Friday, 19 October 2007

First frost this morning

That means the tomatoes that are still in their very green stage probably won't be lasting much longer outside. What a shame, there are so many of them it's a sin to see them go to waste. I came across a recipe in one of the Sunday mags for fried green tomatoes with something or other - wish I'd kept it now. Will trawl the internet with cooking inspiration!

Peppers aren't liking the lack of warmth either. I have about two that are doing well and growing quickly and remain consistently green, the others are either dropping off like flies (mouldy) or their growth has completely stopped.

First batch of the carrots have been completely pulled now - we finished them last Sunday for lunch with my parents who came for a visit. The other tub is more-or-less ready for digging into now.

Ben and I had a nose around the garden centre earlier this week and picked up a couple of packets of veggie seeds + a freebie thrown in. We also bought some onion sets - a bargain at 90p from Wilkinsons! One of the packs is for spring onions that can be sown over winter, so we've set half of those in the big tub that had the first batch of carrots and placed it in direct sunlight (as suggested). We're also growing a couple of spring onion ends reserved from cooking a chinese the other day! They're on the kitchen windowsill and growing great guns! Katie has planted a couple of Bramley apple pips, a plum stone and left over pepper seeds (again from cooking) - but nothing has materialised from them yet.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Tomato tip

My tomotoes are finally turning to red (well, they are at the orange stage at the moment), but during our high winds a few of the heavy vines broke away from their main stalks so I took them in to ripen on the warm, sunny windowsill of the conservatory kitchen. However, I found this didn't seem to do the trick, but I've since read an excellent tip that does work.

We all know how bad bananas are for over-ripening other fruits in the fruit bowl, well by placing green tomatoes next to the bananas they ripen ultra quick!

8th October 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Everything's doing well. With all the rain we've had recently and now the return of warmer weather the lettuces have had a growth spurt.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Pumpkin came away from it's stork so it's now being stored in the coolest room, the lobby, waiting for Halloween. It's really heavy, much bigger than our last home grown one, and has quickly turned a beautiful Autumn orange.

Monday, 1 October 2007

A battle against the wind

We've had some cold and very windy weather this last week. The poor tomatoes are so laden with fruit (which are taking far too long to turn red) and therefore so heavy that I needed to, once again, tie them up as best I could to stop the wind pushing them all over. They are on a section of earth that catches the gusts of wind as it hits the side of the conservatory - I won't plant anything tall there again! The problem now is that the fruits are mainly at the bottom of the plants and the vines are trailing in the earth which is rather wet and obviously a haven for tomato munching insects and plain old rot. I've trussed them up and off the ground for now.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The wet weather, however, has done wonders for the lettuce which are blooming nicely and the pumpkin which has stopped growing, I believe, and is now turning a wonderful autumn orange.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Peppers continue to grow longer and a tiny bit fatter. Having not grown these before, and having purchased these as tiny plants from a local grower, I don't know how big they are supposed to get. I've had to pull off a few that have gone bad so I guess I'll just have to watch and see.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
We continue to pull our first lot of carrots. As we thin them out this way, the remaining carrots are having a chance to grow much bigger in the soil. They are a joy to eat, and we're all pretty proud of them. I'll probably continue to grow our carrots in pots from now on. The ones sown in the ground have not done at all well - we still only have two small bundles of carrot leaves!

These cold evenings (most of which I've spent in front of the open fire) have been great for browsing the seed catalogues and reading much needed growing tips in some of the veggie books I have. The best one I can recommend so far was given to me by my b-i-l and s-i-l; "Grow your own Veg" by Carol Klein - easy to follow and nicely written. So, I'm planning on getting some onion sets to sow over winter - I'll let you know how I get on.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket