Monday 16 June 2014

Kitchen Garden Notes - Eating what we've sown

Tomato and mozzarella salad with radishes and rocket

Although this week's notes is called Eating what we've sown on Tuesday things didn't seem so promising. Upon my usual greenhouse inspection on Tuesday morning I came across this sight...

The beetroot trough had been attacked and it was quite clear to me it was feline paws that had done the damage. Thankfully I was using some tools to salvage what I could of the beetroot seedlings when I came across the evidence that it had been used as a latrine! Don't worry I didn't take pictures! I cleared out the soil and replanted what was left of the beetroot, gave it a water and hoped for the best. By this weekend they were looking much better except for the one on the end.

I've been keeping the greenhouse door open in case the neighbourhood cats wanted to use it as a refuge in wet weather. On Wednesday morning it was found that the second sowing of carrots had been used this time. So, sorry my furry friends but one of you have betrayed my trust and now the greenhouse door is being kept shut!

There were some tantalising signs at the end of last week that we may be just days away from picking some of our crops. The blush strawberry has ripened along with a few others. It's been a race between me, the birds, slugs and my son as to who got to them first. With the addition of some shop bought strawberries I made us a special treat for Saturday night of Strawberry and mint meringue with elderflower cream. Recipe coming soon!

Before our strawberry delight we had a pre-football barbecue. We already had some small plum tomatoes and a tub of mozzarella balls (reduced to 10p) in the fridge for a simple salad. To give it a bit of a lift I rushed off to the greenhouse and pulled up three radishes and snipped a handful of wild rocket leaves. Not the biggest crop but it was all that we needed and there is plenty more to come when we require it. A quick internet search on my nearest supermarket's website shows this would have cost a minimum of £1.60. I would have had tons left over which would have probably ended up in the compost bin.

Our own tomatoes are growing well but still some way off seeing fruit. The three shop bought tomato plants which are in the grow bag have now been staked. I've also been clipping off the side shoots as these aren't going to have any flowers on them and they were using up vital growing energy. Despite me carefully logging all the seeds I've sown I've somehow missed that on the back of the 'Dolmio' seeds it very clearly says 'First in the field'! So thanks Dad for reading the blog and ringing me to tell me what they were! It seems this variety does well outdoors which of course means more room in the greenhouse...

One last salad update for this week. The mixed lettuce leaves I had sown last Sunday had germinated by Monday morning. I can't really tell what is what at the moment but hopefully by next week it should be clearer. My advice therefore if you are a first time grower or very short on space and have just window sills is to grow salad crops. Very simple and easy to look after. Some of my trays are actually supermarket meat trays which have been washed and some holes poked into them. Add some compost and seeds and just water occasionally.

All the French beans have been staked as well and are making their own way up the bamboo canes. Do you like our bamboo canes by the way? Rather natty aren't they?

They were grown in the garden on the bush pictured below. The bamboo lives in a very shady spot in the garden next to the ferns. If the canes don't survive the winter we can just cut some more next year!

And finally this week's token flower and bird shots. The Hardy Geranium below appeared in our garden after we cut a line of conifers down. The previous owners had put in three large conifers which were completely unnecessary as the fence along that side is tall enough to maintain privacy. Nothing else would grow underneath them being so water thirsty and they blocked out the morning sun on the rest of the garden. One electric saw and few chops later and they were gone. There's also a single yellow tulip that now appears each year. It's amazing how plants can remain dormant for so long!

The 'Greedy bird' of the week award goes to Mr Blackbird. He could hardly contain himself once he realised mealworms had been put on the mesh tray and even ended up dropping some. At the least the robin and sparrows did get a bit of a look in.

Joining in with the green-fingered love with Annie at Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?


  1. Wow this is great - we ask have a greenhouse and our tomatoes and aubergine are well on their way now, as are the runner beans. Our radishes though are being attacked by slugs left right and centre outside, putting down traps but they still seem to get to those radishes - your look amazing

    Laura x

  2. I've got the radishes on the top shelf in the greenhouse. It is a daily battle still against the slugs and I've removed one this morning just before it was going to munch my tomatoes!

  3. The strawberries look really big and delicious. I love strawberries in the summer, with cream. :) especially when I'm watching Wimbledon popping over from


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