Friday, 3 September 2010

I promise....

....we haven't forgotten about you all out there. Things have been p-r-e-t-t-y busy for both me and Rachel lately. Rachel, as its been the summer holidays for her two boys and me for all reasons linked to my little area of craftiness.

We have a list of topics that we will be writing about soon so I hope you're hanging in there.

Something that I tried this year that I haven't before was venturing out to the garden centres to pick up some vegetable plants. A) to save some money and B) the fact that I would def not be spraying all sorts of horrible things on them.

We bought tomatoes, peppers, strawberries and lots of herbs. I thought I'd start out quite small as I'm not the most green fingered person it has to be said. The tomatoes have grown in droves which is great because I LOVE cherry tomatoes as so did the strawberries which have all gone now for this year but they certainly were tasty. The pepper plant sadly I have to say was not a success.....we'll there was bound to be a casualty. I have come to the conclusion that the snails ate it as I never caught them at the crime. They started with the one and only pepper then finished off all the leaves too. If it survives I will be taking it into the house to see how it grows.

Normally our garden is kept quite neat and tidy but due to lack of time of late it has become quite overgrown and 'natural' ;) which has been great as we've had lots of birds visiting, happily munching on the stale bread and bird feeders that we've put up. The hedgehogs are back again, much to my delight, the second the security light pops on in the back garden I know shes there. We even have a birds nest in the tree at the bottom of the garden which I stumbled upon whilst picking blackberries. I was quite surprised how big the blackberry bush had grown at the bottom of the garden, in past years I've kept cutting it right back to keep it tidy but this year I've let it grow. I have picked so many tubs this year, I've frozen some and given lots away to friends and family. And I nearly fell over when I saw in Tesco's they were selling them for £3 a punnet and not a very big one at that!!

Next year I'd love to try growing my own potatoes in bags there are lots of places that sell these and some great tutorials on Youtube.

Do you grow your own veg or do you have any tips or advice for anyone wanting to try it? I'm still a novice at it all and would love to know how you keep those pesky snails at bay. We'd love to hear what you've been up to this summer.....and any 'green' activities you've been keeping up.


Tilly said...

Hi there, we grew various veg this year for the first time. Our back garden doesnt get a huge amount of sun so all the veg is in pots and growbags in the bit of the garden with the most light. My cucumbers are doing really well in a growbag. I haven't staked them so they are just rambling around the garden. My pumpkins and squash only produced one fruit per plant and my Dad said it was because they needed more food. The carrots did very well along with radish and beetroot. The strawberries have been a bit hit and miss. I have 8 plants in one of those strawberry pots and I think they feel a bit crowded. My tomatoes are still green - think I raised them too late in the season - everything except the strawberries has been raised from seed. Best advice I can give re slugs/snails - my lettuces kept getting eaten until I planted them in individual pots and put the pots on top of the guinea pig hutch. The critters obviously don't like the roofing felt as there's not a single munchy hole in any of the lettuces!
There are a couple of posts with photo's on my blog.

Pink Feather Paradise said...

I was given 4 tomato plants by my mum and I was dubious of my capabilities but they have grown well and I will be growing them again next year... to be honest I won't be growing strawberries and soft fruits next year as a pick your own fruit place has opened 3 villages over from us so I will be visiting them... I grew cut and come again lettuce... but as it turned out I was the only one eating it... and I have tried a few herbs and I had one corgette plant... which was very sucessful and I will definitely be growing next year and more of them... I do want to grow Pumpkins and squash, beans, sweetpeas (flowers for cutting), bell peppers, chillies, rhubarb and I quite fancy a gooseberry bush.... our small stretch of garden already has 2 apple trees and a victoria plum tree... I am also almost ready to get my chickens... I just need to sort out a winter run that is partially covered so that they are all snug over the cold months...

x Alex

clarabelle said...

When we moved into this new house, there was a large greenhouse already here. Hubby took a while to clean it all up and put it on a new base etc. So this year was our first year "growing our own" too. We grew tomatoes, cherry and great big ones, but I have to say the big ones tasted the best. I have just made a large batch of pasta sauce and it is delish. We also grew green beans (the best I have ever tasted), peppers (mine also failed), chilli's (mild success) strawberries, raspberries (just coming) and lots of herbs. We also have a few months with cut and come again lettuce (yummy). Will definitely be doing it again next year - although I wouldn't do peppers again, but want to do cucumbers and more beans.

Country Girl said...

Top tip for keeping slugs and snails away - get some hens!

ginny said...

hello there,
i am so pleased you enjoyed growing some of your food this year. we grow a lot here and since my husband joined me 3 yrs ago, even more! we grow potatoes in sacks/tubs and they have been great . interational kidney and cara were this yrs varieties and the first was especially delicious. our 2 new blueberry plants have also been very productive. i have also just joined a local food initiative ran like the american CSA farms. i am so excited about this and the prospect of local food.
Other green activities inculde some recycled fabric and paper mache workshops which have been great fun.
Happy september to you x
ginny x

Serenata said...

I've enjoyed growing our own vegetables this year and have had quite good crops including green peppers!:-D The tomatoes are still green though and the caterpillars got my cabbages. The beans didn't amount to much either, I think the bad weather killed them off. I'm still waiting for my green/glass house to be built...perhaps in time for next year?!

Scented Sweetpeas said...

Try companion planting, not only does it work but it makes your veggie patch look lovely too :-)