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  • Writer's pictureSofias Country Gardens

Veggarden update

This is what the kitchen garden looks like at the moment. I feel like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland who shouts "Oh my fur and whiskers! I'm late! I'm late! I'm late!" as few years have had such a late season as this one. Mind you, I started out in time with the planting, and it looked quite good until June when the weather suddenly turned cold and windy. The wind dried the soil, and no matter how much I water it is not the same thing as a proper full on rain and some good heat afterwards.

Beetroot seedlings

Beetroot planted in beginning of June and July

First tiny harvest

We planted the beetroot in the beginning of June, and usually I get the first harvest about seven weeks later. This year it took almost nine weeks for the first tiny beets to be big enough... As we had planted the beets a bit too close, I transplanted four rows of seedlings in the beginning of July. This is a precarious job, as beets really hate to be moved. They are difficult to grow in the best of circumstances as they like an even temperature, perfect moisture and optimal soil, so suddenly being transplanted is not on their wish list. Luckily they survived! However, you can see from the picture that they are still protesting, with the transplanted beets being half the size of the ones left in place.

Alma the scarecrow

Slowly but surely...

Beans coming up

The rose beans Merveille de Piemonte were the last ones to go into ground on the 18th of June. They too don't much like cold weather, and so I thought it better to give them some time to mature in late summer, as I hope we will have a good and warm August. Is it just me or has the climate changed over the years? Nowadays I find that August is the best month in the garden, and a lot of my vegetables do better when planted later. At leas the beans are finally putting in some growth, and I hope the weather holds so that I get a good crop before the frost comes.

During the same week both peas and potatoes are ready for harvest. I love peas and grow lots of them each year, but harvesting peas is one of my least favourite pastimes. Because my back is so bad I find bending over the plants to reach low growing peas heavy going, and consequently I take my Grandmothers childhood stool out in the garden and pick peas while sitting down. What ever it takes to make things work, or what? The potatoes on the other hand are easy to harvest and my new variety Violet Queen is an absolute delight!

Violet Queen

Digging for gold

Perfect potatoes

And finally my purple kale is ready, but truly it is small and weak compared to last years massive kale trees. The cauliflower is developing late and sadly attacked by some bug that eats big holes in the leaves. It is too early to say if it is a lost cause or if they will prevail and produce cauliflower heads before autumn, but I think that is part of the process when growing veg. Sometimes you win, and sometimes not. Happy gardening to you!

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