As the season advances I wanted to report on vegetable growing this year. Those of you who know these things realise that every season is different, that there is no consistency. The spinach beet grew well and we had lots of feeds from that before the bugs riddled the leaves with holes. I bought some broad bean plants at the nursery and they did well. We had little trouble from blackfly although I wiped a number off with my fingers. No ladybirds were around, then dozens appeared. Meanwhile, the pea seeds grew, as did the french bean seeds, planted on the 29th April. There were twenty french beans, up canes or strings on the garage wall (see photo). They love the heat coming out of the limestone wall during the night. The 30 potatoes went in on the 18th April as did some shallots. I grew my cougettes from seed as well.
Cold & wet
It was not a good start and some reckoned I had planted the potatoes, beans and cougettes too early. The real challenge is that we sit at over 500 feet so experience cold nights. I covered the cougettes over many a chill. However, it all worked out fine and everything flourished. Now, in September, we have beans, courgettes and potatoes in excess. However, I have had to think on my feet. The rocket was ruined by insects, mainly flea beetle. Consequently, I cut it all to the ground. Now, later in the season, with fewer insects, it is growing again. I did the same with the spinach beet. You need to be ruthless in the garden game.
I noticed that Monty sowed seed for small, white, turnips in August, confident these would harvest before winter. Cribbing from other gardeners is an essential skill. I put these into the bed where I left the pea roots untouched. The root nodules hold nitrogen so they must not be dug out. I placed some spent compost over the top and hoed that in, which created a nice tilth, ideal for seeds. Thumbs up for turnips. Finally, those courgettes. If you have a problem with constipation, try these little marrows. They will keep you regular, as they say.