Being on clay, our garden is having a slight issue with drainage. It’s actually reached saturation point now, and the vegetable plot is struggling slightly. Slightly may actually be an understatement… parts of the patch are now constantly under water. I’ve resigned myself to kissing some of the onions goodbye, but thought I’d have a cheeky look at the garlic I planted at the end of last year. The shoots above ground looked healthy enough, but it would only be a matter of time before the water took its toll and they rotted away.
Pulling on one of them, it slipped out of the ground with a satisfying slurp, and I was amazed to find quite a large garlic bulb at the end of it. With no time to lose, they were all up and out of the ground, and they are currently in the greenhouse drying out before I store them. According to the book you can lay them on the grass to dry, but looking at my lawn bog, I think not.
On a roll now, I decided to check on the spuds. I know of people who’ve had their first crop of early potatoes: mine were second earlies (International Kidney) and main crops (Cara) so there was every chance that some might be ready. Sticking my fork underneath one of the early plants, I gently eased one out of the ground, and am delighted to report there were actually decent-sized spuds in there. Fishing them all out and into my bucket, I soon had enough for dinner, and happily took them up to the house to wash them. Whilst doing this, I noticed that some had tiny holes in them, obviously caused by some grub or other. Making the executive decision to dig up the rest of the plants in the row before they all got chomped underground, I shot off back down the garden, wielding my trusty fork.
In no time at all, my bucket was full of lovely new potatoes, and I was feeling rather pleased with my haul. I topped it up with the broad beans that were ready, and plopped a cabbage on the top for good measure.
Swinging my bucket jauntily back to the house, I allowed myself a smug smile, as the day had finally arrived where we had enough produce from the garden to make an entire meal: we have hardly been ‘living off the land’ to date.
The other half and I then set about shelling the beans. As we weren’t due to eat them for another couple of hours, I wondered out loud if we had jumped the gun and they would lose their flavour at all between removing the pods and eating.
“Will they be alright in some water?” I asked.
The other half gave me a sidelong look and replied, “They’ve been in water all summer. I think they’ll feel quite at home…”
How’s everyone else doing with their growing? Any bumper crops to report?