• Kay

Cramming in the Kale


Much better weather today, only occasional showers and actually quite warm. It is ideal planting weather, the soil is damp, it is not too hot and there is likely to be showers to water in the new plants. I'm not feeling great, I have a bad sore throat, but I'm determined to make the most of today!

I finished planting the peas, which is a very fiddly job because each plant needs to be tied in several places as they were quite long and leggy. I add some companion planting of Zinnias and Cosmos. Before moving on to more planting I decide to weed the youngest onion bed. The spring onions in particular were being swamped by self seeding rocket. I remove loads of rocket and the smell is quite overwhelming in the wheelbarrow - its a shame I can't eat it all - but there is a limit to how many leaves I can eat!

Weeding this bed is quite tricky but, very necessary, onions are fussy, and they don't like being crowded so I'm glad I've done the job.

I then move on to the old leek bed that Andy cleared yesterday. It is always such a treat to have a bed ready for planting that I've not had to clear myself - thank you Andy! This bed is next to the cardoons, which are now towering over everything, so I start by tidying up their dead and overhanging leaves to improve access to the new bed which will be planted with Kale. I deliberately planted lots of Kale to use decoratively as it is so pretty. There are curly scarlet and dwarf green curly, Nero di Toscana, Afro and Duo mix - 4 trays in total. I've already used some dwarf green curly amongst the red cabbage but I decide to pack the rest into this bed, arranged in patterns 'à la Villandry' and combined with Cosmos and Zinnias. It will be very closely planted but hopefully the visual effect will be good, and there will be plenty to eat.

The cosmos I used are the plants that had rooted into the polytunnel bed, through the bottom of their trays- I rescued as much root as I could and prayed that these tall plants will continue to thrive - the weather will help.

I then picked lots of peas from the original bed of peas - these peas have given us a tremendous harvest of really flavoursome peas this year. I decide to shell them whilst sitting on a bench, listening to 'Gardeners Question Time' - idyllic! The peas then become part of a very tasty mince, potato and pea curry.

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