Grow Your Own
It’s been a while since I last posted a veggie garden update – 7 months to be exact! I was hoping to be able to share a monthly update of everything and my harvests, but lets just say our garden never likes to produce anything at the same time as anyone else, so other than lettuce, we’ve only really just been able to harvest things the past month or two! It’s always so far behind everything – we blame the huge oak tree taking all the nutrients for itself!
We did SO well for lettuce last year, not having to buy any shop bought lettuce all summer long. This year wasn’t so good! The slugs ate most of it. We started with a good few batches early on, but then no matter how many seeds I sowed, they all just got eaten before we could get to them. Hopefully next year will be better!
I grew my first cucumbers this year! I managed to get 2 from the one plant, which isn’t too great, but it’s 2 more than I’ve ever managed before! I love these varieties – I call them the European cucumbers as we see them in the grocery stores all over Europe, rather than the long thin watery ones that we get here. I find they taste so much more cucumbery and have more bite to them which I prefer. Hopefully I’ll be able to grow a lot more next year as they’re delicious!
This year has been our best year ever for tomatoes. It was a slow start – the seedlings were getting a little too big for the windowsil at the beginning of the year so I planted them out when it warmed up, and then we got hit with a few late frosts and the plants basically died. I thought they were gone, but then they sprung back to life a little later than I’d have hoped and we had an amazing crop of lovely juicy tomatoes! They taste SO much better homegrown – and you get to grow all the fun colourful varieties too!
The tomatoes are still producing, but they’re slowing on the ripening part, even though I’ve been harvesting the tomatoes and bringing them inside to finish them off. I think they’re about done now, though we still have plenty of green tomatoes, so if anyone has any recipe suggestions then send them my way please!
I never understand when everyone else says they have courgettes coming out of their ears, because no matter how many times I’ve tried to grow them, they just never do very well in our garden at all! Last year was the best, but this year I think we got 2 courgettes all summer! It looked promising, but then the plants got powdery mildew and every courgette that looked like it would grow just ended up dying. Does anyone have any tips, because I LOVE courgettes!
French Beans + Runner Beans
This year was really good for the french beans! I grow a purple variety called purple queen and they’re really delicious. And yes, sadly they turn green when you cook them haha! I had a really good batch a few years ago, but the past few years they’ve been terrible, but this year we had so many from just a few plants.
I decided towards the end of the summer that I like runner beans, so I attempted to grow some of them too, hoping that the last few warmer days we had back in August would last a little longer. They grew super tall and produced plenty of flowers, but nothing has come of them. I think it was a little too late to start them, so hopefully next year I’ll get some!
The Flower Garden
I love having a garden full of flowers too, and this year was pretty good for flowers. My echinacea plant that I bought a couple years ago finally flowered, and I’m finally convincing mum to leave the purple and pink flowers at the garden centre and go for the yellow, orange and red ones to bring some colour to the garden.
We’re due to have some construction work on the house next summer, so hopefully they don’t destroy it all! Now I just need to find more space so that I can grow winter veggies too! I’d love to be able to harvest brussels and cauliflower and kale (sadly the slugs ate my kale and chard too which I usually overwinter).
Did you grow anything this year? How was it?