Category Archives: Garden Updates

November and December in the Garden

The Patch looking more than a tad sorry for itself!

The Patch looking more than a tad sorry for itself!

With all the frivolities of Christmas I somehow forgot my garden update postings, so here’s the last couple of months in a nutshell. No action to speak off other than a bit of harvesting here and there and watching the winter veg slowly come into fruition.

The parsnips have nearly all gone after too many sunday roastings and christmas dinners.  I was planning on a Parsnip Veg of the Month round-up around now but to be honest I’ve had very little time to get busy experimenting with the Snips other than a lovely soup I concocted for our Christmas Day lunch, Pear & Parsnip Soup. So maybe I’ll save my parsnip showcase for another time when I’ve a few more to experiment with. My second sowings, fingers crossed, may come good in a few weeks.

We finally have a few Savoys ready for the eating and looking delicious, and the Romanesco Caulies are gloriously growing up and almost big enough for the pot:

A Glorious Savoy

A Glorious Savoy

 
A baby Romanesco

A baby Romanesco

A nearly fully grown up Romanesco Cauliflower

A nearly fully grown up Romanesco Cauliflower

The second sowing of my Calabrese broccoli is now in full force, which the kids are very happy about, broccoli being my far their favourite veggie. And the Purple Sprouting is probably only a few weeks off too, yay!.

Calabrese Broccoli

Also looking pretty healthy is the celery, which I’m using as a cut and come again crop. I’ve absolutely no idea whether this is the done thing, but I’ve been harvesting it like this for months now and it keeps growing back stronger and healthier. A right royal result!.

My bumper crop of 'cut and come again' Celery

My bumper crop of ‘cut and come again’ Celery

And last but not least I should mention the Brussel Sprouts, we finally have a few teeny-weeny ones but pretty much all of my fifteen or so plants have either come to nothing or are diseased. A huge disappointment. I even had to buy some in for our christmas dinner!.

The healthiest of my Brussels plants

The healthiest of my Brussels plants

What We’re Eating from the Patch:
Brussel Sprouts
Cabbages
Calabrese
Carrots 
Celery
Herbs: Parsley, Coriander, Thyme, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Oregano
Lettuce
Parsnips
Potatoes
Swiss Chard
 
And What’s Stored:
Butternut Squash
Green Beans (freezer)
Pumpkins
Red Onions
Shallots
Tomatoes (freezer)
 

Some earlier updates: 

October in the Garden

August & September in the Garden

July in the Garden

 
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October in the Garden

Once again another late round-up!. October’s been a very busy month for harvesting but not much else. With the exception of the brassicas it has to be said the patch is looking rather sorry for itself these days. There’s been a lot of ends and not too many beginnings.

The tommies have finally ALL been harvested. After all the hard work they gave me over the summer I was on the whole pleased to see an end, but also just a little bit sad. I stripped all the plants just before the first frosts at the end of the month, collecting a few final baskets to work on. I managing to make some lovely bottles of Homemade Tomato Ketchup, my 3rd batch of The Garden of Eating’s Tomato & Chilli Jam  and with all the leftover green tommies quite a number of jars of Green Tomato Chutney.

The borlotties have also finished (the last remaining fresh ones have been made into a fab Borlotti, Chicken & Pumpkin Stew that I shall be blogging shortly, the earlier dried ones I’m saving for colder veggie-less days), as have the french beans (though there’s countless bags in the freezer) and calabrese.  The basil died at the first frosts, just before I had time to pick and make batches of pesto, damn!. Luckily all the other herbs are boldly braving the harsh weather we’re suddenly having. The aubergines have pretty much stopped and the last have been made into Parmigiana (recipe also soon, I’m so behind!) and a lovely Comforting Moussaka thanks to a recipe from Rachel of the Well Worn Whisk blog. There’s also a few stray peppers and chillies but they’re not going to hold out much longer.

