Thursday, 22 May 2014

All Change

Posted by Rosie

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!!

New Potaotes

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.

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?


  1. I'm not envious of all the hard work you must have to put in but I'm definitely envious of the poly tunnel! Would love the space for one. Oh, and yes, we'd love to come over one day and visit :)

  2. I'd never tried a homegrown cucumber until last year - so juicy and makes you realise how tough skinned the ones in the supermarket really are. We use to grow tomatoes at our old house but I've only got one plant this year to see how it does and if we get enough sun in the back. Keep up the good work :)

  3. Wow my hubby would have polytunnel envy if he saw this! We have just harvested our first radish of the year and looking forward to more vegetables! Hopefully we'll have our first potatoes soon x #HDYGG

  4. Oh my home grown potato envy! I have some ones to plant up but haven't quite decided where to plant them yet, I'm thinking I might try out doing it in large sacks... might be a great idea or (quite possibly) awful.

    I don't think I've ever eaten a homegrown cucumber before! You are one hardcore gardening lady - hats off to you!

    Rats to the sweet herb - next time I'll get it right! *run off cackling evily*

    Thanks for joining in again, how you find time to blog and do everything else is beyond me! x

  5. I love it, it seems a lot of hardwork but I'm pretty sure its worth it

  6. There is nothing nicer than a home grown new potato! Feeling very hungry after reading your post.

  7. Can I confess that I scrolled down to know what that mystery plants is =P

    I guess wrong again haha.

    I can now understand the more technical names like polytunnel cuz I visited this plant area of a store.

    I am so happy to say that I have now a tiny weeny garden. Its actually a corner with 4 small potted plants that I am talking to in the afternoon while my son is at school. I dont know what the neighbors thinks of this but I read that its nice to talk to plants =P


  8. Tom @ Raise Your Garden
    Your garden puts ours to shame. Wow ten different varieties of tomatoes!

  9. I do love your polytunnel Rosie! You've worked so hard too. Very jealous of the potatoes and the cucumber. The tomatoes will smell wonderful too - can remember that from my childhood, my dad used to grow them. You're going to have a great crop of goodies!

  10. that tunnel is quite impressive! i am sure your summer harvest will be just as successful


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