FINALLY! Spring is here and it’s time for the May update from our Kitchen Garden.
Normally at this time of year I’m seeing big bursts of growth. I’d expect big bushy tops on my carrots, delicate curls and swirls around my pea frame, a thick carpet of salads and the suggestion of strong roots on most things.
Well not this year!
It feels like it’s only in the last few days that it’s stopped raining. In fact there was even had a frost last night so all my delicates had to be covered!
Square Foot Gardening
To maximise the yield from our small beds we are practicing Square Foot Gardening which should explain the string dividers. So far this has been great, sowing is very quick and it’s easy to companion plant in adjacent squares.
I also had lofty ambitions of successional sowings and crop rotations, but in reality the weather’s been so bad that’s looking unlikely. In fact I’ve almost entirely given up on the idea of successional sowing this year, I’ll be grateful for any glut I get!
What’s In Our Kitchen Garden
The Root Bed
Carrots – though slow to germinate this year due to the cold ground our carrots are finally growing well!
Parsnips – sowing Parsnips from seeds is notoriously difficult but this year we’ve been really successful! We sowed direct into warm, well tilled soiled and watered them well till they germinated, not sure if that’s the secret!
Beetroots – I’ve just sown our first square foot of beetroot. Beetroots really need warmth so I always feel a bit summery once they’re in the ground!
Celeriacs – this is my first time planting Celeriac in the kitchen garden, in fact I’ve never even eaten it before! Anyway we started them indoors in April and I’m waiting till the soil warms up enough to plant them (see the glass cloches in a few of the pics).
Peas – I experimented this year and sowed some peas inside very early and some directly into the soil. Both sets are now the same height but the ones that started outdoors are far bushier and seem to have stronger stems. I won’t bother starting peas indoors again!
Pea Frame – another experiment in the legume bed is my new pea frame. Last year I used teepees but the narrow top wildly underestimated the abundance of growth we’d get and everything ended up in a tangled mess! This year I’m growing them along a makeshift trellis and hopefully we’ll have an easier time picking them!
I REALLY want to say this bed is blossoming thanks to my wonderful germination skills…it’s not! I had to buy plug this year and I feel a little bit like I’m cheating!
Onions, Garlics, Shallots – these guys have been growing steadily for a few weeks now! I’m mildly concerned that they’re still looking slightly small for a June harvest. I had wanted to harvest in June to make way for my squashes and pumpkins but I’ll just have to be patient!
Rhubarb – one of the few things that is thriving. Strange since all I’ve done is neglect it since I put it in the ground last year! Rhubarb is another new plant for me so far I’ve enjoyed learning how to poach it for breakfast. What I’m really looking forward to though is Rhubarb Gin later in the summer!
Chickens and The Kitchen Garden
There’s rarely an occasion when I’d describe the chickens as anything other than loving life so it should come as no surprise that they are….loving life! Between the five of them there’s more eggs than we can eat.
Their coop is due an overhaul later this month. I’m hoping to finally get their swing set up and to sort out their dust bath. They also need a fresh load of bark as they’ve managed to scratch their way through what went down last winter!