The last of our Aubergines

I collected up the last of our pumpkins and squash at the end of the month, as you can see there’s quite an assortment and a good deal of ripening required! The greenies are now languishing in our warm lounge hoping to turn a little more orange. Luckily I still have a hefty supply of fully ripe beasts that should see us through the winter with Pumpkin Soups!. Incidentally I’m carrying on my October Pumpkin Veg of the Month into November as I’m so behind on blogging all my pumpkiny recipes.

The last of our Pumpkins & Squash

As I said the brassicas are fairing pretty well, though somehow have become a bit of jumble. Another mix up with the seedlings. Ahem. We may just have a few brussel sprouts soon (though they didn’t fare well in the summer heat) and the cabbages are ready for picking. It’s also looking like the little bit of Purple Sprouting Broccoli that took may be coming good soon too. Fingers crossed, it’s one of my favourite veggies.

The Brassicas, the only bit of healthy green on the plot!

As for the wild fruit that’s all sadly now finished now that we’ve come into the colds of November, but was pretty prolific in October. We had greengages or mirabelles galore (I’m still not too convinced as to what exactly they were since everyone had a differing opinion, other than delicious of course and now Jam). Plus a huge abundance of pears, a few apples, blackberries, slows and elderberries and figs a plenty picked from neighbouring land. Most of which went into chutney, including my own Hedgerow Chutney.  And the figs have been wonderful in The Garden Deli’s Fig Jam.

Here’s what we’re currently eating from the Patch:
Aubergines
Cabbages
Carrots
Chilies
Herbs: Chives, Thyme, Rosemary, Mint,  Sage, Parsley, Coriander, Tarragon, Oregano
Lettuces
Parsnips
Peppers
Potatoes
Spring Onions
Swiss Chard
 
And what’s stored: 
Red Onions
Shallots
Pumpkins
Squash
Green Beans (freezer)
Tomatoes, Tomatoes and More Tomatoes! (freezer and in lots of jars!)
Plums, pears, greengages, figs (freezer)

Now that’s about it for the October round-up.  I really must get out there and plant some more spinach and my over-wintering broad beans and garlic. It’s been a long while since anything new’s been sowed and as usual I’m falling way behind. C’est la vie!

Louisa

Jacques caterpillar watching on my Cauliflower (I think!) plants, like most little boys he loves his bugs

 

August and September in the Garden

Time’s been rather short over the last few weeks and somehow or other I didn’t get around to an August garden update and indeed now I’m more than a tad late for Septembers!. So here goes for the last couple of months and a bit….

To tell you the truth it’s a bit of a jungle out there and I’m rather ashamed of the patch right now. As I said it’s been a very busy few weeks for me of school holidays, holidays to the UK, rentree back to school and the patch has unfortunately had to suffer with zero time for weeding, tidying, sowing or planting. There has however been a fair degree of harvesting with all my spare time energies being channelled into picking, cooking, preserving and freezing.  Incase you missed it, here’s my Tomato Veg of the Month Round Up of recipes, and I really have been picking an enormous basket of tommies each and every day since the end of July!. And although they’re finally starting to slow down and die off there’s still a ridiculous amount out there.

Other than the tommies we’ve also been enjoying a glut of peppers and aubergines (and there’s happily been Ratatouille a plenty all summer, and lately another veggie favourite of mine Aubergine Parmigiana‘s – blog coming soon!).

Other stuff that’s fairing well despite the neglect are the chilies, I’ve only three plants this year but they’re constantly laden (and pleasingly firey!), I’ve several bags full in the freezer plus a few hanging around drying out. After a slow start the squash and pumpkins are all going great guns and I’ve started to pick a few butternutsfor risottos, pies and soups. I’ll be harvesting them all soon as we can’t be too far off the first frosts.

I’ve even pulled a few parsnips of late and they’re surprisingly sweet (and large!), a tad better than my disappointingly miniscule carrots anyway.

Titchy carrots and whopper parsnips!

Jacques playing with his trucks and carrots!

The goodies that have sadly finished since my last round up include the sweetcorn (now that was fantastic, so super sweet), cucumbers and unbelievably the courgettes (we’ve only one marrow left!). And the gorgeously sweet melons have been and gone too.

