Leafyleith's Blog

May 15, 2011

And we’re back!

So, where was I? It’s been a while, we’ve got a bit of catching up to do.

Last summer saw a few successes and a few failings. Successfully managed to grow some lovely carrots, pak choi and courgettes in the new raised bed. Failed miserably on the beetroot, sweetcorn and sunflower front. Not sure what happened there, because they were fine the previous year.

And we got a new little Daisy here at Leafyleith. She was the best seedling of all last summer.

This is the main reason why it’s been quiet on the posting front. But the Gaffer and I have been quite busy getting the garden back into shape and ready for year 3 of Leafyleith.

So far, the following seeds have been sown:

  • Beetroot – just in
  • Runner beans – been in for a few weeks, so far no show
  • Dwarf beans – just in
  • French onions – through
  • Parsnips – through
  • Carrots – through
  • Basil – no show, so have re-sown
  • Salad leaves – sporadic, so have re-sown
  • Courgette – just in
  • Fennel – just in
  • Sunflowers – just in (am starting them off in pots in the growhouse, because of last year’s failing)

For some reason I was a bit surprised that the fennel seeds look just like the ones you cook with. Not sure why this surprised me, but it did. Does this mean I could have just sown the ones I have in the kitchen?

August 8, 2010

Harvesting courgettes

Filed under: Gardening Year 2 — by leafyleith @ 5:50 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

At long last things are happening at Leafyleith. My two courgette plants are producing an abundance of fruit.

You can see below that I’ve left some of these a bit too long and they’ve become marrow like. They should really be picked with the courgettes are still quite small and the packet suggested picking when they’re 5cm wide.

The plants are quite large and sprawling. I made the mistake of planting too many plants in a tub last year, so I’ve allowed plenty of space in the raised bed and they’ve made the most of it.

I went for a round variety of courgette – Eight Ball – and this week I picked a few and made this easy courgette soup recipe that I found online. I didn’t follow the recipe to the letter – no chives or oregano in mine and I substituted creme fraiche for the cream.  But the general idea was there and very tasty it was too.

It won’t be long before I’m making this soup again, judging by the number of courgettes in the pipeline…

June 9, 2009

Read any good books lately?

Filed under: Gardening Year 1 — by leafyleith @ 10:39 pm
Tags: , , ,

malaga-garlic

Today, I bought the River Cottage Handbook No.4 Veg Patch. Written by the Head Gardener at River Cottage, it’s brilliant for someone who is new to the veg patch. It’s simple, with good photography, veg A-Z, info on how and when to plant, tips on composting and the added bonus of some recipes courtesy of Hugh F-W. And it’s modern, published in 2009.

A few weeks ago, I bought Dr. Hessayon’s Veg and Herb Expert. Now don’t get me wrong, this is an excellent book. His books are Gardening Bibles. But it’s slightly dated: there are explanatory notes about eating garlic and dire warnings about chillies (DO NOT eat raw, not even a tiny piece, unless it’s part of your heritage). Made me laugh. 

I am actually growing garlic. And it seems to be coming along nicely. Although I did read in Veg Patch that you should remove the leaves to stop them flowering and encourage the bulbs to plump up. If I can be bothered, I might carry out an experiment and remove the leaves on some plants and leave some others growing freely.

The weather has been good, but that pic isn’t of Leafyleith, it’s garlic growing in the slightly warmer Malaga sun. If only…

April 21, 2009

Going gardening crazy

Filed under: Gardening Year 1 — by leafyleith @ 8:48 pm
Tags: , , ,

I think I’m getting a bit obsessed with this gardening lark. It’s really quite addictive.

The last few days I’ve been concentrating on herbs and vegetables.  It’s been quite warm and sunny. It may have got my guard down and made me plant too prematurely. But isn’t it looking lovely?

march 2009

The sweetpeas are coming on a treat in the growhouse. I’ve bought some plastic tubs to plant some veg. We don’t really have a lot of room, so thought the extra space could come in handy.

The small vegetable patch is located beside a big hedge. Not the best location apparently. I have reservations about it. It’s only about 1m wide by 3m long. I’m going to give it a go this year, but I’ve got big plans for a raised bed next year. Oooh, get me!

Veg status so far:

  • garlic – in and sprouted
  • carrots – in ground
  • beetroot – in ground and in a tub
  • radish – in ground
  • lollo rosso lettuce – in ground
  • flat leaf parsley – in ground and in the growhouse
  • dill – in ground
  • cumin – growhouse
  • mint – growhouse

I really don’t have a clue what I’m doing. Tried to follow the planting instructions on the seed packets. But getting such conflicting evidence from various blogs. So I’ve sown and will be damned.

There are loads of warnings from Mr Fothergills to not behave too hastily. Just couldn’t help myself. I hope I don’t regret my actions, so I’ve held back on the rest. And a polytunnel is in the post!

In the pipeline:

  • butternut squash
  • pak choi
  • parsnips
  • runner beans
  • courgettes
  • chilli
  • sugar snap peas
  • mange tout

Where the heck am I going to put all this stuff?

Blog at WordPress.com.