Susie’s Gar­den

As you reap the last of sum­mer’s har­vest it’s time to take stock to en­sure next year’s crops have the very best start


Now that it’s au­tumn, we’re able to look back on this year’s har­vest from the veg­etable gar­den. It’s a mo­ment to take stock, see what has done well and think about what we might do dif­fer­ently next year. We grew old favourites such as the “Char­lotte” pota­toes that do well in our gar­den, be­ing less likely to get blight, tast­ing good and with the waxy con­sis­tency that we both like. They are great for salads when young as well as for mak­ing good mash or boiled pota­toes when they are larger.

The run­ner beans, which are pro­duc­ing mag­nif­i­cently at the mo­ment, are again an old favourite, be­ing the pret­tily red and white flow­ered va­ri­ety “Painted Lady”. The broad beans were “De Mon­ica” and cropped sur­pris­ingly heav­ily de­spite the dry spring. We thought

the lack of wa­terthem badly. might Through­outhave af­fected June and July we were eat­ing broad beans every day and giv­ing them away to friends and fam­ily too!

Those are tried and tested veg va­ri­eties but we like to try out new ones too. There’s been a good yield from Cour­gette “De­fender” and I like its open growth habit which makes it eas­ier to pick the cour­gettes. They are de­li­cious sliced length­ways and lightly charred on a grid­dle pan, a quick way of cook­ing that uses very lit­tle oil. Also with a bumper crop of cu­cum­bers (va­ri­eties were “Baby” and “Cu­cino”) they have made some flavour­some soups. David dug up the shal­lots “Red Sun” along with the gar­lic crop in July, dried them in the sun un­til the leaves were pa­pery. He has now stored them in hes­sian sacks. The onions fol­lowed on and were dried in Au­gust. We will be able to cook with gar­lic and onions al­most year round un­til next year’s crop is har­vested. Cost wise they are one of the best sav­ings you can make when grow­ing your own veg. If you keep your veg plot full over win­ter there’s less room for weeds to grow. So as well as leeks, broc­coli, kale and cal­abrese, any spare ground can be sown with a green ma­nure crop. This can then be dug in next spring to en­rich the ground for next year’s wealth of veg­eta­bles.

The last of the sum­mer har­vests

Gar­lic and onions ready for stor­age

Run­ner beans

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