Here’s what we’re currently tucking into:
Aubergines
Borlotti Beans
Broccoli 
Carrots
Chilies
French Beans
Herbs: Chives, Thyme, Rosemary, Mint, Lovage, Sage, Parsley, Coriander, Tarragon, Oregano
Lettuce
Parsnips
Peppers
Potatoes: New (that aren’t so new anymore, but nevertheless are still tasty! and ‘Old’)
Pumpkins
Rhubarb
Spring Onions
Squash
Strawberries
Swiss Chard
Tomatoes: Cherry, Plum & Beefies

It’s quite a list when written like this! Cabbages and sprouts soon. And I’ve not even mentioned the pears, greengages, apples & blackberries around the garden.

Just incase you missed them here’s my last few round ups: July in the Garden, June in the Garden, May in the Garden.

Bye for now, Louisa

My desperately overgrown ‘jungle’ of a potager!


July in the Garden

Unsurprisingly it’s been another busy month in the garden, though all the busyness has been in the harvesting, picking, cooking and eating. Bar a couple of rows of carrots and parsnips and a few lettuces nothing new has been sown or weeded. And it’s truly a jungle out there, there’re weeds taller than me! But then I’ve had a busy month of visitors and school holidays. Hoping to get more of a grip in August.

My jungle of a Potager!

This month’s all been about the courgettes, barely a meal’s gone by without them appearing in some form or other (just incase you hadn’t noticed!). My nine plants have been on a bit of rampage!. Incase you missed it I did a round up of all my favourite courgettie recipes a few days ago.

And I’m very pleased to report the tomatoes are all going great guns, each and every one of my 58 plants (plus a few more stray wild ones scattered around the plot!) are all fruiting and we’ve started to pick and eat the huge beefies and some sweet-as-sweet-can-be cherries. They’re definitely my August Veg of the Month and I’ve already been busy in the kitchen trying out lots of new recipes. I’d love to know your ideas if you’d like to share  them (and you’ll get a mention in my round up!)

Beef Tommies

The Cherry Tommies

And finally, my slightly behind Plum Tommies

Other goodies that we’ve started to tuck into this month are cucumbers (they grow as fast as the courgettes, I’ve quite frankly never eaten so many in my life!) and the equally profuse French beans.

Cucumber, one of dozens!

The Borlotti (they’re the gorgeous red pods) and French Beans

A basketfull of Beans

The first baby aubergine has formed, but I doubt they’re going to do anywhere near as well as last year. I think I had eight plants literally dripping with them between July and November last year. Most of mine look unlikely to even fruit this season. Same for the peppers, extremely disappointing.

There’s a few pumpkin and squash now formed, but again they’re a little disappointing compared to the bumper crop of last year, despite my having twice as many plants. But maybe there’s still time to catch up?

One of the first Pumpkins

Baby Butternut

Other notable olympic growers this month are the sweetcorn that I only planted at the beginning of June and my lovely chilli plants that are dripping with decidedly hot chillies. A hot success compared to the boringly mild ones of last  year.

My Majestic Sweetcorn, the cobs are just starting to form

My chillies are HOT!

Along with the garlic back in June, my shallots and red onions have now all been harvested and are hanging out to dry.

That’s my lot of Shallots!

A wheelbarrow o’ onions!

What We’re Eating:

Quite a lot really! Bar the odd red pepper and a few bananas I’ve not been buying any fruit or veggies for weeks (or months?) now.

– Garlic, Shallots and Red Onions

– New potatoes, normal ‘Old’ Potatoes

– Lettuces, Radish, a few Spring Onions

– Cucumbers

– The odd early summer Squash

– Courgettes until they’re coming out of our ears

– Cherry & Beef Tomatoes

– Swiss Chard

– French Beans

– Strawberries & Rhubarb

– Basil, Coriander, Rosemary, Mint, Tarragon, Oregano, Chives Thyme, Sage, Lovage, Parsley

And I think that’s it? We’ve also got lots of very exciting and wonderful freebie wild stuff growing, but I’m going to save that for another blog.

So that’s it for July. Bring on the August Tomatoes!

