Sunday, 30 May 2010

Fresh from the Garden

Here in North West England, it's been a pretty miserable Bank Holiday weekend so far in terms of the weather: yesterday it poured with rain pretty much full stop, and today it's so windy it's horrible. Still, no rain today, although I'm constantly checking out of the window because I've got the washing on the line.

Mind you, the rain was desperately needed, and it's made everything grow in the garden so much quicker. The sunshine last weekend had given the spinach and rocket a bit of a growth spurt, and I've just been to check on the other veg. The beans are shooting up, and needed re-tying, as are the sweet peas. Down in the South West, my mum already has flowers on her sweet peas. Most of mine are struggling to get over two feet tall, and some are struggling at one!

We've been eating salads from the garden for about three weeks now. Firstly it was lettuce which I bought as plugs from the garden centre, then home-grown rocket, and pea shoots, and finally the spinach is ready to be harvested. I'm hoping to keep on top of them to save them getting Popeye-like! I'm going to have a go at some successional sowing as well.

There are also some carrot-tops showing, and they look like carrots! These have had the hardest time, as they are purple carrots, which Tim bought the seeds for last year. I planted them, not really sure if they would germinate, in one of our deep planters. The soil in our garden is particularly stony, so I thought the deep bed, which is totally filled with compost, would be a good place for them. But they did germinate, and I obediently thinned them out on a still day, to avoid carrot fly.

Two days later, I noticed that the bed had been disturbed. One of our neighbourhood cats had clearly been for a little dig! The carrots seemed to have been totally submerged under the soil and some had been uprooted. I did what I could to repair the damage, but held little hope.

However, against all the odds, my little carrots are showing through the soil again, their feathery tops wafting in the breeze. I don't know when they'll be ready to harvest, probably not for ages, and I don't actually know if purple carrots are my thing, but they'll be worthy of a blog post.

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