Hello again. Today I wanted to update you all on what I’ve been getting up to in The Edible Garden.
First things first, I planted out (finally, phew) a hops plant Mr Meadow and I picked up some weeks ago (okay, I’m fibbing, it’s more like months ago I think) next to the strawberry tower in The Edible Garden. If you are curious about the strawberry tower, you can read about it here, and for reference, this is the area I am talking about behind the fruit and veg beds. You can see the so called ‘Strawberry tower’ in the shelf system on the fence panel:
I plan to train the hops along the strawberry shelving and then up onto the trellis fence extenders one of our neighbours installed earlier this year. We are hoping to be able to harvest the hops to try our hand at homemade beer! It still has lots of growing to do first though.
As a side note, I need to add that I am not overly happy with the way the strawberry tower has turned out. I am not about to tear it down, but I think it needs some tweaks here and there. Firstly, in dry weather, it is drying up far too quickly, so it is requiring too much maintenance for me (baskets and pots have always been tricky for me for this reason due to a lack of time). Secondly, the harvest from the strawberries this year was mediocre to say the least. Has anyone else found this for their strawberries? I am thinking it is perhaps more to do with the water issue (see first point). I have decided I will tackle this issue by adding some water retaining gel crystals into the compost and also add in additional strawberry plants (propagated via the runners – of which there are plenty, naturally!) which should offer the compost some shading from the baking sunshine.
Anyway, I also planted out some carrots and parsnips that I sowed from seed (don’t ask me when, but let’s just say this year). These babies had been sat in the greenhouse for some time and I was amazed to find teeny tiny carrots and parsnips when I came to planting them outdoors! I have never grown these vegetables before so I found it so amazing that they had grown these already despite being so young:
In other news, I also decided to take out one of the courgette plants in the veg bed because it was taking up too much space which I wanted for other plants. As is also often the case, we already had a steady supply of courgettes to eat, so we definitely didn’t need more! One courgette plant is more than enough for us both.
Moving on to the fruit bed, I harvested some blackcurrants the other week which was the first time I’ve harvested from this plant! It was a reasonable harvest and I have frozen the blackcurrants to save them for use in cooking like in fruit crumbles:
I did however find that some bunches of the fruits had seemingly been attacked by some sort of pest. Obviously a tiny caterpillar is currently climbing over them in the photo below, but does anyone know if that would cause what is pictured below? Some currants had shrivelled up and some had a slight white mould on them – I obviously just disposed of these and kept the rest:
On another note, I plan on moving the blackcurrant bush forward in the bed once it goes dormant over the Autumn/Winter because it is too close to my raspberries and I want to give both plants more space. This will certainly help keep both plants healthier anyhow.
I’m also disheartened about the fruit bed, because my Rhubarb ‘Victoria died a death when I planted it out there and I don’t know why! I have heard that rhubarb do not like disturbance, but I am very familiar with planting out plants so I find it very strange. I am hoping it re-emerges next year as I’d love a little rhubarb patch. For now I have utilised the space offered by the disappearing rhubarb to house some rudbeckia that were being swamped by other plants in The Honeysuckle Garden and I am quite enjoying the mixture of flowers and fruits/veg in that area so they can grow on there for now, no harm done!
Anyway that’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed reading and seeing what I’ve been up to in The Edible Garden recently. Stay tuned for more updates and happy gardening.
Written by Bethany Wright