May kitchen garden update

Penny Golightly kitchen garden update May 2017

Time for a quick update from the kitchen garden. It’s a busy time of year for allotments and other grow your own adventures, and we’re enjoying a mini heatwave at the moment too so the garden’s doing pretty well.

All my latest sowing of herbs have done well (picture above), so they’ve been thrown into a few salads, sauces and egg dishes to make them more interesting. Last year’s chilli pepper has revived as well, so we’ve been having fresh chillis from the Apache plant here and there too, especially in Tex-Mex food and in stir-fries.

One success story is that I’ve managed to grow a couple of cucamelon seedlings from last year’s saved seed. The year before I got none and research showed that the seeds need to be fermented before drying and storage, so that’s where I was going wrong originally.

I have some climbing and dwarf bean seedlings doing pretty well, and one or two broccoli hybrid plants getting going too, plus some baby leaf salad and rocket.

The plants we already have growing from last year are mostly looking healthy, although the Cambridge Favourite strawberries look like they’re on the way out. We already have fruits on the alpine strawberries, and have had a couple of servings from the Champagne rhubarb plant. The raspberries and the cherry tree look set to give us a good season too.

All my tomato seeds germinated, and it looks like we’ll have a few cucumbers and tomatillos as well. However, the courgettes and squashes have given us mostly no-shows and failed to germinate. I’ve re-sown a few and hope they’ll be able to catch up in the good weather, although I ran out of some types of seed.

This year I’m growing Summer Ball squashes for the first time so that’s a bit of an experiment. They’re allegedly a round yellow courgette in June and July but you can grow some on to make pumpkins – will believe that if and when I see it, but I hope they’ll do better than the almost useless dwarf butternut squashes we had last year. Those were pretty much a waste of compost, making only three mid-sized fruits between two plants, so I won’t be growing those again in a hurry (it’s cheaper to buy them from Aldi or Lidl when you take into account the price of the seeds and the compost etc).

It looks like we won’t be getting a frost now, so hopefully at the weekend I’ll be able to plant out all of those seedlings. They’ve been hardening off outdoors during the day for a week or so, and I think they’ll be fine to be placed into their final growing spots for the Summer season.

 

Do you have a kitchen garden or an allotment? What are you growing this season?

 

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