Sunday, 25 July 2010

Quick lets cut the grass

the skies are blue.
Whilst D tended to the grass. I did a little work in the garden plot. I planted out some more climbing beans and up-potted some plants that are waiting for space to become available in the garden plot including Tuscan kale and some nine star perennial, a white broccoli that i did not get to harvest when I had the allotment plot.

I was disappointed to come across some of my brassicas had been damaged by the cabbage white butterfly. The white cabbage butterfly has been my main garden pest this year. I found a number of large holes in the leaves of brassica crops and some green caterpillars crawling (eek). I've been very protective of my crop, but somehow these little beast is getting to my plants. I see them often from the flat window fluttering their delicate little wings, and now they even had the cheek to torment me whilst I was there in person. Yes two of them flew by in a 'lovey dovey' way, and then to my surprise one of them landed on a leaf, I crept slowly towards it and then guess what?! I just didn't have the heart to catch it and send it to heaven. D was laughing at me and said the 'butterflies have found a little paradise in your tiny plot'. So be it I though, but I have no issue squishing its eggs as I find them under foliage. If left undetected these hatch into larvae first making small holes in the leaves as they start to feed, then becoming much bigger holes as the caterpillars start to feed more vigorously (see the kohlrabi leaf below).
Back to the growing. To utilize all the space I have in the plot, I planted three Olivia kohlrabi's beneath the climbing bean frame. This is one of them. All three of them are fattening up and so far free from slug damage. I don't want them to get too big, so will have to think about harvesting and eating them soon. One recipe that comes to mind immediately using kohlrabi is 'slaw' - there are so many variations of kohlrabi slaw that I'm sure it won't be hard for me to find the look of one I like.
The first of my dwarf purple Queen beans are starting to show.
I shared with you all the disappointment of my Cavalier peas last week. Although one plant seems to be still producing, I pulled out one of the constructed pea wigwams, as its space I'll need for the backlog of waiting plants.
But i had forgotten about the Beetroot Barabietola di Chioggia and Detroit 2 that I had planted under the wigwams. The leaves look extremely healthy (and I should cut them for a salad). However I'm not so confident about the beetroot bulb itself. I did scratch the soil a little, only to see a small root. I'm gonna pretend that I didn't peep and hope theres more down there than just root.
The Rainbow Chard, White Silver 2
Leaf Beet and Spinach Perpetual Spinach Beet all seem to be doing well and also ready for the picking.
My cauliflowers are screaming to be pulled too, they've all come up the same time. Here's one head that had to be chopped, the others may be able to wait a day or two. I also harvested my first Goldrush and di nizza courgette. I'm going to use the cauliflower in a marinated bean salad and the courgettes are going to be griddled and then doused in S&P, lemon and olive oil. Oh below are some vegetables we picked from the farmers market yesterday: Maris Bard potatoes, purple and green curly kale and some tomatoes.
We have three tomato plants in the garden, staked up against the fence, but were not optimistic. You really need a greenhouse to be growing tomatoes in Scotland.


  1. Sometimes is hard to share our crop with insects, which makes me it true that Derris dust is going to be banned? I thought that it was a good and safe way to get rid of the cabbage moth. Do you have it in the UK? If anyone knows something about it (sorry if I ask here Mango, hope you don't mind) please let me know. I always used derris dust and now I don't know what to think!

  2. hmmm everything looks so yummy :)

    We too are experiencing butterfly problems. I saw a huge patch of yellow eggs which I brushed off but more tiny white ones than I can count. Hope we both manage to enjoy our brassicas soon.

  3. Alessandra.
    I don't mind at all.

    I have to admit I had not heard or ever used Derris Dust but a quick search on the internet
    'derris, the well-known organic insecticide - but all that is set to change next year with the proposed outlawing of the product.
    Rotenone - the active ingredient obtained from the crushed root of the derris tree - has been linked to the progressive brain disorder Parkinson's disease, and a subsequent investigation by the Pesticide Safety Directive (PSD) has led to the decision to withdraw all derris-based sprays and powders. Although no definitive date has been set for the removal of derris from the market, sources claim that products will be available until September 2009. This will give organic gardeners plenty of time to find new artillery for the constant battle against garden pests such as aphids, caterpillars and flea beetles'.

    Perhaps a fellow reader can shed more light.

    Thanks Ruth.
    Your rahter delicate 'brushing them off'. So far i've been enjoying my broccoli and caulis, but now worry for the rest now that I've discovered caterpillars.

