Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Ten on the Tenth: Not Quite Self Sufficent!

Last year we received a vegetable plot as a Silver Wedding present.  It took so long to prepare the soil that it was really a bit late to plant it, but we tried.  And a few things grew.  Their growth featured in my October Ten and I blogged about the harvest in November.  This year we had a little more help with the digging {thank you Vilius} and we planted a lot earlier.  It was still late according to the seed packets and the summer has been typically unpredictable with gallons of rain and intermittent sunshine.  There have been some successes:

Photo Collage - Successful Vegetable Crops

Our runaway champions were the St George runner beans: we have several bags of them in the freezer, have given loads away to friends & family and got fed up with eating them every other day!  The peas were tasty but I under-estimated the number of plants we should sow and we only managed to harvest enough peas at any one time to sprinkle on salads rather than serve with a meal. The Lollo Rosso & Little Gem lettuces were a great addition to our salads too, along with the carrots which were actually finger-sized this year!

Photo Collage - Failed crops

Unfortunately there were also some failures: not a single apple on the tree as all the blossom dropped in June and the Romanesco cabbages were initially food for the birds and then the caterpillars!

Luckily there were some surprises too:

Photo Collage - Surprise Vegetabe Crops

Our stripey courgettes were cute and tasty (once I worked out that the flowers had to be removed to prevent them rotting).  However, I discovered that FIVE squash plants and ONE courgette plant were rather too much for the space I had allocated them - the photo shows them at half their eventual spread!  And I didn't realise that onions grew above ground - I thought perhaps I'd planted them too shallowly!

And finally there are still some things to come:

There are five small cobs of sweetcorn waiting to be harvested - but how do I know when they are ready????

I'm linking up with Shimelle's Ten on the Tenth today - if you have a 10 to share why not join me?!


humel said...

How lovely to catch up with your vegetable patch! :) The corn - I have NO idea how to tell. We grew some in our school veggie patch (it links with the WWII project in Y4), picked them when they seemed ready, then when I prepped mine for cooking it only had about a dozen developed kernels on it!!

scrappyjacky said...

Loved reading all your veggie news.It's amazing how much room one courgette plant takes up,isn't it? The corn should be ready when the 'tuft of hair'turns black.
Our best success this year were the sugar snap peas....mind you,I did eat a lot of them before they ever got to the kitchen!!
Interesting that you lost your apple crop....we've had loads this year.

Lesley G said...

I tend to kill anything that I try to grow - I start with good intentions but then just cba to water so everything dies (funny that!)
Well done Jemma on your "crop"

Sian said...

Your photos are beautiful - like a spread from a gardening magazine! Total respect for those successes - I'm saying that as I loook out at our tiny patch which provided us with one runner bean each!

Mary B said...

Well done on your successes and yummy to the sweetcorn,hope you find out when to harvest them.
We grew a marrow plant one year way back in the early 1970s we had a long narrow garden and the plant was at one end and reached to the other boy it was big, but only produced 3 reasonable sized marrows and a few tiddlers.

Louise said...

your photos tell the story of a very successful veggie garden. Every year i plan out my patch and to date it has never been planted!!

Missus Wookie said...

Congratulations on the veggies. Sweetcorn - the tassles will go slightly brown and when you pull the husk back press into a kernal - if it feels plump and a white milk comes out it's ready :)

Fleece works good to stop the caterpillars - for next year!

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Glad you have had some success with teh garden!

alexa said...

You have done really well with your vegetables, and photographed them very nicely too. :) The last sweetcorn I saw was six feet tall so you might have a wee while till harvest!

Sandie said...

What a lovely Silver Wedding present!
Your crops look wonderful and make me yearn for the allotment that I gave up. A new granddaughter and increasing work made it just too much to manage. You have given me some happy memories.... one of them being my 2 older granddaughter eating the sweet corn straight from the plant. We never did get the cobs as far as home!

Angela Coles said...

great garden