Louisa x


June in the Garden

June’s been a wonderfully exciting month at Chez Foti where all my hard work earlier in the year’s started to reward us with a larder full of bountiful produce. Most of my wee little seedlings are growing up into large healthy fruiting plants and the garden has suddenly gone from a desert brown to luscious green. Result!

Early in the month I declared war on the weeds and mulched around most of the plants with course grass clippings. On the whole it’s working well though the most persistent weedy warriors have broken free, and there’s still a few areas I haven’t got around to mulching yet.

I’m pleased to report that I’ve finally finished planting my chitted potatoes, just as the first ones I planted back in March have started to be dug up! I also sowed some sweetcorn, lots more basil and a few cauliflowers…the latter being a complete germination failure.

All sixty one of my tomato plants are fairing well (yes 61, 54 planted ones are 7 self seeders) and most are fruiting, yikes that’s a whole lotta tomatoes coming our way very soon! I really must crack on and research buying a chest freezer in France.

Jacques assessing the Tomato Situation

The Borlotti Beans have been caned (using bamboo cut from the garden) which has made the garden look like a proper veg patch now! And they’re starting to form gorgeous red and green pods.

The Borlotti Canes

The First Borlotti Pods

I’m delighted to report that my overwintered garlic has been a huge success. I pulled it up a couple of weeks ago and was quite taken aback at the size of the bulbs…and the flavour’s pretty good too.

Pretty chuffed with my Garlic!

Finally the globe artichoke plants are taking off and moving on from the teeny weeny seedlings that they seemed to be stuck at for months:

An artichoke seedling

The squash and pumpkin plants have grown absorbitantly and seem to be taking over most of the patch again:

Pumpkins & Squash

After a slow start the pepper and chilli plants are also looking a success, with the first of the chilli’s forming, yay!

A Pepper Plant

The first chillies of the Year

Another recent success are the rhubarb plants which I took for dead a few weeks ago, it looks like we’ll be eating rhubarb very soon.

Lovely lovely Rhubarb

The disasters of the month have been my cauliflowers, cabbages, calabrise and PS Broccoli…all sown several times now but have suffered the double blow of very low germination levels and too much hot sun that’s withered the survivor seedlings. I’ve recently re-sown most of them again but covered the areas in bracken to retain moisture and protect from the strong sun, fingers crossed. We’ve also had a new problem with enemy Mr Mole who’s taken to digging up several new plants and seedlings.

What were Eating

The shallots are all ready for the eating, as are a few of the red onions. The potatoes have now started, both new and old. We’re also happily tucking into courgettes and cucumbers a plenty as well as the continuing pick and come again lettuces and salad leaves. We have a few french beans starting (the first got used last night in a lovely Salade Nicoise). Plus the spinach and my Veg of the Month, Swiss Chard. Together with the strawberries we now have a few luscious raspberries which the kids are loving. Other than the odd red pepper I’ve barely been buying any fruit or veggies and making do with what we’ve got. Together with our wonderful eggs we’ve been having quite a number of freebie dinners now, which makes it all so worthwhile!.

The first of the French Beans

Bring on the Courgettes!

…and the Cucumbers!

Lovely Lettuce

Potato Plants

The Raspberry Inspectors!

Master F, the Strawberry Appreciator!

All the ingredients for tuna nicoise (well minus any toms, tuna, olive oil and vinegar anyways!)

So that’s it folks for this month, I’m sure we’ll be tucking into a good deal more by the end of another month,

Louisa


May in the Garden

Well it’s been a very busy month for my veg plot, lots of rain, lots of blistering sun and lots of happy growth…and lots of weeds. And lots of hard work, slotted in at nap times and after bed times.

Finally everything seems to be taking off after a rather slow start to the season. The patch’s rapidly filling up and almost everything for the next few months have happily been sown and planted. YIPPPPPEEEE.

