Thursday, 16 May 2013

Asparagus glut, odd weather and courgettes

Today's asparagus
The asparagus is prolific at the moment. There are new spears every time I look and I can hardly keep up with it. It is lovely, especially the soft tips. I've tried it cooked by searing it on a griddle pad and steamed in a dribble of water, covered in a microwave. Both work well. it goes with fish, eggs and meat and now I'd like to try something else, just for a change.

I think the wet year last year will have helped the asparagus bulk up and it started to show nearly a month late this year, probably due to the very cold March winds, but what every is the cause the crop looks and tastes very good this year.

A poor photo of a great courgette
The cold start to the year has held up everything. I sowed seeds deliberately late this spring, but still there are come concerns about tender plants. My courgettes have grown fast at home and have main leaves and even flower buds, but I was concerned about frost so I haven't put them out, until today. The plants look really strong, but one nip of frost and they will be doomed, so after planting them out, I covered them with a fleece tunnel which I hope will protect them enough until the risk of frost has passed. I planted them quite deep and made a little well around them, so when they get watered it flows to the plant - they are very thirsty. I also planted them wide apart, they can be rampant and need a lot of elbow room.

The broccoli is still producing spears, though some are flowering now so I think it is nearly over. It has been really good and I'll certainly try growing it again, though protecting it from pests has been difficult and it is important, having lost two thirds of the plant in a couple of days to pests - probably rats.

The broad beans are beginning to show the first truss of flowers. They have all survived the wind and chill and are looking good plants. They are getting big enough to think about tying them in to another string support. Leeks in the greenhouse are all doing well, the failure rate so far has been almost zero. No sign of any carrots yet - I may have to sow some more.

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