After months of me moaning about the slow start to spring, June has been pretty lovely to us so far. I think we’ve had maybe one day of rain over the last two weeks, which feels like a miracle after that soggy, cold spring.
Surprisingly, despite the traitorous spring weather, the veg garden is pretty much at the same point it was this time last year. We’ve got lots of tomatoes ripening in the polytunnel, the kale is getting big already, the beetroot and parsnips are coming along as normal, and we had a bumper strawberry harvest (I finally got enough to make a batch of strawberry jam, and I’ve only been trying for four years!). I think the only things that are a little behind are the squash and courgettes – we’d already eaten our first courgettes by this time last year, but we’re still a good few days away from picking the first one off this year’s plants. It’s like the garden didn’t get the memo that spring was shitty and has just done its thing regardless.
We’re keeping it pretty simple in the veg patch this year, so that we can focus on improving the flower borders. That means we’re not trying any new varieties of veg this year (apart from garlic, which I tried to grow once before but it didn’t separate into cloves because I obviously planted it at the wrong time). Instead, we’re focusing on the veg that we already know does well for us and requires little effort on our part.
Saying that, our ‘simplified’ veg patch for this year still includes:
- butternut squash
- mustard greens
- kale (the usual dwarf curly kale and a variety called Sutherland kale)
- nasturtiums (we eat the leaves and flowers in salads)
- tomatoes (honestly, I’ve lost count of how many varieties we’re growing now after the epic tomato seedling fail forced us, yes forced us, to get carried away buying billions of tomato plants at the local market)
- basil, dill, sage, chives and oregano in massive quantities, plus a little rosemary, thyme and parsley
- the usual soft fruit bushes and fruit trees that just get on with it quietly in the background
- and, of course, asparagus (still smug about it)
I know, I know, it’s still a lot. What can I say? We’re greedy so-and-sos.
|It's a lot less bare than it was a couple of months ago!|
|Inside the wonky polytunnel.|
|Come on, grow!|
|Just a few of the kale plants (with some very sorry looking mustard greens dotted between).|
|Would anyone like any dill? Anyone? Seriously, this is supposed to be our spinach and salad |
bed and all this dill is self-seeded.
|Drying some herbs for the winter.|
|View from the veg patch over the rest of the garden. I've started rather grandly referring to our three flower borders as 'the cottage garden', like I'm Monty Don and my garden is Longmeadow. It's quite tragic really.|