Friday, 30 September 2011

Plant Kit Update

Remeber back in June my friend bought me a sunflower and a chilli plant kit? Here's an update on how they are getting on.


They are so happy! I either have a knack for chillies or they are super easy to grow. Probably the latter.

You can even see the little chillies starting to grow. I'm so pleased with these.


I'm so embarrased about these :/ They didn't survive a weekend we spent away at a festival and have been looking rather grey and ill since then. I hoped they might come back to life but they're getting worse. 

Luckily I didn't plant all the seeds in the kit so I have a second chance to redeem myself.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Zombie beans

My beans have risen from the dead! Lucky I didn't clear them out yet!

Sunday, 11 September 2011


My chutney came about because
a) my tomato plants aren't very well & I had a lot of red fruit to rescue
b) I want to make most of my xmas presents this year
c) I love making things
d) anything is better than revision on a Saturday morning.

Here I am all ready to go. I had about 900g of tomatoes here, a little short of the recipe but who's counting?

A LOT of peeling, chopping and weighing later:

Two hours on, one cut left thumb and a few burns from hot sterilised jars:

Totally worth the effort in the end - it tasted great and it still has a few months to mature. I'll get some ribbon and labels to decorate these nearer the time. A good morning's work and the perfect way to use up my tomatoes.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

It was all going so well...

Blight [noun]
1. any cause of impairment, destruction, ruin or frustration
2. (in plant pathology) the rapid and extensive discolouration, wilting and death of plant tissues
Yes it's finally happened....I thought I was holding it back but the wet weather the last few days seems to have done it's worst. I went out yesterday to find lots of unappetising tomatoes:
I can't get this photo to go the right way up, sorry!
I definitely agree with the description that this is rapid. There wasn't any sign of it 3 days ago except on the leaves. It is mainly just this branch at the moment so I have thrown these away, but it can only be a matter of time for the rest. The plan is to save what I can, use the red ones to make chutney and try to ripen the green ones indoors. Ah well, this is what comes of living in a country with changeable weather and not having a greenhouse. I've done pretty well with these so far so I am not too upset - we have already had quite a lot of tomatoes from these plants this year. I feel lucky that it didn't happen a month ago.
I've found a lovely chutney recipe on BBC Good Food, autumn tomato chutney. I'm going to try to make this at the weekend if I can pick up some jars from Hobbycraft.

Friday, 2 September 2011

The story so far (month 4)

Gosh it's been a while hasn't it. Hello! No excuses really, just life getting in the way!

Let's start with the good stuff. Look at my tomatoes. They are producing so many red fruits now it's just brilliant. I attempted to make some sun dried tomatoes but I had the oven on too high so they were more sunburned, but they were still tasty. Next up is to attempt some chutney. I had a bit of a panic that I had blight - some of the leaves are definitely going mouldy. I googled it and came up with the rather random cure of spraying the leaves with milk diluted with water. It does seem to have worked - it's still going strong at least.

Also my spring onions are getting big! I think the two I planted earlier might be ready but I'm not really sure how to tell. I think I will try one this weekend and see. That's exciting :)

There's been a bit of colour the last 2 weeks as my mint is flowering. I've never seen mint flower - it's beautiful.

My chives flowered again too - I went to cut off the dead heads and look, lots of seeds! I don't think I will plant more chives but I collected the seeds anyway, it felt like I was getting something for nothing!

The only thing that has not been going so well is the beans. I think I have definitely been overwatering them and they have gone yellow and mouldy, which is a shame. I'd given up on them, I haven't watered them for two weeks but yesterday I spotted something wonderful, a few new flowers! I don't know if it will come to anything but I have definitely learned to go easy on the watering.

I also found this - I thought it was a mouldy bean but it was dried out. Look what was inside - lovely purple beans!! I'll keep these for next year.

I hope all your veg patches are treating you well.