Veg review…

It’s time to start thinking about what did well in the veg garden this year and what didn’t… It’s not been a bad year, considering that we didn’t have much time to devote to actually growing things. The biggest failure was our Cherokee Trail of Tears pole beans – they did really well for us in 2010, but this year all the plants died after reaching around 6 feet  – I think it was a wilt, judging by the way they went. Fortunately, we’ve done well out of the plants I put into my mother-in-law’s garden. The Borlotti beans (Barlotta Lingua di Fuoco), on the other hand, have done fine. Isn’t the colour gorgeous?

Borlotti beans - Barlotta Lingua di Fuoco
We’ve been enjoying these fresh, in soup made with home grown tomatoes and home made pesto (oh the smuggery!) stirred through it – delicious.

The cucumbers (Wautoma) have been good – but I put them in far too late, and they haven’t had time to do much. In the time they’ve had they’ve been prolific, so I will definitely plant this variety again this year, and I will get them started and into the ground a lot quicker.

Wautoma cucumbers

We’ve made the lovely sweet cucumber pickle recipe from the River Cottage Preserving book with all the cucumbers we’ve had so far – it’s basically cucumbers and onions marinated in a vinegar syrup, and it’s very good, especially with smoked fish (my favourite).

Our courgettes (Verde di Milano dark green dwarf bush)  have been ok, but not brilliant – I wondered if they suffered a bit from the dry/wet/dry/wet weather we’ve had over the autumn. The beetroot was successful, but annoyingly, I have no idea what variety I grew because I’ve lost the packet.. The greens have been very good too, which is fantastic because Sandy and I eat masses. I’ve enjoyed the Turnip Greens (Rapa Senza Testa), although they’ve got a bit holey now – and are slightly suffering with mildew. The Sutherland kale and our sorrel patch are both looking good and I have high hopes of them coming through the winter.

The really big success has been the tomatoes – I’ve completely lost track of the amount we’ve picked now, but I know I haven’t bought any tinned tomatoes, passata or fresh tomatoes since mid-July. Here’s our Gardener’s Delight crop today, after I finished stripping off the foliage so that the fruit will get the maximum sun (I hope) to ripen over the next few weeks.

Gardener's Delight tomatoes

Our Amish Paste, after a slow start, have done very well. I am always amazed at how luxuriant they are – they keep on throwing out new shoots as fast as you can chop them off. Look at this giant specimen:
Amish Paste tomatoes
To give you an idea of the size of the enormous tomato on the left, the ones on the right are the size of a standard supermarket vine tomato… I have been fretting about it dropping off before it ripened, but it’s going to make it I think..! Looking forward to weighing it.. I’ll be entering competitions next..

Hope you are enjoying your weekend – I’m looking forward to our first pints from Sandy’s latest homebrew this evening. After all the gardening today, I feel like I’ve earned it!

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4 thoughts on “Veg review…

  1. So jealous about your tomatoes because mine were a complete failure this year. Probably didn’t help that we were away so much this summer they didn’t get much pampering. Next week they are predicting the last shot of summer weather so you should get a lot more ripened!

    1. I hope so Susan because I’m not much of a fan of green tomato chutney! If you grow lots of tomatoes but (like me!) find all that watering a real pain then I really recommend an autopot system – we’ve used one for a couple of years now and it makes such a difference – you can leave your tomatoes to look after themselves for up to 2 weeks at a time. It’s great not to have to ask someone to come and water them twice a day when we are on holiday!

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