My tomatoes are going great guns. Suddenly from teeny weeny seedlings I planted out a few short weeks ago some of them are now flowering and growing handsomely tall. I did a count a couple of days ago and realised to my complete surprise I had fifty four plants, YES 54 PLANTS. I somehow kept sowing more seeds, in the belief that most of them were failing to germinate. They were, just slowly. Do you think that may be a tad excessive for a family of four? I feel a whole host of tomato recipes coming along shortly!. At least there’s some variety though, with cherries, beef and plums.

The cucurbits are all fairing pretty well too. My courgette plants (7), cucumbers (8) and pumpkins & various squash (31 – again a tad on the excessive side me thinks but they do store so well!) are all steadily growing. I so can’t wait for courgette season to commence, one of my favourite and most versatile veggies. I’ve re-sown melon seeds three times now as some sweet-toothed little thief keeps eating my seeds and seedling tops. Fingers crossed this time they’ll come good.

One of the many Pumpkin Plants

A Courgette Plant

The peppers and aubergine seedlings were planted out last week, and although the plants were all on the very small and scrawny side they seem to be loving our soil and finally growing some. Good, another two of my fave veggies. And the brussel sprouts are finally on the off, yay!

A Brussel Sprout Seedling

My potatoes plants are prettily starting to flower which means they’ll be ready soon, though I’m not too keen to go rummaging around them too much after yesterday’s experience of finding my first ever viper camping out under their cool canopy. Believe it or not we’re now into June and I’ve still not finished planting all my tatties out, there’s still another row or two of ‘old’ potatoes to get out there. This week’s priority without fail.

The Pretty Potato Flower

After a terrible rate of germination last month (I don’t think the extremes of weather helped too much) I’ve had to re-sow most of calabrese, swiss chard, purple sprouting broccoli, spring onions, swede, french and borlotti beans. And thankfully they’re all looking pretty promising this time around.

What we’ve got to eat: We’re happily munching on lots of holy rocket (badly attacked by the greedy flea beetle but nevertheless tastes great….after a thorough wash!), as well as my favourite rocket & Parmesan salad we’re loving it in chorizo or merguez sandwiches or with prawns & chilli in a simple pasta sauce. There’s also plenty of salad leaves finally ready for the eating and spinach galore. I made a fab Spinach, Courgette & Prawn Thai Green Curry last night, but we’ve been enjoying it mainly so far simply wilted with plenty of olive oil, lemon and black pepper. The Swiss Chard is also ready for the eating and is starting to grow in abundance, happy face here! It’s great in stir fries and curries, used just like spinach, but I’m looking to be a little more inventive this month and celebrate it more in it’s own right. There’s also a handful of peas every now and again which the kids greedily eat like sweets, but they don’t seem to fair well here…possibly too hot and not enough water? Last but not least there’s the herbs which are flourishing (thyme, thyme and more thyme, chives, parsley, oregano, coriander on it’s way, rosemary and sage) and the veg plot favourites of radish and strawberries. We’re miraculously getting about a punnet a day of strawberries which we’re all loving, the kids especially who get to pick them.

Holy Rocket

Popeye-tastic spinach

Swiss Chard

Just the odd pea pod or two

Strawberry plants

The Herbs in Flower

My next tasks are a major weeding operation closely followed by mulching, probably with grass cuttings as that’s what we seem to have a lot of.  Has anyone any experience of mulching?. I certainly haven’t but am figuring it’s benefits would be two fold, good for water retention and to stop weed growth. And planting out the rest of those damned potatoes!.

Well that’s it for this very busy month of May, and very much looking forward to an equally busy June. Before I go, here’s one last photo of a very happy and fat caterpillar munching on my parsley,

Louisa


April in the Garden

Where exactly has this last month disappeared to? It only seems a few days ago I was writing my March update. April’s been a really REALLY wet month here, and a cold month and a windy month, all in all it’s been pretty dire. In theory good for the garden but I’m so behind this year (well in comparison to last year anyhow which is unhelpfully my only year of comparison!) and I didn’t manage to plant out much until nearer the end of April so no watery benefits really gained. Hey ho.

