Garden Produce Update

The warm weather in the last week has allowed everything to put on a big growth spurt and left me with decision as to whether it is time to give them their independence and allow them to leave the safety of their home as they know it and plant my veg out.  I took the picture below a week ago and they look even better now.

There is part of me thinks that they are doing so well it is time they were allowed a bit more room, but the other part is filled with anxiety about the dreaded slugs. Last year all my beans and sweetcorn went in the first week, and it is a miracle that the courgette didn’t follow. Then there is the worry that I am leaving it too late (although Monty Don claims not to plant his beans out until June). I think I will leave it to the weekend, then I can keep a watch over them – I can’t leave it much longer as the courgettes have flower buds coming. So this weekend I resolve to plant out the courgettes, sweetcorn, beans and tomatoes.
We planted the potatoes a week ago, we are trying Charlotte (an old favourite and the only one we have grown before), Mimi (being trialled on Gardener’s World) and Shetland Black (bought them and enjoyed them from Waitrose), the Shetland Blacks are growing already!

Another surprise in the garden this week has been the appearance of the first fruit on the gooseberry.First Fruit  The joy from this has been tempered somewhat by the discovery by my better half that the sawfly larvae are back and munching away the leaves. My better half has kindly checked every leaf and removed a goodly quantity which are now imprisoned and probably going to become bird food! Does everyone have such lazy birds, I have fed them all year round and now, unless their dinner is served up to them, they don’t seem to be interested! I may make them work for their food in future!

Grow your own veg.

One of the things that has come to mean more and more to me in life is my garden. This isn’t because I want to be the next big garden landscaper, I don’t even get much of a kick out of working out what looks good where and what kind of soil I have and whether a plant needs full sun or shade (despite the obvious importance of such things). No, it is much simpler than that, I like growing things. I get a feeling of immense satisfaction from watching things grow, change, mature. From the seeds that I plant each year, to the hazel that I planted as a twig six years ago that has amazed both of us since by both its size and how well it fits in to the garden (and the fact that it survived despite my planting style which has been described as a little roughshod).

I listened to a podcast today that suggested that in a recession more people grow their own vegetables to save money – I am not sure that this works unless you have an allotment sized veg garden, or you eat a lot of courgettes! I think that for me the chance to nurture something successfully (sometimes), to learn from it to do it better next year and to produce something that tastes better than any equivalent bought in a shop, that hasn’t travelled a long way to get to my plate is more important than saving money (and I am apparently incredibly tight with my money).

So, growing your own veg – great exercise, relaxing and good for you and the environment – I am amazed everyone doesn’t give it a try. If you are starting out I suggest courgettes and / or rhubarb – both will grow however much you neglect them!