Monday, 1 July 2013

Summer in the garden

This summer I decided to do what I've been talking about for years, and finally plant some food for us! Not one to do things by halves, I grew things from seed, watching them carefully, and battling slugs and snails. This lavender was bought last year and has filled the pots out nicely. We have it on the patio, so the smell will hopefully waft through the house when the doors are open. (I cleaned me drains at the start of the summer so THAT should help the general fragrance)

My boys are big into broccoli, so I got seed tape and planted some in window boxes. I had about 12 good little plants in each box, but had to thin them out to 12" spacing, so we just have 3 in each window box. The plants survived the cull though, and I hacked re-purposed an area of grass for 17 broccoli plants. They're doing well. The slugs and snails are loving them too. All my ideas of organic pest repellant went out the window the minute I discovered the slimy fu bastards were eating my veg at night. 

Are the leaves of the broccoli edible? Seems an awful waste if not.
Below are peas grown from seed too, and I've two windows full of them in the kitchen. I Instagrammed them last week, but the outdoor plants seem to have more pods, though are ripening slower.

Below is a bean plant. I think this is the most fascinating. I bought a bag of dried chickpeas a few months ago and there was one random bean in it, which I planted, and this is the result!

The bean has some pods, so I'll photograph the beans when they're "done" and one of you might be able to tell me what the hell it is.

Note the holes in the leaves. I can't wait to eat this! My youngest already helped himself to a small head of broccoli, so one plant is now defunct. Or will it grow again? We're also looking forward to apples this year, our small tree seems to have loads. Yum!

Have you any summer veg growing? Tell us what's working and what's not. And how come my indoor peas got killed by greenfly?

Nee x


  1. We did well this year with courgettes, peas, broadbeans, onions, strawberries, gooseberries and we ate our first batch of new potatoes today...delicious. We had a major fail on the carrot front and are still waiting on a few things that may not be successful at this stage. Well done on yours, you've done well.

    1. Wow Joanna! You're obviously a pro at gardening! Have you an allotment? It's so satisfying eating the stuff you've lovingly tended for months. Good on you, I'll give courgettes a go next year I think, I love them,
      Thanks for the comment! x

  2. Morning!
    Yep you can defo eat the broccoli leaves and stalks. They can be a bit woody. I tend to shred them thinly and stir fry with a bit of soy, garlic & sesame seeds. Or they work perfectly in a soup because you'd be blitzing them. If you like blue cheese then cheese and broccoli soup is the way to go with just the offcuts.
    I've started using regular garlic spray to keep the pests away - not exactly organic because of the addition of washing up liquid but it's used by some organic gardeners. Let me know if you want the "recipe".
    You're doing great! Seeing as your broccoli is doing so well, maybe consider planting some brussels sprouts for Christmas?

    1. Morning Caitriona!
      That's great you can eat the leaves and stalks thanks! Now I wish I'd been more careful with the slug pellets, as I know a few of them landed on leaves, but have dissolved in the rain. I don't think I'd risk eating them just in case I poison us all!
      I love the sound of the garlic spray, please link the recipe if you pass by here again!
      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!


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