Monday, 29 June 2009

a mini harvest

I was feeling a bit gloomy after yesterday's realisation that I might have been the author of my own misfortune as far as the beans were concerned so I came home from work, poured myself a glass of Prosecco (in my defence, the only cold drink we had in the house ... and it was very warm) and set about tending the plants.

Part of the watering problem is about the logistics of getting to the pots inside the aviary beneath the jungle of leaves. I decided to make a watering device - not the technical term I know - for the courgettes.

Firstly cut the end off a plastic drinks bottle and remove the lid. I've used a litre bottle here (San Pellegrino dahling), but a bigger one would be better I think.

Then up-end the bottle, and push the neck into the soil near your plants. You can fill this with water easily, and they will drink as much as they need. I'm considering developing a more complex version for while I'm away at Lambfest.

I’m already using these with good effect on the tomatoes, so hopefully they’ll be just what I need. I’ve also been spraying the beans like a crazy person trying to keep them moist enough to set. It’s amazing what a girl can get up to without any distractions of an evening.

I mentioned I’d planted nasturtiums as companions to my tomatoes, sort of sacrificial plants offered up to the aphids. As it happens they’re going from strength to strength. It was a handful of these peppery leaves and a few scant French beans which went along with the first cut of spinach beets to make our first salad supper from the terrace.

I’d practically given up on the spindly spinach, but encouraged by the little tender crop above I’ve moved it out of the shade of the courgettes, and given it a pretty vigorous chop in the hope it will come back stronger. I’m slightly dubious, and feel guilty about the sullen stumps which remain, but surely they don’t call it ‘cut and come again’ for nothing ...


  1. Oh oh oh we planted nasturtiums for companion planting but I'd forgotten they could be eaten... we have lots of leaves so will think about harvesting some for a salad!

    So far all we've harvested are (quite a lot of) delicious sugarsnap peas which we've eaten raw as they're far too sweet and crunchy to waste by cooking!

    Regarding your tomatoes, can I assume you're spraying them rather than praying for them? ;) ;) ;)

  2. Praying and spraying, alternately. Thanks!

    My sister has just bought me a huge stack of peas from my father's allotment. I've got supper club tomorrow night so am just planning to put them in a big bowl and let people shell and eat them at the table. Mmmm.