Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Pepper pots vs growbags

Well it seems like a life time since I first sowed our first ever Pepper seeds, and ages since I planted them out in growbags in the polytunnel.

I have watched them settle in and flower, then as time went on the fruit started to set.

With the help of the couple of frogs visiting the tunnel I have managed to keep the slugs at bay, the only pests attempting to get at the plants.

But the plants in the growbags never grew well, unlike the ones I potted up in the 2 litre pots!

I dont think we will grow Peppers next year, ya win some, ya lose some.

I was thinking the same for our Courgette plants, I planted 4 of them out, (I thought 4 Courgette plants would be enough to feed us) and they were attacked by slugs and all 4 died.

But I had another 3 plants on stand-by in pots,(am brutal for throwing stuff out) and when I got space in the polytunnel I decided to stick them in there, less slugs.....

But up until today all the flowers have been male, and no sign of a female flower or baby courgette!
So I'm celebrating the first baby courgette of the year for us! Just hope the bloody slugs keep away from it now!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Monty said to do it, so I did!

I dont know about everyone else but I find it sooo hard to throw away plants, or to thin out veg, or strip the leaves off beautiful leafy Tomato plants!
I just hate killing off anything, even though I do know it is a necessary evil.
I watched Gardeners World on Fri and Monty said it was time to strip the leaves off all the Tomato plants, letting the plant redirect all its energy into the fruit.

And after:

With the leaves cut away (and thrown on the compost heap) I have a great view of all our juicy ripening Tomatos! (& our Marigolds)

Time to pick a few for supper; I put them in my T-shirt, reminding me of when I was a child and being sent out for fresh eggs and the only thing we had to carry them back into the house with was our T-shirts.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Storing our fruit..yum yum

Well at the beginning of the year we never thought we would have so much fruit, and not have anything to do with the growing of it!

In spring we didnt even know we had a Plum tree, and only realised we had Damson trees growing in our ditch when the fruit started appearing, much to our delight!!

So the past couple of weeks have been spent making Plum jam, trying out Plum vodka and then this week I harvested the Damsons.....with help

The trees are laden down

But unfortunately most of the fruit are too high up for us to reach, even with the ladder, so we'll have to be content with 2 kg of 'em

But we dont mind really, I managed to get 11 pots of jam from them...yummy

As for the never ending fruit from the Plum tree I harvested the last of the fruit the other day, before the wind or the wasps got them. The tree gave us nearly 18 kg of fruit!  So apart from loads of jam I tried to make some Plum Compote but decided to blitz it instead and make a coulis. After trying some on ice-cream I spooned the remainder into ice cube trays to freeze

Then bagged them for use whenever we feel like some..

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Its September already!

I cant believe how fast the last few weeks have gone, whats that all about?

I feel like we havent had a break, but I blame the fact we are getting an extension put onto the house for that. We have kinda been tied to the house for most of the summer.

The kids are gone back to school today and now its time to start looking towards the winter, and start storing what veg we have left.

We have to decide how we are going to store the spuds we have yet to harvest, (we have loads of British Queens still in the ground) and get them before the slugs do!!

The onions we planted late have started to fall over, and look nice and big:
The hail last wk damaged them a bit
We will have to take them out too in a week or so.
We're still learning, so everything has to be fully researched first before we go ahead and do it.

The parsnips are gonna be left in the ground for the forseeable future, and we have already started eating the turnips, and will probably leave them in the ground too for another while.

Our greatest harvest this year has been Plums and we didnt even plant the tree! have over 10kg so far..

and loads of jam made...

With Xmas presents sorted I had to find another way of using all those Plums...Last year we tried making Sloe gin for the first time and it turned out great (still have some left over). So found a recipe for Plum Vodka....
Plums, sugar, just add vodka

All shook up!
It should be ready for Christmas!