Veg Patch

To read the story of my Veg Patch in chronological order use the links in the Blog Archive

Monday, 7 May 2012

The First Fruit of my Labour!

In an unusual turn of events yesterday, the weatherman got it wrong, alright so maybe not that unusual but in any event it turned out to be an unexpectedly lovely day! 

I had noticed a couple of days ago as I peered through the opaque poly tunnel, that I seemed to have a lot of rather large strawberries, and a couple looked red and ready to eat. 

It was my first opportunity to get to them, so first job of the day was to dismantle the now very sagging poly tunnel and get to the strawberries underneath.

Sure enough there were at least three very large red strawberries but only one looked like it was ready to eat. 

A great moment in my Vegetable Garden. The very first edible thing to be picked. So I picked it. Imagine my disappointment when I turned it over and saw this!

It was rotten. I suppose laying on top of the wet weed suppressing fabric had caused this. So now I was on a mission to save the other growing berries. I remembered reading somewhere, that you could place a layer of straw on top of the soil, to lift the berries out of the mud and water and to protect from slugs. Straw is something we have plenty of because of the chickens, so a few minutes later the plants were nestling in a yellow bed. 

Final job was to protect them from birds. I bought some little rubber balls that you can stick bamboo canes into to make joints. I suppose I could have improvised something but I liked the rubber ones . A few minutes later the frame was up.

And my strawberries should now be safe from water, slugs and birds. I just have to hope that we don't get a late frost.

Next job, sort out the potatoes. They have been growing really well with all the rain, so after having banked my early Duke of Yorks, I now needed to do the same for the Charlotte's and Roosters.

A quick weed with the hoe then a bit of digging and they are all now banked.

Time to stop for tea. I have become a bit of a baker since we started getting three eggs a day. Victoria sponge with Oullins gage Jam. No, I had never heard of it either, but my neighbour gave me a jar in exchange for six eggs. They are Yellow Plums. 

Whilst having my tea I admired my cabbages and butternut squash, which I have put out to harden off before planting.

So thats if for plants. Now animals, or birds to be specific. We have a very large Yucca tree on one side of our garden and over the last week we have noticed a pair of thrush going under the leaves. Jim had a quick look and saw they are building a nest under the tree. While they were out collecting stuff for the nest we took a quick picture. Nothing in the nest yet!

And finally as always Gibson. We entered him in the local May Dog Show at our town fair on Saturday. Sadly he didn't win a rosette, but to us he is a winner.. 


  1. I have heard of Oullins gage as we have a large tree on the plot. We planted it years ago and it is very prolific every other year. Loads of fruit last year and hardly any small fruits visible this year!

    We usually put straw under our strawberries - clue in the name I suppose! I feel your disappointment!

  2. Its obvious now you mention it why they are called strawberries, never really thought about it before! hope I may get a good one later in the week.

  3. That's too bad. Maybe next time you can have a good harvest.

  4. I have had great success with straw around my strawberries - they stay cleaner and drier as well. Mine won't be ready for quite some time yet - so I won't feel too sorry for your loss! :)

  5. I am so jealous that you can have your seedlings outside. I hope to be able to plant mine outside within a couple of weeks. Good luck with your strawberries. I'm allergic to them so I am not able to share in your joy of berries.

  6. Hello I have just spent an enjoyable hour reading through your blog! I too am in my first year of growing veg but haven't achieved a quarter of what you have! I will look forward to reading more :)

    1. Thanks for that, I am glad you enjoyed your read, if you have any tips as another newbie they are always appreciated..

  7. Strawberries!!!! yum yum yum yum...