Squash and Pumpkin, the conclusion 2010…

To recap, I planted the following squash at the end of March, indoors:

  • Turk’s Turban
  • Butternut Harrier F1
  • Sweet Dumpling
  • Buttercup
  • Crown Prince
  • Gem/Rolet
  • Mariana di Chioggia
  • Dill’s Atlantic Giant

I remember having difficulty getting some of the seeds to germinate, only to find many did after I had given up and tossed the soil into the raised beds, so I grew quite a few mystery seeds in place of some of the planned list.

And so, this is what we ended up with.  Not quite as impressive as 2009, but not awful by any means.

From left to right we have:

Crown Prince x 3

(back row)

Buttercup x 1

Dills Atlantic ‘no so’ Giant x 1 (room for much improvement here)

Mariana di Chioggia x 1 (where are the warts? I was promised warts!)

Middle Row

Turk’s Turban x 2

Rolet/Gem x 3 – pathetic,  last year we had about 20 from the one plant.

They have been drying for some weeks in the greehouse and have now come indoors to decorate the hallway and wait to be eaten.  Last year they stored amazingly well this way so I look forward to many squash ‘pizza‘ and maybe a cake or two.

I have to say my favourite is the Turks Turban, I love it’s colours and it looks very pretty decorating the hallway and it’s much improved on last years comedy mini squash 😉

Autumn planting…

Still behind in getting my posts published, but better late than never:)

Written a few weeks ago:

For the first time in a while, I spent most of yesterday afternoon working in the garden; it’s a little later than it should be for the Autumn planting but as we are lucky with the weather here in the South and we are still due some sun I figured it was now or never.

I’ve decided to make use the large buckets that I grew my squash in, they have been topped up with fresh soil and lots of added feed and seed has been sown for:

Spring Onions ‘North Holland Blood Red’

Spinach ‘Bordeaux’

Carrots ‘Sytan’

Turnip ‘Blanc De Croissy’

In the raised beds I have started:

Radish ‘Sparkler’ & ‘Cherry Bell’

Chard ‘White Silver’

Pak Choi ‘Joi Choi’

and finally a bed of mixed salad leaves (I simply scattered a few of each variety that are Winter hardy).

Everything can easily be cloched if needed , for some of the above, it’s already quite late to be planting them and there are others that should really have gone in during August such as Kohl Rabi, which I may still attempt.  I also have to decide whether to replace the Kale with new plants as the existing has been growing throughout Summer.  For now though, I need to try to get everything tidied and put away and I will concentrate on making sure all the above are kept watered and given the best chance to germinate.

By the way, the garden has lots of bright flowers at the moment, although they are getting a little scrappy there is still plenty to pick for a quick posy for the kitchen.

Blackberry Jam…

If there’s a prize for inconsistent blogging, then surely it’s mine!  I wrote the below post back in August while we were on our holidays, I had planned to add the recipe but never actually got around to it – sorry 🙂  As an update, any further blackberries (and there have been 2 more picking batches) have been cleaned and frozen for use in pies over Winter.

We are on our holidays at the moment, visiting all my family in Yorkshire, but before we came here I had a mad panic to use up as much of the garden as I could (I’ve put everything outside and I’m hoping some things will survive, with the help of some rain and if needed a very generous neighbour).

Quite a few Blackberries were ready from the thornless blackberry planted a couple of years ago, so I decided to make them into Blackberry and Apple jam as per the recipe in this months Country Living.

I altered the recipe a bit (as you do) by changing the amounts and used jam with added pectin so I didn’t have to boil all the life out of it.

I was careful with the washing, I have lost a lot of my squeamish ways over the years, but there would have been a lot of added protein had I not picked them over well.

So, another few jars to add to the Winter store and I imagine they will make great jam tarts for the boys.

I am quite excited about the next stage of the garden, it will soon be time to get the Winter crops on the go and pull up a lot of the Summer ones, I rather like this moment in the same way I enjoy changing my wardrobe back to woolens and tweed.  Lets hope a few vegetables have survived so we can enjoy what’s left of the Summer crops.

Figs…

I felt so guilty writing the last post that I just dashed out into the garden between rain showers and discovered these

I tend to forget about the Fig (I believe the variety is ‘Brown Turkey‘) which I planted to fan train on the back fence of the vegetable patch.  Last year the birds took the few ripe fruit but it appears we have quite a lot more this time and the above are ready.  That will be a nice treat for the boys later, with some honey and yoghurt, yummy 🙂

Peppers and Aubergines…

I can’t believe I totally missed both peppers and aubergines off the list in my last post whilst mentioning things that are still cropping (I also can’t believe it’s taken me so long to actually finish writing this, sorry).  We came back to a mass of both

I see from my notebook that I planted:

Topepo Rossa

Sweet Mini

Worldbeater

Back in February and they have done very well and have most definitely earned a place on next years list.  They were started in the house, then planted up in pots in the greenhouse.  I pinched out the tips so as to get more peppers per plant and they have still turned out a good size (I read in one article that you shouldn’t pinch out the tips or you get very small peppers, other growers suggest you do).

The aubergines:

Turkish Orange

Violetta Firenze

have also done well, and were again started back in February and mostly grown in the greenhouse, although I potted them up outdoors for their final growing stint and they have still ripened well.

With so many ripe peppers, I added them to my last batch of tomato puree.  I simply roasted them on a high heat (after removing any seeds and white bitter parts) and then popped them in a bowl with cling film over for a few minutes, after which I removed the skins and sliced them to add to my puree directly before freezing.  The rest are being eaten in salads and by the boys who love to much on raw red pepper.

As for the poor garden, I have been so busy sewing that it’s been a bit neglected, but I am planning my next phase of planting and ordering a few bits and pieces (more on that in the next post) so hopefully I’ll be getting my hands mucky over the next few weeks 🙂