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The Pocket Handkerchief Garden: 3 July 2015

03/07/2015

Space for the Butterflies - The Pocket Handkerchief Garden

Our garden is bearing fruit. Twenty-two fruit so far to be precise. We are right in the middle of the strawberry harvest from our original strawberry plants and it’s lovely to look out at them every morning and see a gleam of red hiding under the leaves.  Sometimes it turns out that it’s the label from one of the plants with a big picture of gigantic luscious strawberries that frankly have yet to materialise on the plant in question, but it seems that despite abandoning them for a few years, and neglecting them off and on this year we have a lovely crop.

Space for the Butterflies - The Pocket Handkerchief Garden

And there’s nothing like sneaking out into the garden for an early morning strawberry straight off the plant.

Space for the Butterflies - The Pocket Handkerchief Garden

From the looks of things we will be harvesting small handfuls for another week, maybe a couple of weeks if we’re lucky and then they will be done for the year and it will be time to turn out attention to strawberry patch B.

Space for the Butterflies - The Pocket Handkerchief Garden

This week I had the opportunity to compare and contrast our plants with their siblings, planted in the same week on my aunt’s farm, and actually watered in the first week of their acclimatisation rather than left to their fate while I went on holiday, and despite the occasional thirsty moment, my plants seem to be holding their own.  They look about the right size so if all goes to plan our second crop should start at the beginning of August.

Space for the Butterflies - The Pocket Handkerchief Garden

Whenever I think of harvest it always means September; Harvest Festivals, a field blushed golden with ripe corn, lots of “all is safely gathered in” and getting ready for the winter.  But I think the Pocket Handkerchief Garden is having a July harvest this year.  My Rainbow Chard is thriving now that both cats and birds have been kept at bay and I have lots of lovely baby leaves to go into a salad with the cut and come again lettuce in a pot on the edge of the patio, and over next to strawberry patch A, I’ve been watching my garlic and onions.

Space for the Butterflies - The Pocket Handkerchief Garden

 

Space for the Butterflies - The Pocket Handkerchief Garden

Kitty and I planted them on a chilly day in October, and all through the winter they grew and grew despite the weeds, the wind and the neighbour’s cat, and I think we might be nearly ready to pull some up.  The onions are starting to loose their colour and the foliage is dropping, and I think I’m right in thinking that I need to wait until they are completely dropped which I think could be another week or two.  The garlic on the other hand has definitely started to flop, and I think we might be nearly there.  In looking around for some garden reading this week I came across Garden Betty who has some great posts on growing all sorts of veggies; her advice is to wait for half the leaves to have died off, but as some of my garlic only has three leaves I’m going to stop soaking them with water for a couple of days and then have a cautious lift and investigate to see if any of them are ready.  I do hope they will be, I’m about to run out of garlic in the kitchen and it would be lovely to start using our own home grown utterly uncertified but actually organic garlic instead.  And I have serious intentions of making one of those oh so cheesy French stereotype braids of garlic to hang in the kitchen; all I need is for there to be enough garlic worth keeping.

I’m also thinking about what to do with the space once the garlic and onions have come up.  Is there anything that I could plant in say, late July and still have a late September crop? Can you have late carrots or parsnips or something?  It would be lovely to get another crop out of the space this year; after so many attempts at growing our own veg that were far more intention than action and fizzled out accordingly, I’m having so much fun with my growing this year and I know that by this time next year I will have (a) more garden space and (b) a plan. Once you sit in your garden eating strawberries fresh off the bush, or swap the leaf your baby is desperately trying to chew for a leaf of rainbow chard, there’s no going back.  I think I may be hooked.  And have a new hobby.  Because clearly I had too much time on my hands!

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  • Mandycharlie 03/07/2015 at 9:17 am

    There might be a few brassica’s or leeks you could plant up, but you need to do this from plants not seed at this time of the year. You could have Brussels/cabbage/kale etc or/and young leeks for Christmas dinner and they will stand right through until feb/March, giving you something lovely to eat in the depths of winter. Get thee up to thou local garden centre toot suite to see what plants they have left.

    • Carie 03/07/2015 at 7:33 pm

      Ooh leeks would be popular around here – I shall have to scout about and see what I can find – thank you 🙂

  • Mandycharlie 03/07/2015 at 9:23 am

    P.s. Parsnips you plant in February or March, they are a very slow growing crop, I think carrots need it cool to germinate too, but there may be a summer variety that I am not aware of.

    • Carie 03/07/2015 at 7:32 pm

      Duly noted – Parsnips for next spring it is!

  • Lotta 03/07/2015 at 9:30 am

    It’s so satisfying to harvest your own homegrown produce, it really inspires you to grow more. I’m feeling the same about next year, I just need to actually make a plan!

    • Carie 03/07/2015 at 7:32 pm

      It really does – and Yes, big plans for next year – my Pinterest board is growing every day!

  • Lisa Coffee 03/07/2015 at 1:44 pm

    Beautiful! Thanks for “stopping by” my garden too 🙂
    Your strawberries look great! Ours have come and gone but we loved each and every bite. Clever netting you have there as well.
    In my garlic bed, I’ll be planting kale, chard, etc and some late seasons carrots and beets. We may also play around with a cover crop to see how well it amends the soil. Happy gardening!

    • Carie 03/07/2015 at 7:31 pm

      Ooh I shall have to look for some late season carrots, I think that’s what we’d get most use of – or I might try spinach again!

  • barnraised (Jen) 03/07/2015 at 6:11 pm

    Looking good!

    • Carie 03/07/2015 at 7:31 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • sally 03/07/2015 at 7:37 pm

    It’s looking great, and I think I’ve got hooked this year too – so your comment about how you had too much time on your hands got an extra large rueful smile from me! And I’m also very interested in answers to what you can plant now too, I like the sound of the leek plan, I’ll be looking for those now.

  • Emma T 03/07/2015 at 10:18 pm

    Love your garden. Looks so much fun and very fruitful (no pun intended).

    We managed tomatoes last year – my first attempt at something, but this year tried strawberries, big fail. Next year will try plants, but I do need to get some decent tubs or something to put them in. I do have radishes and rocket to do now though. Must do them this weekend.

    • Carie 04/07/2015 at 11:19 pm

      Radishes and rocket sounds like a great combination – I’m sorry the strawberries failed, I started all of mine as small plants so maybe that’s the answer!

  • Kim 03/07/2015 at 11:23 pm

    So happy to hear you are hooked 🙂 It is so satisfying to grow your own food, isn’t it? Enjoy!

    Happy weekend.

    • Carie 04/07/2015 at 11:19 pm

      Totally addictive!!

  • Angela @Little Apple Tree 04/07/2015 at 11:04 pm

    Sun-warmed strawberries are the bestest strawberries! You have a lovely little garden.

    • Carie 04/07/2015 at 11:21 pm

      Aren’t they just! And thank you, it’s very diddy but we love it!

  • Brett Ann Stanciu 05/07/2015 at 4:35 am

    Your strawberries look lovely! Ours have gone the way of too much rain and too many birds.

    • Carie 05/07/2015 at 7:07 am

      oh no! Well I hope the birds enjoyed them anyway!