Wednesday, 8 July 2009

As Requested.... Elizabeth, here is a photo of my daughter's patch. As you can see, she goes for prettiness rather than practicality. All her plants are dotted around rather than in rows. Growing on her patch she has borage, French marigolds, mini sweetcorn, beetroot, strawberries, a Gardener's Delight tomato plant which she was given at Gardener's World Live, and a pumpkin which I fear will take over her whole patch once it gets going, but who am I to stop her planting whatever she feels like? The photo was taken a couple of weeks ago so most things are further along now, and the borage is just about to flower. She wants to pick the flowers, which are edible, to freeze in ice-cubes to make her drinks pretty. I think it's really important to encourage children to have an interest in where their food comes from. It does also help them with their studies. My son had a biology exam recently in which he was asked how nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium help a plant to grow. He was able to answer this based on some of the knowledge he has gained through feeding plants.

I have planted three different types of beans at the allotment and they're all doing well. The first to be planted was dwarf French bean - Safari and these are now just starting to flower. The runner beans - Scarlet Emperor were the next to be planted and they are now reaching for the top of the wigwams. The last beans to be planted out were climbing French beans - Blue Lake, and they're putting on lots of new growth.

The first of the peas at the allotment have now been picked and they are deliciously sweet. There are lots of new pods still fattening up so there will be lots more peas to come.

The strawberries are still producing lots of fruit. I'm really pleased with how they've performed. The plants have put out lots of runners so I've dug plantpots filled with compost into the soil and pegged some of the runners down so that I can hopefully bulk up my plants for next year and get even more fruit than I have this year.

I have harvested some of my potatoes. I have planted second earlies so I really should have left them a little longer, however, I really wanted to get my leeks in the bed which have been used by the potatoes. Although there were plenty of potatoes there, they were a little small, which is understandable in the short time they've had to grow, but they're delicious all the same. Some have been eaten already, cooked with mint and covered in butter, and there are still more left. I'm really pleased because the rest of the family aren't really huge fans of new potatoes, but my daughter has taken a liking to them and can't get enough of them. I've still got one and a quarter beds left with potatoes still in, so they will be left to reach full maturity. After removing the potato plants the soil in which they have been has been transformed. I now know why people recommend planting potatoes in soil which hasn't been worked. The texture of the soil is now a lovely crumbly consistency. The leeks have now been planted in the place of the potatoes, and they look really good strong plants. It's been worth holding on a while before planting out.

As ever, the weeds are growing thick and fast, but I did manage to concentrate on getting lots of them cleared over the weekend, giving the plants more room to grow.


  1. You've been busy and you plot sounds like its right on schedule. The last two weeks I simply haven't been able to dedicate much time to my vege plot (see my last three postings) but hope to get some late sowings of french beans, mangetoute peas, carrots and beetroots in this week as well as my sowing of bulb fennel and other stuff.

    Your daughter's bed looks lovely, my older daughter had a bed last year but didn't want one this year. She still loves to come and potter with me though. Maybe both my girls will want a bed next year.

  2. AnonymousJuly 08, 2009

    I think the reason why I love gardening now is my dad encouraged me to have my own space when I was younger. He must have hated me as I had mint in a bed (he said he was digging it up for years after!) but i remeber it was time to spend just me and my dad pottering around. Nice memories too.

    Your daughters bed looks great! She'll learn this year, and change it next year....Cat x

  3. The arrangement of plants is much a personal taste. Most small time gardeners will go not only for the eventual produce or harvest, but the look that satisfy our aspiration..... I for one will try varieties.. a section for rows, a section with diagonals and circular pattern as well... Now I try to mix veggies and flowers.... haha.. to make us happy, to satisfy the hunger for FUN!!

    ~ bangchik

  4. Good to hear your daughter is enjoying her patch of garden and all her own work :)

    I plant lots of greens and flowers with a few trees in my garden. There's some herbs - curry leaves, pandan, chilly, lime grown here and there .Just planted some bitter gourd.

  5. I think you are absolutely right not to interfere with your daughter's patch, unless she asks for advice of course. One never stops learning as a gardener - that's the whole fun of it in my book. I would encourage her to keep a gardening diary though - perhaps a scrap book with photos, pressed flowers, seed packets etc if she's into that sort of thing?


  6. I hope you've found a little more time for your gardening this week, Kella. It can get so busy at this time of year with it being the end of the school year.

    It's lovely to be able to look back and see where your interest in gardening originated from, Cat. My grandpa was a keen on 'grow your own', and he had an allotment, but this was before I was born. When I came along he grew everything in his garden, and I had my own little patch.

    Gardening is meant to be fun, Bangchik. I want my daughter to have fun too, and this is why she is able to do whatever she wants with her own little plot.

    Thanks for visiting, Keats. It's nice to have a variety of plants in your garden, isn't it? Most people will just grow veggies on their allotment, but I've also planted flowers as they look nice as well as attracting beneficial insects.

    My daughter loves keeping scrap books, Georgie, although she hasn't started a gardening one. I think that's a really good idea. I bought her a flower press for Christmas, so I will suggest this to her.


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