Some people have asked for an update on our own vegetable garden (see how we got started: here and find last year’s update: here). I did a little poll on our Instagram stories as well and let’s just say that 100% YES is good enough for me ;) so here goes:
We started out small, sowing organic seeds (most we had left over from last year) in seeds trays and little pots. The waiting game started. This was the first year that I wanted to try courgette and here’s the first sign of life!
Black basil. So good. We also sowed regular green basil, coriander, lavas and more. We opted to buy an organic chive plant after a second seeding attempt failed. It happens. We couldn’t get aniseed or spring onions (again) to germinate either.
And try this for the world’s smallest leak (not a spring onion, really a leek!). This was the smallest, the rest was quite normal. We sowed these last year and we did get a small harvest from them but we’d rather use the space to grow other things. Leeks take a ridiculously long time to grow, have you tried? I had no idea. Tough though, they survived snow and even a hail storm.
Meanwhile, the potting table in the conservatory (I still feel so fancy saying that) was used for ‘other things’.
Growing cucumbers and tomatoes (all from seed). You need some patience… In the back there’s the courgette doing great and some mint cuttings (both grow like mad).
Mario bended a steel frame for one of the beds outside for peas (leftover seed we got from friends last year) to climb easily. For some reason most are now yellow and shriveled but we are getting a little harvest from the rest. Tips anyone?
The conservatory was also filling up with tomatoes, cucumber and herbs. Oh and cats of course. Who decided to start nibbling on leaves so we really can’t leave them alone in there anymore.
Look, this is going to be a red bell pepper (also grown from seed left over from last year), the long variety! They take a long time to grow fruit but when they do, they go go go and they’re delicious!
We’re doing a little experiment with two tomato plants in the conservatory and two in the greenhouse. As the red peppers were starting to grow bigger and we needed the space, we put the third cucumber plant in the greenhouse as they seemed to be doing better there.
Go plants! I have to say that the cucumbers are doing much better in the greenhouse but the tomatoes in the conservatory are starting to go red already (previous photo). We’ll have to see about flavour.
We’ve been eating the cucumbers for a while now and although some are bitter (those go on the compost heap), most are delicious!
Apparently you have to remove the male flowers and leave the female which become cucumbers. Learning as we go along. These plants produce a LOT of flowers though so it is a daily job.
Don’t get me started on this sad display. We’ve had ONE courgette, which was delicious, and then the plants started dying. Hm, we’ve sown more seed but it’s not germinating… Fingers crossed.
The nasturtium has been doing a good job of attracting aphids so they’re not on the veg. We had some Marigold seed left over from last year which didn’t germinate. Luckily I collected some seed from the plants and that has germinated but the plants aren’t growing as well and so we don’t have any flowers yet (instead we have aphids on the pea plants).
We bought a second blueberry plant and Mario put some netting over it (blue is better so birds can actually see it – told to us by a bird expert who also grows her own food).
Strawberries, not a very good harvest. A handful at most and only from the ones in the greenhouse. Arugula takes a little time but once it gets going you’ll get a big and long season. Really, don’t buy arugula but just grow from seed. It’s super easy, much cheaper overall, saves on plastic waste and the taste is so good.
Tried mixed salad leaves (‘Mesclun’) this year and it went mad in the raised bed but went over quite quickly as well. This year we got one lettuce from seed (wow) so we went out and bought some small plants like last year which works much better. We love salads.
The sweetcorn we sowed from last year’s seed is doing well too. I used it as a backdrop for the Instagram poll, see:
So, mixed grill on the veg and fruit situation this year. We’ll be growing more plants next year though. It’s addictive. How about you? Have you been trying your hand at growing your own?
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