Hello Lovely Gardeners
It is so encouraging to see posts beginning to appear where the garden is starting to return its bounty in exchange for all that hard work. The salad days are ahead of us where what we have for dinner is determined by what we have ready in the garden.
I know for us we are eating so much lettuce. And for every plant taken I am popping in a new seedling. I have some in the just germinated stage and some ready to plant out, some recently planted out, and loads perfectly ready to eat and even a couple that may have strayed too fair over into ‘a bit too far gone’ to be nice any more, but the chickens will enjoy those. It is great to have succession planting sorted. Last season, for many reasons I just couldn’t seem to get my timing right and had great periods of too many and then nothing for ages!
Beetroot, carrot, spring onion, and coriander are great plants to succession plant as unlike tomatoes where the same plant keeps giving all season. Once these have been eaten there are no more, so sow seeds often for a continual supply all summer. The coriander is more because it bolts in the heat so if you sow new ones all the time you will always have some on hand but keep them well-watered. Growing it in the shade can help too.
If you need midseason growing tips for anything in your garden, check out this link on the Yates website – there is great advice for almost every vegetable and the problems they are likely to face. > Growing Vegetables <
As the plants begin to take off and do their thing, make notes on how they are doing, somewhere where you will see it next season – maybe a notebook kept with your seeds. So, you can remind yourself that maybe next season things should be planted a little further apart, or the trellis was too short or too tall, or that one variety was delish and must be grown again, but another did poorly and tasted terrible and is to be avoided in future. Often I find if I have the seed packet I am tempted to grow it again anyway and have to be very stern with myself.
It is great to see some recipes coming in, I am excited to see them. Keep them coming in to be in to win one of the three prize packs up for grabs for the latest Mini Challenge.
One of my recipes from this time of year has to do with broad beans. I’m not entirely sure I like them, but I grow them every year because in winter they are such a large feature in the landscape when not much else grows and makes me feel like I’m ‘gardening’. And I’m a bit of a sucker for punishment. In an attempt to like them I have pickled them. I got the recipe off a Spanish website several years ago and did my best to translate it and take hints from the pictures. They turned out ok and I’ve made them a couple of times since. I think that is what I will do with the rest of the ones on the plant right now as I have already had my annual eat them fresh attempt.
This is what I do:
PICKLED BROAD BEANS.
- Harvest your fresh beans and remove them from the pods. Don’t bother trying to take the rubbery jackets off at this stage as it is too much of a bother.
- Boil them in salted water for 5 minutes
- Remove the jackets now as it is really easy, and they just slip off.
- Into a sterile jar layer up sliced garlic, broad beans, coriander seeds, oregano leaves and peppercorns, topping up with apple cider vinegar as you go.
- Then when you get to the top, pour a layer of sunflower oil to submerge everything.
- Pop on a sterile lid and then process in your preferred safe preserving method.
You can watch me do it here: > Pickled Broad Bean Recipe <
In my garden – aside from the fattening broad beans, I am limping along my rust infested garlic. There is potential for a good harvest in a few weeks if I treat them well. I should have sprayed more often once I saw the problem and I would be in a better place with them now. But I have my first big harvest to do – and when I say ‘big’ it certainly is. My early onions are ready and some are the size of a baseball. They need to be lifted today as the boffins are suggesting rain tomorrow and it is better to harvest them dry.
Have another fabulous week in the garden.
Sarah the Gardener : o)
Images: Broad beans, rusty garlic, lettuce succession planting and onions ready to harvest