Anyway some good work has been done and the plot is slowly slowly filling up. There’s been lots of shovelling of cow poo and compost and digging, digging, digging, digging. I now hate digging. All my new potatoes have finally been planted and are now coming through. I still have way way too many ‘old’ tatties to get out there and I’ll endeavour to get them in in May.

There’s quite a list of stuff I’ve managed to get in the ground in between the storms and gales: carrots, parsnips, french beans, borlotti beans, swiss chard, peas, rocket, spring onions, 3 types of lettuce, radish, sprouts, spinach, calabrese, coriander, parsley and last but not least savoy cabbages have all been magically sown, and many of the seedlings are excitedly starting to break out into the big world.

Potato Plants

Baby radishes!

To the left there’s the shallots & red onions, to the right carrot & parsnip beds

In the poly tunnel the tomatoes are continuing to do well and some are getting pretty sizeable and ready to plant out. As are all my ‘Mediterranean’ veggies, the courgettes, peppers and aubergines. Half way through the month I sowed lots of squash & pumpkin seeds and they’re already pretty big. I also set off pots a plenty of melons, cucumbers, leeks, sweetcorn and more basil.

Courgette Plant

My higgledy piggledy of pots

Baby Squash

Tomato

A pepper plant

And that’s it folks for this month. It actually sounds a good deal busier than I thought I’d been!

Now on with the pots. My worst job.

Louisa


March in the Garden

I’m pleased to be able to report a fair bit of garden action last month after the long lull of winter. The weather’s warmed up, my patch has been rotivated (thanks to our trusty tractor driver friend), anti-chicken and other feathered or furry beast fencing has been installed (thanks to Phil), the poly tunnel has been re-installed, the plot layout finally decided on (roughly!), seeds a plenty have been sown and I’ve even started a little planting out. Yippppeeee, I love gardening season! The knock on effect is sadly my lack of blogging action. There seem to be so many things to juggle these days. So apologies now for my reduced posting over the spring and summer, but I’ve got veggies to grow!

So here’s the new fencing and enlarged plot, ha ha you’re well and truly scuppered my feathered friends:

Most of my seedlings are fairing pretty well out in the poly tunnel though mysteriously several of my wee tomatoes died off a couple of weeks ago. So far I’ve set off 3 types of tomato (plum, beef and cherry), peppers (also having problems with germination, but hopefully I’ll have enough come good), celery (this year they’ve miraculously germinated unlike my total failure last year), cucumbers, aubergines (again a 100% success), peas, globe artichokes (for the first time!) and butternut squash. And they’ll be lots more seeds sown this month!.

Peas...in toilet rolls!

Aubergine seedlings

A cucumber seedling

A Surviver of the Tomatoes

As for the stuff in the ground. I’ve given the herb bed a little overhaul and below the mountain of weeds and leaves I’ve found quite a few plants survived the minus 16 temperatures we had a few weeks ago. We have chives, flat leaved parsley, lots and lots of thyme, rosemary, sage, tarragon and oregano. I’ve also sown coriander and basil and more parsley and tarragon and have extended the bed somewhat.

Meet the Herbs

Shallots and red onions have been sown, notably in lovely neat straight lines this year….I have succumbed to the inner Virgo and said goodbye to my random sporadic planting of last year (that no doubt disturbed my fellow gardener neighbours).

My Virgo lines of loveliness!

I’ve also split the plot this year into four main groupings, to be rotated on an annual basis. Apparently this is the only way to do things if you want to be organic. So I have one space for potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and aubergines. One for roots and onions. Another for legumes (peas and beans etc) and last but not least one for the brassicas (broccoli, cabbages, cauliflowers and the like).  There’s also a perennial bed for my herbs, strawberries, artichokes, raspberries and rhubarb. And all those other things like melons, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, salads etc can just be slotted in wherever there’s space. And please note that each of my plots has been exactly calculated, measured and divided with string. The unleashed virgo.

My perennial bed has been planted with lots more strawberries this month so I’m hoping Phil and I might actually get to taste a few this year, and get past the greedy fingers of our kids! I’ve also put in a few raspberry canes and rhubarb plants. I was amazed to find the rhubarb at our local market last weekend, I’ve been looking for some plants for ages and came to the conclusion the French just don’t do rhubarb.

