The march of the broccoli and peas has meant it’s time for a change in the potager. Time to clear out the debris and restock with something new and different. After all this is an experiment so I have to try as many things as I can so I can record my results and do my analysis.
Have I told you that I’m a failed scientist? It’s true. Having wanted to be a sports scientist or PE teacher or a medic I threw myself into science at school. It’s a shame that careers advisers and chemistry tutors hadn’t taken assertive training because if they had I wouldn’t have been a failed scientist and ended up as an arts graduate instead. But I don’t give up that easily!
Or maybe I do. I think I’ll stick to biology which was one of my favourite subjects and the science I actually did very well in. It was that pesky chemistry and physics that did it for me. Now I know it’s because I’m numerically dyslexic, blind and plain out of love with numbers.
I digress. Back to the grand potager experiment.
First I cleared all the now useless plants. That’s the broccoli stalks, peas and over-sized and useless cabbage leaves. I was gobsmacked it filled my wheelbarrow in no time. Fabulous for my new compost though!
But don’t worry I did harvest all the bits I could eat first – tarragon for freezing, carrots, broccoli and more peas. Mmm, yum!
I’ve not yet grown much from seed this first year so my trip to the garden centre yielded a supply of mini cabbages (just the right size for two people), onions and celery. I also splashed out on some seeds – carrots, broad beans, snow peas and red onions (can you tell they had an offer on!) so I could try my hand again and get more success. Here’s what it all looks like now I’ve restocked.
It was only after the vegetable growing books came out to confirm planting distances that I learned that celery growing is not really for a novice but rather an experienced, expert and very clever gardener. Oh heck, what have I done? It looked nice and we eat a lot of celery in our house – in salads, soups and casseroles -perfect I thought. It seems I have to do all sorts of wrapping in paper, earthing up and what not. But hey, what’s the big deal – it can’t explode and make as much mess as some of my chemistry experiments.
As part of my research and education about gardening I’m an avid reader of the New Zealand Gardener magazine. They are on a vegetable growing campaign with their editor leading the way to encourage people to grow their own. She writes each month on what’s going well, or not. Imagine my horror when she said that her tomatoes had been a flop crop as she has still got mainly green tomatoes in January. Yikes, there is no hope for me.
We only got out first ripe tomato at the weekend. But it was delicious, lovely and sweet and tasted like a real tomato. That’s something I’ve not had for a long time from the supermarket run.
Never fear we’ve got lots more where that came from.
In fact I’m going to have to start looking for the perfect tomato sauce recipes as before too long we’re going to be harvesting a massive crop. With 12 tomato plants who are cropping like mad it’s going to be a bumper crop if they can only get enough sun to ripen. Can’t wait!