It’s too darn hot…

I’m aware I continue to be a bad blogger, I have every intention of writing posts, take the photos ready, but time just seems to be slipping away and they never get written.

I am loving the Crimson Flower broad beans, I might have to grow a red pea next year as well.

I have been out in the garden loads, mostly sweating and forcing my children into slave style labour dealing with the mammoth task of hand watering the vegetable patch (the boys love it, obviously, any excuse to get themselves covered in water ‘by accident’).  It really is a chore and I’m not enjoying it.  I hear a break in the weather is due with some cooler temperatures and even some possible rain.  I am wishing for a nice dry few days for everyone’s Jubilee celebrations, but I wouldn’t mind some rain before then.

The Alpine strawberries that line my raised beds don’t seem to mind the lack of water.

I have just been looking at my month-by-month planting lists, I run these lists over from year to year, it keeps me on track and lets me know what I’ve missed.  So far it looks like this:

February

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Chillies
  • Aubergines
  • Broad Beans
  • Carrots
  • Beetroot
  • Shallots
  • Potatoes (start chitting)
From the above list, I am missing the beetroot and carrots, which refused to germinate, I think due to my intermittent watering and the odd early temperatures.  The aubergines are there but they aren’t much above seedling stage.

March

  • Cucumbers
  • Courgettes
  • Spring Onions
  • Spinach
  • Parsnips
  • Peas
  • Lettuce
  • Radish
  • Turnip
  • Beetroot
  • Pak Choi
  • Herbs
I am missing loads from this list: parsnips, radish, turnip, beetroot and pak choi have not germinated, again due to lack of attention, or where they did germinate they were eaten by slugs when still only tiny.  What a bad gardener 😉

April

  • Melons
  • Squash
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • French Beans
  • Barlotto Beans
  • Carrots (2nd sowing)
  • Sweetcorn
  • Salad (2nd sowing)
  • Herbs (any not already planted)

Again, I’m missing quite a few: melons, chard, kale, broccoli, french beans, barlotto beans, carrots and from all my sweetcorn only 7 are growing, probably not enough to wind pollinate the cobs.  Oh dear.

I still have time to catch up on a few of the missing things, others I will leave until the cooler temperatures of late summer now.  I have pretty much decided with the hose pipe ban in place, there is no point trying to be too ambitious, I would rather have a few good crops then loads that haven’t grown well.

On a slightly separate note, another reason I haven’t been blogging much is a mixture of tiredness and illness, we haven’t had much of a break around here.  I am fighting off a cold at the moment but managed a rare food shop today (I normally relay in fabulous Ocado to deliver) and am treating myself to some trout fillets for tea.  As M eats at work and the boys much earlier than me, I often don’t cook a big evening meal but I do eat a lot of fish, I made a quick cucumber salad to go on the side, as I had a craving for it.

I’ve mentioned a variant of this recipe before but this is slightly more like the Wagamama cucumber dressing which we also eat a lot, only made my way.  It’s a simple mix of equal quantities of water, rice vinegar with half the measurement of sugar (so today I have 60ml vinegar, 60 ml water and 30g sugar), heated with a couple of slices of fresh ginger and a crushed clove of garlic.  You then allow the mixture to cool and strain it over thinly sliced cucumbers and leave in the fridge for at least an hour.  I’ve added mint, coriander and a sliced spring onion, you can also add some chillies.  In the Wagamama version you make a much larger quantity and grate the cucumber into it then use this as a dressing, storing it in the fridge for up to a week, it’s delicious with salmon and some raw style vegetable salad.

Typical, having spent an hour today lugging water back and forth, it looks like there is a very slim change of rain tonight (it isn’t forecast but it’s starting to look very dark out there).  Oh well, at least my arms have had a work out 🙂

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “It’s too darn hot…

  1. It is an odd year so far, we have had some very hit-and-miss germination too. No sign of several sowings of carrots, a few beetroot seedlings are slowly struggling up, many of our beans are missing, the parsnips are slower than usual (though finally emerging) and some rows of salad leaves, spinach etc are playing entirely dead.
    I love the sound of your cucumber salad, I could tuck into that now! Although perhaps it is a little early… S x

    • I’m glad it’s not just me then, I have never struggled so hard to get carrots to germinate, I must have sown hundreds of seeds by now and none have taken (and they are different varieties so it can’t be that my seed is just old). Oh well, maybe with the rain over coming days some will grow. I hope you get a late result from yours. Bx

  2. I am curious about the structure behind the broad beans.Is it a cold frame?
    (are broad beans a lot more popular in England than in the States?
    here barely anyone grows them.)

    Great post as usual ! Hope you will do a update on the cutting patch next 🙂 And hope it rains soon. — Lillian

    • Hi Lillian. Behind my beans is a collapsable carrot fly net, it’s something I’ve been meaning to mention on the blog as I really think they are great (I bought 2 and they are very easy to store and put up/move etc). I think broad beans aren’t all that popular here, they are an ‘old fashioned’ kind of veg that lots of people think they don’t like (childhood memories of them being overcooked, I think), but with so many chefs writing cook/veg growing books – Sarah Raven & Jamie Oliver – they are making a come back, as they are lovely eaten raw in salads etc.

      My poor cutting patch is shamefully non-existant at the moment! I have planted seed so I’ll blog about it soon. Beth 🙂

      • I grew up in Taiwan eating a lot of broad beans, strangely only as a processed snack, deep fried with seasoning, kind of like potato chips. Now I wonder why nobody ate any fresh ones. I guess if I want to know what fresh ones taste like I have to grow it myself. Did you sow the seeds in the fall or Spring? They seem to be of very good size already.

        I’m intrigued by the carrot fly net, (though never heard of carrot fly). Looks like it could serve as temporary protection for my germinating bush and pole beans, as most of them were devoured by critters.

      • We also have the the snack fried ones here in the UK, my husband loves those! I do think broad beans are more popular these days, we keep bags of bought frozen ones in the freezer, they are ‘baby broad beans’ so are tiny but tasty and you just boil/stem them for a couple of minutes and eat with a bit of butter and mint – even my boys will eat those.

        I planted these ones in early spring (March) indoors then put them outside but protected by a cloche until the weather warmed up. In the past, I have autumn/fall planted the ‘aquadulce’ variety and kept it in the unheated greenhouse over the very cold weather, but it has grown a little badly so I favour Spring planting now. I’ll post about the carrot fly nets soon, as they are great!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s