Veg Patch

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

Monday, 15 July 2013

Always follow the instructions!

I say that with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek. I worked in a couple of places where you were deemed a wimp if you tried to read an instruction book before using a new gadget. I therefore have over the years developed a bit of an aversion to any form of written instruction , that also includes recipes. 

Just lately though that aversion has come back to bite me. Since having the hens I have been baking lots and lots.. I have learned that you must follow cake recipes otherwise you end up with a gloopy or flat mess in a tin. 

And now I must start reading the seed packets before I plant things out. This week it has become glaringly obvious I had done something wrong.. 

First my peas. If you remember some months ago I unveiled the Great Wall of Barton. It was built specially to support this years pea crop. 

It still stands forlornly waiting to become a wall of green. I didnt read the packet!!! the peas I planted were dwarf ones, they dont grow more than 50 cm high. I won't make that mistake again.

Then the cut flower patch. 

To say that its overcrowded is an understatement

I should have read how many plants you could put in a bed this size. I think I seriously overdid it here. But I still cant bear to pull any out. I am sure they will all find a bit of space and I am cutting them as soon as they flower. 

The sweet peas have gone mad. I think every time I cut one, three more appear

Then the poor Mange Tout. These have been growing beautifully and taste great. But I thought they needed a feed, so I took a big scoop of feed and plonked it in the watering can. Of course I didnt read the instructions. I happily watered the plant. 

Two days later it looked like this

Yellow droopy leaves. Once again back to the packet, and sure enough I had used far too much feed and had practically killed the poor plants. I am hoping it they will recover and give me some more lovely pods. 

And the final failure - Asparagus peas. I have been watching these interesting plants grow wonderful pods and so today as they were a reasonable size, I decided to try some.  I picked some nice plump pods

I gave them a wash and a quick steam and then tried one. It was like eating a bit of old carpet!! That cant be right, so I went and read the packet. Of course, I had failed to note that you should eat the small pods up to 2cm long. The pack clearly stated that the larger ones become fibrous. So  I have pulled off all the big ones and will now wait for the smaller ones to appear. 

I have though had one success where I did my research properly. The trailing courgettes. 

I bought them because apparently they grew like a climbing plant. And they do!! amazing no rotting courgettes laying on the ground but suspended in the air. 

I am looking forward to eating the first one, but at the moment I am very pleased with them and because they grow up, they are are a real space saver. 

The Duke of Yorks were finally ready. The greenery has died back so I had another dig today. 

Success. These were from 1 plant. Last year I had to dig up 3 plants to get this many and they were not as big as these..

Just a quick roundup of what else is growing well. The chilli are now so big, I have to take them all out of the greenhouse every morning, otherwise I cant get in. 

I have loads of cucumbers

And green tomatoes. I just need them to go red.

All of my bean plants are covered in flowers

The lettuce are almost ready

After the potato success, I carried on picking for dinner

And I topped it off with a few vases worth of cut flowers

As well as the pictures today, I also did a video walk round, with commentary. I have loaded it on my youtube channel and you can view it by clicking here 

Have a wonderful sunny week


  1. I don't tend to read instruction either!

    AS for too many flowers in the bed I like to see them jostling for space so I bet they turn out to look lovely.

    1. Enjoyed the video - co-incidentally I've been thinking of doing something similar.

  2. I often read instructions but may then chose to ignore them completely. It's more interesting that way. I've never heard of an asparagus pea. Do you eat them in the pod or like shelling peas?

    1. You eat the whole thing. Well you should if you pick them at the correct time!! Apparently they taste like a pea and asparagus. Mine tasted like 10 year old pub carpet :) will try again next week

  3. Wonderful collection of plants! I haven't seen sweet peas in any garden for many years! Lovely to see!