One of my new strawberry plants

A raspberry cane

Rhubarb!

And last but most certainly not least I’ve finally started on the extremely arduous task of potato planting. Actually the planting of potatoes itself is none too bad, it’s the digging and breaking down of the tough clay soil in areas that have been previously unworked that’s a killer. But bit by bit and row by row I should be there within a couple of weeks….I have a LOT of potatoes to plant! Two types of ‘old’ and one of new.

So that’s it for the March round up. I’m reckoning April will be even busier. Happy days.

Lou x


February in the Garden

20120307-084508.jpg

Well we’re now well into March and I’ve just remembered my February update, so here it is. The beginning of February was very cold here, and I mean VERY cold, the coldest the locals have known it! We had lots of snow and ice and the warmest it got at one point for several days was minus 5, with night time temperatures down to minus 16. Now that’s cold. Luckily myself and the ankle biters happened to be in the relative warmer climes of the UK for the worst of it.

My poor veggie patch was a frozen white abyss for most of the month, though luckily thanks to our destroyer chickens, there wasn’t much out there to worry about. Though my broad bean plants seem to be on their way out, they’re a mottling of brown (dead) and green (hope), so we’ll have to see.

At the end of the month when the weather warmed up a good deal, Gilles our trusty neighbour, friend, mayor and tractor owner came along to start rotavating the plot, it’s going to be considerably bigger than last year. He’s coming back again next week to finely rotavate it ready for use. I’m very excited!

Last week I was busy sowing lots of seeds, tomatoes (three sorts, cherry, plum and beef), celery (hoping I have more germination success than last year which was a dissappointing zero), peppers, aubergines, thyme and basil.

 

Philipe bought me a book this week, a guide to planting by the moon, or biodynamics as its known in England. Biodynamics is huge in France and this is the top selling book. In theory I’m going to give it a good go, but I know in practice my time for sowing and planting is limited to any precious snippets I can possibly find, and it won’t always be possible to wait for the moon.

 

That’s it for my Feb round up, not a huge amount of action I’m afraid but March will be a good deal busier. So excited that’s it’s gardening time again!

Until next month,

Louisa

 


December & January in the Garden…..

To be truthful there’s been very little garden action to report of late, which is why I’ve put a couple of months together and even then it’s pushing it with much to say! It’s a very sorry state of affairs, as you can see it’s pretty baron out there, apart from a whole lot of weeds:

This is mainly due to the fact I failed in my task as newbie gardener to sow and plant much winter fair, a combination of lack of time and organisation!. And the veggies that I did manage to get out there have been largely destroyed by our new feathery friends who love nothing more than to scrat around in my beloved patch!:

They’ve successfully managed to make dinner out of all the broccoli heads and leaves (or Calabrese to be a little more precise), destroyed the baby Savoy cabbage, uprooted most of the beetroot and nibbled away all the tasty tops and somehow made magically disappear the baby carrots, swiss chard and last few remaining lettuces. Hmmmm, things have got to change.

They obviously don’t have much of a taste for herbs though, as my perennial thyme, rosemary and sage are left unscathed. As are fortunately all my baby broad bean plants and garlic which seem to be growing pretty well:

On another positive note I recently found much to my surprise some baby onions growing where I’d grown them last summer….they must have self seeded, clever mother nature!:

Other than a little garden clearing earlier in the month I’ve not been out there apart from to do plenty of head scratching trying to plan the plot for this year. I’ve decided to increase the size fairly considerably, adding about an extra 20 to 30 sq meters. Needless to say I’m going to fence it off from the chickens, once it’s been rotavated by our trusty tractor owning farmer/mayor friend and neighbour. As for exactly what I’m going to grow and the layout I’ve not got around to that yet!

I’m really hoping I’ll have more to report next month, although with a two week trip planned to the UK for the second half of February I’m not too sure I’ll have much time to get out on the patch again, though I’ll hopefully have sowed a few seeds in pots indoors.

Until then….

Louisa


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