Leafyleith's Blog

April 24, 2013

Let’s get ready to rhumble!

seed selection

At long last, spring is in the air and we are ready to rhumble.

I stopped off at the Allium Garden Centre on the way down from Inverness just after Easter and selected some seeds. I know they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I was totally swayed by the packaging of Marshalls, so they got my business.

This year I’m going for:

Beetroot – Detroit 2 Crimson Globe and Baby Beet Action

French Bean (climbing) – Cobra

Broad Bean – Jade

Carrot – Rainbow

Spring Onion – Furio

Lambs Lettuce – Elan

Pak Choi – Summer Breeze

Spinach – Amazon

I also want to get some peas (which were my main success last year) and some climbing courgette.

According to the packs most can be sown now so, even though I think it’s a bit early, I’m going to give it a go. A couple of weeks ago I put in spinach, broad beans, carrot and spring onion. It’s been very cold, but am pleased to report that the spinach has sprouted. No sign of anything else, so far.

March 26, 2012

Chilli, but not the weather

Filed under: Gardening Year 4 — by leafyleith @ 10:10 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Image

It’s March, it’s Scotland and it’s 20 degrees. Unbelievable.

It’s motivated me to get growing but I’m trying to rein myself in because I know it will more than likely be baltic again next week.

So tonight I’ve planted a couple of chilli varieties: Hungarian Hot Wax and Jalapeno. My Veg Patch book says you shouldn’t plant chilli any later than April because it needs a long growing season. So will try the rest in a couple of weeks.

Yesterday I also put in a couple of rows of spinach and some calendula. Fingers crossed that I’m not being too early and they’ll all make it.

October 3, 2011

Post-summer update

I didn’t plan to have no updates all summer, but it’s happened. I’ve been busy though. So, just a quick summary of what’s been going on.

The summer was pretty crap, weather-wise. Not a lot of sustained sunshine – probably about four weeks of solid sun… (including 20+ temperatures during the last week of September).  Anyway, it seemed to take ages to get anything to grow and some plants have been better than others.

The carrots, courgettes and parsnips have done well. I’ve also grown fennel, but it bolted and I think I sowed it too early (beginning of May), so next year I’ll hold off for a few weeks. Rocket and salad leaves were good.

I was exasperated by the beetroot. I tried three times to grow it and it failed to germinate. It eventually made an appearance after I soaked the seed and sowed it in June. Must remember this next year.

Another fail were the runner beans which kept getting eaten alive by slugs or snails, so eventually I gave up…

So that’s a quick run down of the last five months! Better luck next year, I think.

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?

September 13, 2010

Dwarf bean glut

Filed under: Gardening Year 2 — by leafyleith @ 11:11 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

A few weeks ago if you’d asked me what I thought of dwarf beans, I’d have been quite derogatory.

I wasn’t impressed by the spindly, little plants. They didn’t look like they were making much effort and I thought I’d wasted my time on them.

Boy, was I wrong. I am truly amazed by the abundance of produce from six plants. They are tiny – less than 30cm tall – but I’ve had so many beans off them I am having to give them away.

I’ve grown a variety called Purple Queen. It has lovely lilac flowers that produce a dark purple bean which turns green when cooked. And the more you pick, the more they come up with the goods. They are still going strong.

My favourite recipe has been a variation on Salad Nicoise using smoked mackerel instead of tuna. It’s delicious.

Anyway, I’m not sure I’ll grow dwarf beans again next year. I prefer the visual impact of the taller varieties in the garden, so I’ll probably opt for a purple variety of runner bean. But if you’ve got a lack of space or fancy growing some veg in pots, then dwarf beans should be top of your list.

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…

July 19, 2010

Mr Frog

Filed under: Gardening Year 2 — by leafyleith @ 5:59 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Bit of excitement here at Leafyleith recently with the arrival of this little chap. He (or she) was sheltering in the growhouse which had tipped up during the high winds.

Froggy didn’t stay long though (probably due to harassment). We put out a saucer of water where he had a quick dip and then soon disappeared… Not sure where he normally resides, someone nearby must have a pond, so hope he made it home safely.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.