It's all change in the polytunnel at Eco-Gites of Lenault this week. Old plants need to make way for new as the cycle of growing continues. Many of the overwintering plants or those started early in the year are now finishing or going to seed so need clearing, which is just as well as I need the space for all the summer crops waiting in the wings. This week I said farewell to the broccoli, broad beans, mangetout, peas, chard and various oriental greens .... and Boris said hello to lots of lovely greens which he very happily chomped his way through!
|Before I cleared beans etc|
|Beans cleared, tomatoes planted|
My Silent Sunday picture showed the result of some of my efforts, an area cleared of broccoli which is now planted up with tomatoes. I grow about 10 varieties of tomatoes and I have reached the stage of wondering where I am going to put them all. I still have carrots, spring onions, lettuce and French beans where I would like to plant tomatoes! And an errant sunflower which I can't bear to pull out. I wonder how quickly it will reach the top of the polytunnel?
|Broccoli cleared and tomatoes planted|
|Carrots, Lettuces, French Beans and a self-seeded Sunflower|
Other summer crops I have planted have include cucumbers (never my most successful crop but as ever I am hoping for good things this year!) and aubergines. I am going to market again today to buy melons, peppers and basil and later I will sow more lettuces and replacement Oriental Greens before trying to squeeze in more tomatoes where-ever I can find a space!
Oh and then there is that mystery plant I showed you last week. One person did guess correctly what it was but it foiled everyone else. You should have read all the comments Mrs Peanut lady or picked up on the clue I tweeted you ;). The plant is Stevia or Sweet-Herb. You may know it as a sugar substitute alongside Saccharine and Aspartame products on the supermarket shelves. I don't know much about it but have read both positive and negative things so I will do a bit more research before using it. Ian, I may well be calling on your expertise as I have never grown this before! I have just read it gets to a metre tall though so maybe my idea of growing it in a pot will need rethinking.
And last night we had our first new potatoes from the polytunnel. I had planted a few tubers back in September which the vague hope that they would provide new potatoes for Christmas. Nothing happened however, they didn't sprout and new potatoes were off the festive menu. In November I sowed mangetout on the same patch which grew like wildfire ... and come the Spring, guess what sprouted underneath the mangetout? Exactly - the potatoes. I left them there and they put on spindly growth in the shade of the rampant mangeout. When I cleared the mangetout yesterday I really wasn't expecting to find any potatoes and but as I sank my spade into the soil I was very pleasantly surprised. Last night for dinner we had the last of the chard and the very sweetest of new potatoes. Simply scrumdiddlyumtious!!
How is your garden doing? Are you harvesting any veg yet or are you a flower gardener? Do let us know and then pop on over to Annie's How Does Your Garden Grow linky and see what is happening in other gardens this week.