The garden’s coming on

It’s almost midsummer and things in the garden are fairly coming on. Particularly on a glorious day like this all the hard work is worth it.

In the polytunnel:

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First of the baby courgettes.

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The first of the bullet-like green strawberries have formed.

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The strawberries in the grow bags are a bit more advanced so hopefully they will be ready to go with Champagne and cream in time for Wimbledon…

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Self propagated raspberries – glad I didn’t pull them out as there is a lot of fruit showing on them.

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Peas – plenty of flowers on the first mini pods are forming.

Outside:

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A good crop of goosberries coming on nicely, just hoping Gooseberry sawfly leaves the bush alone this year.

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A pot full of good cuttings going on – next year’s Alaskan willow and blackcurrants.

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Kale (Shetland cabbage) and neeps.

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This is the first time we’re trying to grow Shetland cabbage but I have seen a few Cabbage Whites about today so might neet to keep an eye on these.

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Growing garlic is really easy – will post about that another time.

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The best bit – the harvesting!

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… and enjoying your crops on your plate.

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… and also getting some cut flowers.

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… and seeing the wildlife too!

 

 

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Polytunnel

I love our polytunnel. In fact it is called a solar tunnel as it is more sturdy than standard polytunnels and the plastic cover is double-layered with mesh reinforcement which is perfect for Shetland conditions. The benefit of having a solar tunnel is that it allowed us to extend the growing season by several months and if you are organised and plan well you could have a supply of greens throughout the winter. m_DSC_1698

Very pleased with the end of April pickings – delicious flat leaf parsley and juicy radishes.

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I think strawberries from the polytunnel don’t taste as nice as those grown outside but they ripen much earlier.

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End of May – peas are looking good and so is garlic. Unfortunately not much success with carrots or beetroots yet as something seems to be eating the young seedlings and I still haven’t found out what it is… Will keep trying though!

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Can’t get enough of these delicious salad leaves. A little tip – instead of growing salad from seed, which can be time consuming and not always successful, I buy ‘growing salad’ from Coop which costs approximately £1.00 and you get a huge number of young plants. After carefully separating them I plant them in a tray or straigh in the ground and after a week or two all you need to do is cut the leaves and wait for more to grow – simples!

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Someting for the eyes, the nose and the bees too… and delicious with lamb – rosemary – one of my favourite herbs. In fact I’m addicted on rosemary essential oil and I use it on my skin or to perfume the house. Just add a couple of drops in a bucket of water to wash the floors and you’ll be amazed with the result.

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Can’t wait for some delicious sweet peas! In fact I don’t think I’ll get a chance to enjoy many as my son Jan loves them and pretty much devours the lot.

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And lastly – some of today’s pickings – sage. The plan is to dry the leaves and use them in my own herbal tea blend – but more about that another time.

 

So if you have a small space in your garden I’d thoroughly recommend getting yourself a solar tunnel or even the Polycrub – the Shetland version of a polytunnel developped by Nortenergy Ltd