Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Get Picking!

Well, it's that time of year when I need to start to harvest the remainder of my summer veg so I spent the weekend picking runner beans (tonnes of them!); broad beans (only a few rogue ones that I'd missed were left) and courgettes (still have a few left on the plants.  And I pulled up my lettuce which had bolted.  I was rather impressed with my harvest - although it's a bit on the green side. 

I've made runner bean relish (recipe to follow) and am about to make a summer veg soup from the rest - will keep you posted.

So, for the first time ever (drum roll) I'm attempting to grow veg over the winter.  Having never done this before - and not really being entirely sure what will grow - I'm cautiously optimistic.  Optimistic because I've had huge amounts of success with my raised beds, cautious because I don't really know what I'm doing!

Anyway, I planted out some leeks and a few (well, 3) brussel sprout plants all of which were generously donated by my Mum from her garden.  I did have 6 sprouts but 3 of them died and I actually have loads and loads of leeks left over but nowhere to put them.  They (the leeks) were remarkably easy to plant.  You just make a biggish hole for them (about the size of a tent pole - which is what I used! - and deep enough to fit all the roots into and then leave them.  Don't pack the earth around them like you'd normally do, just plonk them in the hole!  I was a bit concerned that the wind around here (we're on the top of a hill) would blow them away but, after I'd watered them in they seemed fairly well anchored and still look like they might stay.  I also gave them a wee haircut - apparently, you're supposed to take about 3cms off the top after they're planted.  So I did.

They do look a wee bit like blades of grass, as you can see, but I'm trying to be hopeful (the rogue plant in the middle is one of my sprouts - I'm not really planting aesthetically, I know!!)Suspect I may have left them a bit late in the season but here's hoping.  After all, it's Scotland and they're leeks and, given that my home town has a leek named after it, I'm guessing that it's good leek growing conditions around here.  Time will tell.

So, next weekend, I suspect it will be the turn of the beetroot to come up as it's starting to get a bit cold and I don't think you can over winter them.  I love beetroot but if anyone has any really good beetroot recipes, let me know.

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