  4. What a gorgeous vegetable garden you have going! Such variety and the veggies themselves look amazing! So luscious and full of life!

  5. Your garden looks so healthy!! Thanks for the update on it's progress...nice to share and compare. I also didn't know about Rotenone, so very much appreciated that information!.

    As for the green wriggleys on the brassicas...I have been picking them off...and it seems to be working at halting the invasion. They range from teeny tiny to fat and luscious green velvety things...luscious to a bird one would think...)))

  6. Thank you so so much Scrumptious. Even though my veg have bugs, I'm still pleased and delighted to read yourlovely comment. Thank you.

    Gardening Bren.
    Glad you found Alessandra's query worthwhile. Hopefully other fellow bloggers may be able to shed more light on the issue.

    Yes I like the way you describe the wriggly beasties: luscious green velvety things - that only birds would love, but unfortunately for us, birds don't inspect the brassicas that closely, those that do - we shun ie the pigeon - a pest at many allotment sites!

  7. Look at your garden goods!!! Those tomatoes look so perfect! I could just sprinkle those with a loittle salt and be happy! I love the variety you are growing!

  8. I can't believe how much you manage to grow in your space! Puts me to shame :)

    Good luck with your butterfly issue, I know well what it's like to battle garden pests. I've had good "news" today. I went to inspect my rainbow chard, which I had pretty much left to the bugs (earwigs) and it seems to be bouncing back! Now I feel bad for ignoring it the last few weeks :-/

  9. Hey MangoCheeks - cabbage white's aside, looks like you are managing to get quite a lot or produce from your garden. That's great. I know it's not quite the same size as your allotment but it is at least useful space. In our really teeny tiny garden, I have a tub of rocket growing and yesterday there were at least 4 cabbage whites vying for a spot - bah!

  10. Ooo that pasta looks sooo good! I might have to make that next week! Isn't growing a garden a little hard? I am still getting the hang of it..I also have beets growing : ]

  11. Oh your veg looks so lovely and vibrant.

    I'm curious about the white broccoli - have never heard of it.

    I feel for you with your butterfly problem. Mine is potato beetles. I cannot get rid of them all. I spent yesterday evening squishing and dumping as many as I could into soapy water. I'm glad my neighbours weren't there as I was also calling them every name under the you do.

  12. Thanks Morgan.

    :( The tomatoes are not mine, but they were good! Last year when we grew our own, I did just sprinkle them with a little salt and chilli. Divine!

    Thanks RuckusButt.
    I'm rather surprised too! Please my intention is not to shame anyone else. We are all different :) Ijust want to keep the growing bug in me alive with the little i have.

    I am so pleased to read about your chard and the reduced population of earwigs. Its a constant battle though, once you avert your attention, they'll come creeping back. So as hard as it is, its best to try and stay on top of the pests!

    Oh Choclette - Thank you.
    Yes, I am gettign some produce, complemented b veg from the farmers market, grocers and even the supermarket.

    I've done rather poorly with rocket this year.

  13. Thank you so, So much Jacklyn.
    The pasta is different and quite flavoursome.

    When I started growing veg, I did find it a little overwhelming, what to plant, where, when (companions planting) and then it was the pests, finding organic methods and so on. But once your 'bitten by the gardening/growing bug' it starts to flow quite naturally. Don't get me wrong weeding and digging is tough, but you forget about all that when you harvest your first salad leaf or first veg of the season. Its rather therapeutic. Just keep it up :D

    Thank you Sooz.

    Thanks Christine.
    I hope you find a way to reduce if not rid of th potato beetles. I have to admit, I don't think I've ever seen one and would actually like to keep it that way.

    The white broccoli won't come into season until March/April/May next year. They are a bit like purple sprouting broc. but the heads are white and the flavour sweeter. People lose patience growing the white variety as it takes so long to grow. I stuck them in the border at the allotment plot and it was growing slowly, its stems thick and silver...but its heads...I never got to try. I am hoping next year I will.

  14. I haven't had a garden for a number of years, but it was so wonderful when I did. Thank you for sharing all the photos. It brought back such great memories. It is so interesting to watch things grow!

  15. Thank you so much Lynne for your lovely comment.
    Sorry to read that you no longer have a garden, mine is quite small really, but i try to make the most of the space I have. My sunflowers opened up yesterday, what a lovely happy sight.

  16. You have an amazing garden! Have not had success with 'root' vegetables; next year!:-)

  17. Thank you for your comment.

  18. Fabulous pictures. I'm really enjoying your blog at the moment :o)


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