As spring slowly arrives my thoughts turn to spring vegetables but nature has a way of disappointing; spring vegetables won’t be ready until April or even May, in March if we’re lucky there are still a few of the winter crops to sustain us. But this is the period that is known to be lean.
Today I picked more Calabrese, tonight I’m going to make Orecchiette in the Pulgese style. Last week I made risotto and some we ate as an accompanying vegetable. With the warmer days the spears are growing more quickly and it won’t be long before the plants will be consigned to the compost heap; but they have given such value; definitely growing even more plants next year. I’ve already decided to try growing them from seed myself and have already bought the seed, I suppose I will need to start the seed in mid-June, if anyone has any experience in this I’d be grateful for the advice. I usually plant this type of winter vegetable out into the beds vacated by the onion crop; they then have time to grow into mature plants before light levels drop.
Swiss chard ‘Bright Lights’ is another crop that just goes on and on. In spring very young leaves can be cut for salad adding very pretty colour to the salad bowl, then by mid-summer and through the winter it leaves can be cooked in a variety of ways, again a very reliable crop, I sowed more seed yesterday to replace the plants you see here.
Similar and very quick to grow is Pak Choi, I still have a few plants from last autumn’s sowing and have just planted out a few new seedlings, I pricked out some into modules and then decided to try a few straight into the ground (these are red Pal Choi from Jekka McVicar.
You can see how stony this bed is, when the winter/spring vegetables come out I’m going to add some manure ready for Peppers.
I’ve tried leaving peppers in the greenhouse through other winters but they’ve always died, this year, even though we’ve had a month or six weeks of sub-zero night temperatures the plant has survived and will hopefully give me some early peppers too; so something that is always worth trying even if not always successful.
Thanks to Barbara and Christine at The Gardening Blog for hosting, why not check out what gardeners are eating from their gardens today.