News From The Patch: Report Card June 09

For those of you who follow this blog regularly, you will have already read about the great ‘Strawberry Picking & Sticky Fingers’ incident but I thought it was time to update you on all of my little (and not-so-little) one’s progress in the Veggie Garden nirvana that is Windmill Rise. I am delighted to report great news on most fronts.

1. All salad leaves and herbs are thriving and supporting numerous weekend bbqs in partnership with organic tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers & celery from my local veg-box deliveries. Special mention goes to the four remaining pearl lettuces (is there a plural for the word ‘lettuce’?) that, in spite of an unpromising start, have managed to commandeer a small plot of soil next to the rocket/mizuna…well done chaps!

2. Tomatoes and courgettes are flowering and so we are eagerly awaiting the appearance of the fruit (which, based on the strawberry ‘lifecycle’ I have seen, should follow soon). Also, all tomato plants have grown taller than their stakes and I am debating whether to leave well enough alone or venture in with loftier support structures…hmmm a tough call…

The dwarf french beans have…well, little dwarf french bean flowers budding! This is quite exciting given that these were off to a slower start than the others in the class. Slow and steady eh kids?

3. And the strawbs – my lovely strawbs – have been unphased by earlier nefarious activities and, exhibiting true British ‘stiff upper lip’, are continuing to fruit, fruit, fruit. I have already picked another two ripe-and-‘reddy’s (geddit?) and am monitoring the dozens of green ones daily to ensure that I nip any future strawberry poaching in the bud!

Unfortunately, this has been a challenging period for my champion runner beans. They may have run ‘wildly’ up the bamboo frame to begin with but in the last week, the poor little blighters have been hit hard by an attack of both green fly and black fly. Spraying seems to have brought the infestation to a halt so I will take extra care to monitor them in the next little while and hopefully we will have better news from these guys next time. Snails are also finding selected pots quite homely (who knows why the fussy buggars choose only one of the dwarf french bean pots and not the other) and, much to my chagrin, I have resorted to laying snail & slug pellets…

Anyhow, that’s all from the patch this month…I hope such promising progress continues unabated and that next report finds me with more little successes to report!

News From The Patch: Report Card May 09

I have strawberries!
Green, not-pickable ones as yet but still…strawberries. Check them out…How chuffed am I?

My other children are coming along at different levels of enthusiasm (just like real children I am told)…

– Top of the class goes to the strawbs but not far behind are runner beans (busy ‘running’ up the bamboo frame), Mizuna lettuce (has grown taller than the container – bless) and peas (I’m thinking I might need to put taller stakes in!)

– Tomatoes, courgettes (or zucchinis for those of you who know better), dwarf french beans (btw – how big are the regular ones??) and all of the herbs are trundling along nicely as are the rocket, spinach and chard. That’s an A for effort kids!

– Greater challenges have been faced, however, by the pearl lettuce which have faltered a bit in the shadow cast by mizuna and rocket success so I can see that a bit of T(ender) L(ettuce) C(are) is required here…

So that’s about it for the Mid May report card at The Patch…off to do my rain/sun/rain/sun dance now so we can have more salad and ‘eating strawbs’ for June!