Potager year one: hmmmmm

Harvest time! Sort of. Not the most abundant potager harvest this season- and that isn’t just because I am being greedy, which I probably am, but a couple other reasons as well:

  1. Unusually hot dry summer (most people we know with a veg patch are grumbling)
  2. Hey – it is the first year…we are bound to make mistakes (and we did)

Now- I was drawing on my experience with a small vegetable garden years ago in Austin, Texas…which I thought was kind of the same climate (but even hotter) – however, we did get frequent crazy afternoon thunderstorms in Austin, and I did only regularly grow tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.  So there is limited real ‘transfer’ of knowledge there.

What are some things have I learned this year?

  • Weeds grow fast – I might want to think about a ground cover in between plants (d’oh)
  • Tomatoes need a bit more attention- a little more pruning might be in order
  • Tomatoes get big (and unruly) – sorry about that aubergines, I’ll give you more space next time!
  • I love tomatoes – no, I didn’t learn that, but damn a fresh grown tomato is delicious, I want more!  Oh yeah- chickens also love tomatoes, and weirdly Lupo (the husky) also loves tomatoes…I caught him sneaking among the tomato plants this morning.  So, I have competition
  • Courgettes are monsters- the plants take over, grow a lot larger than I thought, and I  swear – you turn your back for one day and suddenly you have mutant courgettes the size of your leg!
  • Carrots took way too long, and were a bit disappointing (probably the weather as well as the ground)- think I’ll go with more beetroot next year.
  • I have no idea how to grow ‘flower spouts’ (or brussels sprouts for that matter).  They are now just weird giant stalks with no sprouts.  Hmmmmm.
  • Mange tout don’t like extreme heat (and ended up way too fibrous, not very tout mange-able)

Now- if we can just find the new secret nest of the chickens – I could cook up a courgette frittata.  In the meantime it will be courgette gratin, stir fry, chutney, cake, or, hmm can you make courgette ice cream?!

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