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Thursday, 27 August 2009

Blog by Pictures

Not so much a day by day post this time more like topic by topic.

So plant or crop/s progress:

Sweet corn tassels are turning brown as of 23/08/09
The French beans are starting to slow down but there are still a fair amount of flowers so I’ll leave the plants alone till autumn.
The borlotto beans were slow to start cropping but there are all manner size beans on the plants now some are ripening.

The dwarf ying yang beans I’m growing to harvest the dry beans which are under the outdoor tomato shelter are starting to dry.

Monday I planted out all the plug plant size Chinese leaves, mizuna, turnips, pak choi and kohl rabi seedlings which were sown about three weeks ago.

While I was out planting out the young plants Monday I saw the following critters:

Lots of froglets were in and around the vege beds but they were generally to quick for the camera but this bigger frog was in the boggy area under a log which I moved when I almost got distracted from the job I was doing. I soon got back on track as I didn’t want to disturb the frog so left the boggy area alone.

This little footnote is for Maureen you may not want to see the following pictures/ video attached so I have written the caption before the pictures and video so you could get the opportunity to scroll pass.

While planting out the pak choi I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye, it was a caterpillar wriggling strangely, on closer inspection I realised it was caught by a centipede which was trying to subdue it and drag it under ground. The following pictures and video spell out the DRAMA for you all to see, my kids were well impressed my the centipede’s strength and tenacity. The caterpillar did succumb in the end to the centipede’s poison. And internally I cheered the centipede on as it meant my soil was healthy with pest catching predators Yeah!!!

A male Orange Swift ‘Hepialus sylvina’ he’s a beauty. It was resting on the brassicus netting.

Freyer's Pug ‘Eupithecia intricate’ sorry about the photo quality but the light was shining from behind and when I disturbed it to hopefully encourage it to land on a better surface it flew away.

What’s still flowering;

New sunflowers are still opening.

This heartsease popped up in the asparagus bed.

The weeks harvest to date:



Oh dear there are now two bowls of tomatoes to get through, I‘m not ready to make sauces or sun dried tomatoes with them as yet, so thanks goodness for Allotment 2 Kitchen post on tomatoes last night. As it gave me the inspiration I needed, I hunted down some vegan tomato tart recipes and will be trying one of them tonight for dinner.
The tomatoes are really doing well with no signs of blighted foliage now for two days. All twelve varieties have ripening fruits on them now. And look at the size of the Japanese black trifle I picked yesterday.

I have also been cooking:

Monday night the yellow cherry plums (2lbs worth) I foraged last week was turned into jam using this recipe but I also added cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and ground nutmeg to spice it up as these plumes are much tarter than the red varieties, I got three and a half jars.

I also got round to turning the harvested basil leaves a full nine cups worth into vegan basil pesto. I found with 3 tsp of salt it was a little salty so I’ll probably only use half the salt next time, oh and I didn’t have any pine/ walnuts so used sunflower seeds instead. It tastes great and I froze quite a bit in ice cubes to use in future pasta dishes.

Dinner last night was rice with split peas dhal and curried vegetables - perpetual spinach, patty pan squash and sweet peppers (see picture).

There has been increased bird activity in the garden of late. A large mixed flock of mainly long tail tits, chiff chaffs and blue tits have been visiting the tall pine tree and apple trees over the last few days. The pictures are not great as they are so fidgety its hard to get a good shot.

Long Tail Tit.

Chiff Chaff.

Blue Tit.

There has also been more magpie activity as well.

Here is a juvenile blackbird taking advantage of damaged ripening apples.

Well that's it for now I'm off to the garden to do some pottering.


  1. Maureen will have a heart attack if she watches that video! It's a good job you put a warning up first.
    It won't be long now until you're tasting your first sweetcorn. It's so good picked fresh from the garden.

  2. Yes I thought I should give her a chance to ignore it :-)

    Every year my sweet corn harvest is sweet but pathetic in numbers and the general size of the plants.

    This year they have not only grown to proper sweet corn height ie not 2ft but they also each have at least two cobs per plant and some have as much as four cobs. I can hardly wait and hope the local squirrel family don't find them before I get to try them.

  3. Kella...everything is looking makes me very jealous to see you getting on so well when I am dying to get down my garden..:-(

    Instead I have been purchasing seeds for next year and planning what I will plant!!!

    I'm hoping to have some success with sweetcorn next year too so feel free to give me any tips!!!!

  4. The only tips I can give you re growing sweet corn is the ones I picked up on the forum A4A (see my gardening links on the right).

    They are 1. they donot like having their roots disturbed or root bound, so sow the plants no more than three weeks before planting out and do so in 3" pots or larger incase the weather is not conducive to planting out (this year as the spring was so very warm I opted to sow them all direct in the last week of May).

    2. When you do plant out (generally 1st week of June after/ after all chances of frost is over), it might be a good idea to fleece them for a couple weeks as they also hate to get cold intially, this can cause them to take a check in their growth slowing them down for a good few weeks or stunting them completely.

    Oh yeah and don't forget to make sure the soil is well fed and to plant in blocks. I have also found you can squeeze quite a few into small space, I have 35 plants in a 5' x 6' bed. I have also upped the amt of watering in the last week to ensure the cobs swell nicely.

    Thanks again for checking out my blog, I hope the tips help you for next year and I'm sure you'll get into your garden again soon, life can sure get in the way sometimes.

  5. Hi Kella, what a fantastic post, you are getting better at this blogging lark with each passing post ! thanks for the warning, that was so kind ! actually I braved it and it was HORRIBLE !!! and then I had another look and it really was TERRIBLE. I had to console myself with chocolate & wine ha ha.
    Your crops look great. I have had another lot of sweetcorn, so I blanched it for 2 mins and wrapped it in clingfilm (when cold) and froze it in bags of 2. I hope next year will be as great for me. I still have a fair few to harvest then I will clear the bed, it's looking pretty ragged now. Have a great week-end with your family. :)

  6. Oh Maureen,
    have you forgotten how curiosity killed the cat ;)
    I can't believe you watched it twice LOL, at least you got a nice glass of wine and some chocolates out of the experience.

    Thank you for your very lovely and well appreciated compliment re my blogging style, I truly enjoy rediscovering my passion for writing (something I haven't done since I was 17 yrs old, wow! just realised with my coming birthday that would be 20 yrs).

    Because I sowed my sweet corn direct this year there was the odd 2nd and 3rd sowings to fill any gaps due to no germination, so luckily the whole crop won't mature at the same time, just today I noticed the last lot of plants are finally putting up their male flowers and new female tassels are also emerging on a few others.

    Wishing you a lovely bank holiday weekend also.



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