Friday 27 June 2014


The summer fruits are coming thick and fast.....
This delicious concoction is made up of a few last strawberries, with red currants and saskatoons. The Saskatoon bush has really come along this year with loads of fruit (most of which I've just been eating down the plot) but I saved a couple of days worth here.

The raspberries are doing really well. We've had lots if rain recently so I'm trying to go through picking every couple of days as otherwise they'll spoil. It was raining this evening and there's not enough space to get between the rows without getting soaked from the leaves so I stood with an umbrella and just reached in as far as I could. A nice way to spend the evening listening to blackbirds singing. I'm keeping the rasps separate and freezing them for later use.

Less pleasant was the snail and slug squashing part of the evening...urgh. But I did see a couple of frogs who will do their bit for slug control too. 

Monday 16 June 2014

Back garden update

So here's a few pics from the back garden - toms Sweet Baby in the lean to. Am also growing money maker, Craig, super marmande, something pear and another I think! The iPad camera doesn't like the low light levels this evening so sorry for the poor quality.

Next up is the beautiful parsley which has gone to flower, this was from the set of plants from our Rocket Garden Mediterranean gift set last year. The flowers are stunning and the insects love it. I've pruned a few stems off already as it's pretty huge but am leaving as much as possible. 
Here's one of the courgettes, I have five in total, two in the back garden and 3 on the allotment, all in slightly different stages of growth but two of them have baby courgettes nearly ready for picking. You can also spot 3 sweet corn plants, some small peas at the bottom of the netting and some lettuces under plastic bottles. I was going to direct sow some dwarf French beans but ive got a few beans growing up the fence behind and a gherkin plant so don't think there'll be room, especially when the courgette gets going. There's also some rocket plants left from last year's Rocket Garden gift set which I keep hacking back and they keep producing more leaves so might as well keep them going for as long as possible, sort of on a rotation of coppicing! The netting is to try and keep the local cats (including our own) out of the veg plots. I've adapted the design this year and made little gates in each so I don't have to wrench my leg over every time. Have had to put in sticks and string to make the fence a bit higher too. Seems to be working now after some fine tuning! So thought I'd grow the peas up the netting to make use of the space this year.
 And finally this is the plot on the other side of the small garden with netting again and peas at the base. I have a bean wigwam this side plus beans up the fence. I had a courgette in the middle last year but it didn't do very well so I wasn't going to bother this year with a curcurbit there. However! In the tomato compost in the lean to I've had a few germinate so thought I might as well transplant a couple and see what they do.

So that's me for tonight, a rather cool, dreary evening which led me to sticking inside mostly, very unlike me for a Monday night! I might just blanch some broad beans now to at least do something veg related! Eating a whole bar of green and blacks spiced chilli chocolate probably doesn't count, oops.

Oh just finally, a pic of the chilli plant bought for 70p from a local hardware store (Thorns - fantastic shop in Norwich). Already in flower after potting on twice, I might just pot it on in to an even larger tub as only have the one plant. Lovely flowers though.

Sunday 15 June 2014

Hot tomatoes!

We've got our first baby toms forming , yay. Aside from today we've had lots of hot weather here in Norwich ( and hardly any rain) which must've helped bring them on. Will take a piccie tomorrow. If I counted correctly earlier, I've managed to squeeze 21 tom plants into our little lean to! I've saved a bit of space as decided not to do cukes in there this year ( they did ok last year but had red spider mite) so have a bit more space for toms. Also the peppers did badly, think I overwatered them, so not got so many of them either.

Down at the allot things are going ok. Lots of strawbs ( about 10lbs so far). Lots of other soft fruit on the way, rasps have just started ripening. Ooh and my Saskatoon plant has loads of fruit that's ripening , quite tasty but I think the dry weather hasn't helped them. Have given the bush a good water to hopefully make them more juicy. Also gave the rasps a water too as last year lots of these shrivelled up when it was dry.

We have our first little baby courgettes forming, yay. Had a few losses to slugs a few weeks back but have re-sown the beans and most things're ok now. Had some excess squashes as well so it wasn't too bad. I found some slug and snail hotspots so now know to keep an eye on those places e.g. Under some newspaper I was using to keep an area free from weeds.

The early potatoes are really tasty, have Colleen. I've been trying a different harvesting technique - instead of digging up a whole plant, I feel around in the soil and pull out any larger tubers. Has worked really well so will try this again. Quite often when you lift a whole plant you get a mix of sizes and the plants themselves still have a lot of life in them. So with this method, the plant carries on growing and the small tubers continue to grow. I think I'll try and make it easier to get to both sides of the plant next year ( I have two short double rows which means having to reach across between the plants)

And some bad news, we've had some thefts on the plots this week. I had some onions stolen from the ground and my shed was opened, but nothing taken. They returned a few nights later and took some tools from an allot neighbour ( wrenched open a locked drawer) and also uprooted a whole apple tree and took it away.this was particularly stupid as of course the tree will have died, what a waste. We've reported it to the police who've been round and taken it quite seriously (PCSOs) but not too much they can do without any witnesses. They did ask around the neighbouring house but no luck,  The perps broke in at night.....

But to end on positive note, tomorrow I'm going to pick a load of broad beans and cook up a soup or something :)