Our most unusual Silver Wedding present was a vegetable patch - a gift that goes on giving - or will eventually!! That was back at the end of May, but it took me so long to prepare the soil and our "summer" was so inhospitable that nothing much got planted until late August. We have had some edible treats and there is plenty to eat in the pipeline, but the truth is that it's now a race against time for several of the crops. October started wonderfully and gave everything a big boost, but has now reverted to windy, cold, rainy normality. So I'd better document the (potential) harvest before the remaining plants curl up and die!!!
So here, in alphabetical order are the 10 crops (and I use that word in its loosest sense) from our vegetable patch:
I can't really take credit for these as the tree came with 10 tiny apples on it. Four fell off between the garden centre and the tree's second planting (I moved it after a day in the wrong place) but we harvested the remaining fruit, removed the spiders webs, cut off the odd lumpy bits, and really, really enjoyed the crisp sweet apples.
The carrots are, as yet, an unknown quantity as I really have no idea how you know when they are ready to eat. Someone told me they start pushing up the soil when ready, but I suspect that was a joke! The lettuces are thriving, but are actually meant to be Little Gems and look nothing like what I buy from Tesco!
The Lollo Rosso lettuces are doing well and I have tried a couple of leaves which were tasty. So far (touch wood, fingers crossed etc etc) the crushed eggshells have deterred the slugs - or perhaps the slugs haven't yet made their way across from my flower beds? The peas, however, have a long way to go before they can be harvested - the packet reckons I can sow in late October for an early crop so I'll plant some more soon.
The single red pepper was green when it gave up its weak hold on the mother plant and fell to Earth. Now it's red but extremely wrinkled. I shall not be opening a market stall any time soon! The salad onions are growing reasonably well, but again, I have NO idea when they'll be ready to harvest! Why oh why is soil so opaquely black?!?!
We love raspberries and grew these very succesfully before we built over the previous veggie plot with our extension. We now have canes growing inside potato sacks in an effort to contain the runners. The crop is going to be massive - providing the frosts stay away!! Tick tock, tick tock!!
Much less successful are the strawberries. Not one has ripened to something close to a recognisable fruit. I'm beginning to think that these are just too much trouble for the taste.
And finally there are the tomatoes: the smaller ones are meant to be that small (from a cherry tomato plant) and are super sweet and delicious but have quite chewy skins; the larger ones are from a survivor from last year's efforts - I salute that plant's dedication to life as it has had no help at all from me and yet it has triumphed over frosts, droughts, draughts and floods!
There you have it - my ten on the tenth - for more of the same (though probably entirely different) please head over to Shimelle's blog here.