Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Summer in the potager

 My potager is all planted up with happy growing seedlings for the season ahead. I love it in early summer.... the plants are growing well and looking healthy, everything is green, nothing has overgrown or flopped or fallen and it's all showing signs of promise, promise, promise.

 I've put all my tomatoes in the First Quarter this season. We'll see how they like it here... hopefully it's not too shaded from the tree. There are Sunset runner beans growing up the arch and sugar snap peas growing on the fence next to it. Basil is edging the path.

 The Second Quarter has garlic and shallots in the closest part. They have gone a bit yellow at the tips. This happened last year too... perhaps they didn't get enough water at the early stages. (I don't always water the potager much in the early stages of the season, at least until more seedlings go in.) Also, they've got infested with small black bugs that obviously like the tast of garlic (that's not supposed to happen!!) so I'll need to google those and deal to them.

In the second half is sweet corn, interplanted with some heritage bean seeds I was given. They are called Cherokee Cornfield beans, and since I've never tried growing beans and corn together before I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try.  I've also got a couple of pumpkin seedlings which have sprouted from the compost. Pumpkins never do well for me but since they're part of the traditional Three Sisters arrangement I'll chuck them in too!

 In the narrow Third Quarter I have borlotti beans, lavender hedging and chillis at the far end. I normally grow potatoes in this bed but they weren't up to much last year so I've moved them on.

 In the Fourth Quarter I have La Ratte potatoes at the left, broccoli and cabbages in the middle, celtuce at the right (a cross between celery and lettuce I believe? It's ready to harvest so I better look up what to do with it!) and yep, more beans at the back. I do like beans, luckily. The big clump in the middle are Sunset runner beans (so reliable) and I have some more heritage ones that have just come up. They're called Hidatsu Shield Figure Climbing Bean and they look like a borlotti bean that's been half dipped in white paint. It will be quite interesting to see what these heritage beans turn out like!

 I love it when the beans start to scramble over the arch. It makes it feel like a secret garden. I tried sweet peas on the arch at the front, but they don't climb very well. Back to the planning notebook for that one.

In the glasshouse I have seven tomatoes, six peppers, two pots of gherkins and a mandarin. Oh yes, three pots of basil, three hanging baskets of strawberries and some lavender seedlings. The tomatoes in the glasshouse are quite rampant, I do hope the fruit won't be too far away... (though they have only just begun to flower so it will). With this cold start to the season I'm even more grateful for my glasshouse though! The only problem is that with all the plant growth, there's no longer room for my chair. Guess I'll just have to sit on the ground...


  1. your potager is looking great, i love watching it progress through the season. i have a few heritage beans growing as well - i have a secret bean fetish!.

    1. Thanks Rach! I love beans too, they are so versatile - fresh in summer or dried in winter. And they look so pretty growing up fences!



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