Murder on the Oriental Vegetable Express

The tragic demise of my oriental vegetables.

I’ve only been away for 3 days but it appears that in that time the Norwich heavens have opened to their fullest extent and drowned all my oriental vegetables. When I examined the victims more carefully it was apparent that they had entirely rotted off. I think maybe Carbon Gold compost might retain too much water for outdoor use in Norwich. 

After a demorilising week for my plants it was lovely to see these autumn crocuses thriving.

Tomorrow I think I am going out to buy some plant food for my radishes. They have grown a lot of leaf but their stems don’t seem to be swelling at all. I think possibly they could also be thinned a bit more too. Some googling is going to have to take place I think. 

Despite the death of my oriental veg my weekend away at the Sturminster Newton Cheese festival was incredible and gave me and tonne of ideas both for the garden and the kitchen. My pick of the festival was Shorrocks Cheese: if you see a cheese bomb from these guys in your local market then I cannot recommend it highly enough. Check out their website here:

Planting some perpetual spinach this week when the weather clears up. Happy gardening, Ele

Some indication of how wet this weekend has been. I am honestly surprised: I thought drought would be my main enemy as a container gardener but it seems it’s the opposite problem. Next year I will put bricks in the bottom of my pots to aid drainage. 

My face upon the discovery of my vegetables’ tragic demise. Less Poirot and more veg-rot but still, I’m counting this as murder. I think i will get over the loss with the help of the delicious Sturminster Newton cheese festival produce.

Back from the Fringe…

Managing my pots after a week away.

Back from Edinburgh at an ungodly hour I still had just enough energy to wonder what had become of my plants. And, joy of joys, I have beans! Ok, so I have two bean plants from the large handful of seeds I sowed and one of them is still quite weedy but still, it’s something. The tub on the windowsill was pretty dry and I decided that if any more beans were going to germinate they would have done so by now so I watered the ones that have come up. 

After my first good night’s sleep in a week I couldn’t wait to get back to the garden. Firstly, I placed the bean container outside. I think I will bring it in again if it rains heavily since the box has no holes in the bottom and I am concerned about drainage. There were also a lot of little flies crawling on the soil, they don’t seem to be bothering my beans but I thought I might take advantage of the avian pest control service available in my garden. When the beans get a little bigger I will transplant them into a bigger pot and leave them outside permanently.

In other news my herbs are huge! I have an ample supply of all the soft herbs I use on a daily basis apart from mint. Warned about its vigorousness I planted it in a tube to restrict its growth but the other herbs seem to have stolen so much of its light that it never really got going. I have resolved that, when I harvest, I will pick the herb leaves that are closest to the mint as a form of pruning in the hope of giving the mint some more room. 

Unlike the beans the radishes have germinated with incredible success so I have thinned them quite considerably. When I was deciding how many to take out I considered the size of the average radish and tried to leave each plant enough room to reach that size. The spinach is starting to go to seed so I will be nipping out the tops the next time I need some (expect a delicious spinach recipe in the next few days). I am also ready with my perpetual spinach seeds so it’s not to disastrous if I only get a few more weeks’ worth of greens off these plants. 

My oriental veg pot is also looking incredible. It is definitely ready for harvesting. Something, I think a pigeon, has taken a few chunks out of some of the more tender leaves but it appears to be thriving in spite of this so I am not too upset. It appears planting a whole mini pack in one pot has gone just fine since the plants all seem to till have enough space.  

I will be planting my rainbow chard soon (can’t wait) and, following some conversations with neighbours, I will also be considering what I can plant in the boarders since everyone seems to think it’s a fabulous idea to have some vegetables in the garden. Thank heavens for nice neighbours. That’s all for now folks. Happy gardening, Ele.

The squirrel, the has beans and the little chilli plant that could

My first little setback.

I have been doing so well with my little patch that I guess it was only a matter of time before there was trouble in paradise. Unfortunately the beans I planted haven’t come up at all. Initially, I blamed the squirrel that I have seen in the garden and unjustly stalked the poor thing with my camera… possibly with the view to making a wanted poster. But, upon closer inspection I found most of the beans still in the soil but they were rotten. After some research I found out that beans cannot germinate without oxygen and in the Norwich monsoons the soil had gotten too wet to allow them to breath.  

However, the Carbon Gold compost in which they were planted has been brilliant for less finicky seeds and my plug plants. They have grown up almost unbelievably quickly. I am already planning a vibrant stir-fry for the oriental vegetables and some of the chilies from my incredibly productive little chilli plant. Fingers crossed for my next batch of beans, Ele

p.s In utterly unrelated news, I managed to change the inner tube on the back tyre of my bike completely unassisted and am inordinately proud of this fact.  

So, with slight guilt of my drowned beans on my conscience I have sowed the remainder in an old margarine tub and left it on a sunny windowsill. I think this way they won’t get waterlogged if there are more downpours.