There has been some really miserable weather this week and it’s been hard to get into the garden to do any work.
However, in between the showers I did manage to plant my mange tout, in front of my strawberries. I am trying very hard to use every bit of space I have to grow vegetables.
This really is a trial year for my kitchen garden and I’m not sure yet if things will grow well or not. I was hoping that I will have picked the strawberries before the peas grow taller and take away some of the sunlight….however due to the miserable, cool weather we have been having this may not work, as there are no sign of flowers on my strawberries yet.
You can see in the second photo, I have put wire over the peas to stop the birds from eating them and my dog from destroying them (as she still goes mad when my neighbours dog is out).
I grew the monge tout in small lengths of guttering, which I ‘slide out’ into prepared soil when they have germinated. I find this gives me a better germination rate.
You can read exactly how I grow peas in guttering here.
I also planted out a few of my outdoor tomatoes that I sowed on the 5th April. You can see in the photo above that I am leaving some glass over them because the temperature outside is still quite cool for this time of year.
The tomatoes are a variety called ‘Outdoor Girl’ and I have grown them now for many years outside. One seed company describes them as follows:
I think they are spot on with this description, as they really do give a good supply of tomatoes early on, so I get a good harvest before blight hits.
In between my tomatoes I have planted some Tegetes as they look lovely when they are in flower and they also confuse the white fly with their smell, so this will stop them from attacking my plants.
In my greenhouse this week I took the bubble wrap down that provided a layer in insulation over winter, (before it actually fell down on its own). I have left it in place over the last few years and it was now brittle and tore very easily.
I replaced it with shading netting that will help my plants on hot sunny days. I bought my shade netting from Wilkinsons as I found it cheapest from there:
Last week I planted my basil in bags in my greenhouse and this week I sowed a catch crop of radish in between them and amazingly the radish germinated in just five days. I also sowed a row of radish outside on the same day and they are nowhere to be seen yet.
This week I harvested my first radish from the garden. These were sowed on the 10th April:
I also picked a few of my everlasting onions:
And I had my third cut of mixed salad leaves that I sowed in a pot in March:
(Next year I am hoping to be havesting more things at this time of year, now my kitchen garden is up and running).
The aim of my kitchen garden is to harvest as much as possible from a small space.
At home this week:
I made a big batch of tomato and basil soup from tomatoes I grew at my allotment last year and froze (I just chop the fresh tomatoes in half and place in a freezer bag and then into the freezer).
When the soup was ready I then froze it in portions, so I can defrost a bowl full for lunch when I want to:
This week my daughter brought some plastic cups from the ‘pound shop’ and she couldn’t get the sticky labels off:
So I put a drop of olive oil on the sticky labels and then I used a scrubber to easily remove the sticky label and residue remaining:
This also works for removing the sticky residue on jam jars when most of the label has been removed.
And finally I made some banana lollies and some super quick and easy ‘breadmaker’ banana bread from the ‘whoopsied’ bananas that I bought at the end of last week and I have written bothe of these recipies below for anyone that is intersted:
Super Quick And Easy Banana Bread In A Breadmaker:
3 over ripe bananas mashed
200 grams granulated sugar
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
270g self raising flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Put all the above ingredients into your breadmaker pan and put it on a ‘pizza dough’ setting for 5 minutes.
Stop the breadmaker half way through and scrape down the sides of your pan with a spatula to ensure all the flour is mixed in well,
When there is no trace of flour left, set your breadmaker on a ‘bake’ setting for 55 minutes:
The result is lovely banana bread
(which incidentally can be sliced and frozen for another time):
Banana Ice Lollies:
2 Ripe banana’s
3 tablespoons natural yoghurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
60 grams chocolate
2 tablepoons of milk
Use a hand blender to combine the banana, yoghurt and vanilla until they are smooth:
Pour the resulting mixture into four lolly moulds, leaving a slight gap at the top for the chocolate:
Put the chocolate and milk in a microwaveable jug and microwave on full power until the chocolate has melted (this only takes a couple of minutes so keep checking it).
Let the chocolate mix cool down for a few minutes and then pour it over the banana mixture:
Put the lollies in the freezer overnight:
And then enjoy:
Thank you for reading my blog today, I will be back next Friday at my usual time.
Have a good weekend!