We currently have an abundance of parsley, mizuna and young onions (eaten as spring onions)to eat from the garden. This time next month we should be tucking into the first of our early potatoes too.
Over the last few weeks we’ve planted out: perennial broccoli, calabrese, winter cauliflower, fennel, cabbage, spinach, cavolo nero, sprouts, corn (we’re being very optimist with these), sunflowers, peas, mange tout, more broad beans, courgette, celery, dill and cumin. And in the tunnel: tomatoes galore, coriander, peppers, aubergine, courgette and cucumber.
Taking pictures of anything at this time of year seems futile. These were taken a few days ago and already the potato leaves in the bottom right of the first photograph (and below) have doubled in quantity and the tomatoes in the tunnel have filled out too. The first tresses are showing flower heads and we’ve been carefully pinching out side shoots which seems to reappear the next day.
Left: Tomatoes interplanted with a coriander border (marigolds will join them too). Middle: Soy bean seedlings thriving in the tunnel, waiting for the weather to warm up further before planting out. Right: Mizuna, mustard and cerise red lettuce in the tunnel (these have tripled in size since this picture was taken). Only a few plants are needed to keep us supplied with salad leaves. We won’t repeated past mistakes of over-planting leafy greens.
This first proper season in the new grow garden we are trying to figure out the quantities of each crop we require. Potatoes, onions and tomatoes are our focus crops. In the first picture are garlics planted in October, circled by newer garlic planted in February. The middle image picture shows the same bed from another angle: where we sowed 90 onion sets in the autumn. We have also started planting spring onion seedlings, and seeds in the top and side areas. We have a recently started 150-200 Buan onion seedlings to go in when the autumn-sown garlic and onions come out in June. The bed on the right has around 300 or so onion seedling (red and white), as well as leek seedlings.
We sustained a bit of frost damage in the unexpected temperature drop in early May. We earthed over the leaves of our early potatoes as best we could but the plants in the ‘frost pocket’ area in the front garden took a hit. In the first picture above you can see the frost damage on one potato plant, the second shows how well the plant has recovered with doses of sunshine and plenty of rain.
Courgette plants planted out under cloches took some damage but have recovered well. The same can’t be said of two tomato plants, again under cloches that initially looked like a blow torch was taken to them. In the tunnel we lost our one butternut squash and one of two melon seedlings (the second has also died). We’re assuming the frost was the culprit but pests are also a possibility. We had planted out corn seedlings before the frost event too, and the plants now look a bit flaccid but they might recover yet.
Thanks to our garden’s previous owners there has been a constant supply of flowers, flowering trees and bushes since early spring when the snowdrops appeared, followed by daffodils. At the moment we have an abundance of bluebells, two beautiful rhododendrons are in flower, some yellow poppies have appeared, the apple trees are blossoming, the hawthorn is on the cusp of flowering, and a laurel is offering up its delicate flowers.