The big tomato

Our tomatoes have been the star of our summer garden. Of all the varieties we planted this year, the oxhearts have been outstanding. This afternoon we picked this wopper, weighing in at 485 grams or roughly 1 pound in the old money.

Winter garden

 In the cold foggy light of a winter’s morning the back garden certainly seems rather forlorn and bedraggled.

Backjune

The beds have been cleared and the pile of dirt in the background is where we have been harvesting our water chestnuts, a very unpleasant wet and cold task which has yet to be fully completed. A few fennel bulbs survive in the bed where the beans were growing in late summer. Our two best clumps of asparagus (foreground) have been cut back to stumps.

Backjune2

However just nearby is our herb bed (the semicircle in front) with some lettuces growing away and just behind that a sea of you garlic in protective milk carton collars. Behind the garlic are some rows of baby bok choy which came from our friend M. Further back is our still productive carrot bed. To the left again are some snow peas that are still producing the odd pod.

Miniturnips

In front of the snow peas are some Mini White Turnips, which certainly don’t seem to mind the cold.

Out the front the legumes are leading the way.

Peasjunefront

The Purple Podded Peas I planted in the last days of April are now coming up well and hopefully will produce a great spring crop. The Welsh Bunching onions, behind them, are from last summer and are starting to run to flower. They are great in that rather than pulling them out completely, you can cut them off at the base and they will re-shoot.

Frontjunebroadbeans

The broad beans I planted at the same time as the peas are also up and growing, in front of them is very reluctant crop of mini cabbages which I don’t think will go anywhere. The red plants are chicory and more Mini White Turnips are planted next to them.

Enough computer work. I’m off to don some woolly socks and head out to deal with the remaining water chestnuts!

A tale of two squash

There is just no telling what plants will and will not grow and thrive in your garden. Take these two squash plants.

Twosquash

Both were grown from the same batch of seeds, planted at the same time, in the same seedling mix and transplanted into the garden bed on the same day. Who knows why this happens? The one on the left is constantly under attack by snails and slugs and the other one has suffered no where near the same amount of damage.

BIG OOPS hereWe have subsequently found out that the fruit shown below are NOT ‘Wrinkled from friuli’  as I had thought, but some odd ‘changeling’ squash which has originated from heavens knows where

 Out in the back garden, in yet another bed, plants from the same batch of seedlings are galloping away, as only squash can.

Zuc2

We’ve already started picking the fruit of these plants. These fruits are very young and we’ve been treating them like young zucchini.

Zuc3

The real ‘Wrinkled from Friuli’ (Zuchetta rugosa friulana) seed can be purchased from the Italian Gardener. It looks just like this, just like the packet said it would.

Wrinkled_from_friuli