufficient from the vegetable garden; I find this incredibly satisfying almost more than the ornamental garden. I enjoy cooking with ‘gluts’ as it makes for inventive recipes to make the same vegetable interesting when you’ve already eaten it twice already that week. I like that you can be generous with herbs, adding handfuls rather than teaspoonfuls to dishes.

 

19 thoughts on “The Vegetable Garden in the third week of May

  1. I am so jealous of all your vegetables. They all look very healthy. When we lived in Malta many moons ago I used to make lettuce soup, though I expect it was more of a chicken stock with added lettuce! I probably still have the recipe somewhere.

  2. I’m admiring your vegetable garden at every turn and am reminded of my family’s garden when I was a child. So many nice meals together from those furrows.

  3. You have got so much veg Christina! Wonderful! I am so envious! Shame I don’t live nearer to help with the surplus. 😉 Have you got any neighbours who might be grateful for a lettuce or two? I’ve heard you can make lettuce soup… no idea what it tastes like though. Lettuce pesto?!
    I can imagine how pleasing it is to be almost self-sufficient.

  4. I feel the same about my vegetable garden, I prefer to be working in there than in the flower borders. What do you use to feed your soil, we have sandy soil here and its very hungry.

    • I soil is pure tuffo, volcanic rock, it is fertile with lots of minerals, I am adding as much organic matter as possible to try to help water retention. I never have enough compost however much I try!

    • I use the 1.2 metre bed system because it makes it all much easier to manage. The whole layout isn’t perfect as I did one bed at a time rather than planning it all first, not something I did in the garden.

  5. Looks like you will have a bountiful harvest. And I imagine you must be in a great climate for eggplant, peppers and other heat-lovers. Good luck with the sweet corn, I love it but it can be tricky.

    • The eggplant usually does really well, the peppers need a good summer even here to be truely red and ripe. Sweetcorn has grown well in the past so as long as it has enought water it should be a success.

  6. We live in the middle of a maize growing area and can’t buy sweetcorn in the shops. Perhaps it is a different sweetcorn they grow. Someone told me sweetcorn is one of the most treated with pesticides but I don’t know if this is true. Good to grow your own. You have such a variety I can imagine it gives you a lot of pleasure. Amelia

    • Probably the corn is for animal feed as it is here. I don’t think they use huge amounts of pesticides here but it is very polluting in the sense that they water the crop 24 hours a day in summer, using diesel pumps that make a noise spread the water inefficiently including over the roads with it destroys. They either dry it for feed or make silage, either way I’m sure they could grow something else.

  7. Its really good to have a proper look around your veg garden Christina, it is really impressive. I am growing Jerusalem artichokes too, having sworn off them, it is funny seeing some things, like them and the lettuce, at the same stage and then seeing tomatoes, peppers and aubergines so much more advanced. I like to grow dwarf beans and courgettes with my sweetcorn too, which reminds me, I’d better go and close up the coldframe where I am hardening the sweetcorn off, it is a typically cool Bank Holiday here so far.

    • Because the sweet corn grows to harvest point so quickly here I don’t usually grow other things with it, but it needed space for some dwarf beans (also a short time to harvest) that I put them together. The other sweet corn I sowed is now ready to go out too but the peas and broad beans are still growing……..

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