Darsham Nurseries Cafe, potager, kitchen garden, vegetables from seed, harvesting vegetables,
The Daily Dibber

Kitchen gardener for the Darsham Nurseries Cafe. Seedaholic. Grower and lover of food and flowers.

2

In Two Minds

It’s the third week of August and for me one of the most difficult times of the year in a kitchen garden.

The harvests are coming thick and fast. Daily boxes of fat juicy tomatoes, courgettes and cucumbers are being delivered to the chef. Several times a week there is freshly picked agretti, summer radicchio, kohl rabi and rocket to name but a few.

The summer squashes have started producing good produce and the chillies and peppers are nearly ready. Our watermelons are also looking promising.

However increasingly my mind is distracted by the menus of autumn and winter. However difficult it is currently  (27 degrees) to imagine crisp mornings and frosty nights it’s crucial that the correct vegetable varieties are sown now. Here at Darsham the middle eastern inspired dishes dictate the future harvests. There will be no sprouts, very little cabbages and definitely no pac choi grown. Ornamentals also have to be considered. What cut flowers will be snipped in November? The beds all have to be planned. The polytunnel will also be utilised more, last year we could have given Waitrose a run for their money, the indoor kale produced was just dreamy. I am determined that the forced Treviso varieties of radicchios will be a success this year. The allotment will be full of mainly onions and garlic and winter radishes. It’s all quite a challenge.

But first some nice pictures, here’s some of this week’s harvests:

On the right is a new variety called 'Bennings Green Tint'. Very happy with these.

On the right is a new variety called ‘Bennings Green Tint’. Very happy with these.

Mixed heritage tomatoes.

Mixed heritage tomatoes.

'Blue Beauty' is a favourite with everyone.

‘Blue Beauty’ is a favourite with everyone.

'Worlds smallest' from Nickys Nursery is a prolific cropper.

‘Worlds smallest’ from Nickys Nursery is a prolific cropper.

Yummy 'Pink Fir' potatoes.

Yummy ‘Pink Fir’ potatoes.

First batch of cucamelons.

First batch of cucamelons.

I have never since a chef move so fast. Speed pickles.

I have never since a chef move so fast. Speed pickles!

Nothing is wasted, the pink jar is 'Magenta' chard stems.

Nothing is wasted, the pink jar is ‘Magenta’ chard stems.

The cucumber plants are getting wearier by the day. Fruits are misshapen. But in their defence they have been astonishingly prolific.

The cucumber plants are getting wearier by the day. Fruits are misshapen. But in their defence they have been astonishingly generous.

There have been some fabulous potager companions too this year:

Sunflower 'Infared'

Sunflower ‘Infared’

Aster 'Giant Californian'

Aster ‘Giant Californian’

Sunflower 'Copper Queen'

Sunflower ‘Copper Queen’

Ageratum 'Blue Horizon'

Ageratum ‘Blue Horizon’

Dahlia 'Karma Chocolate'.

Dahlia ‘Karma Chocolate’.

Zinnia 'Oaklahoma Salmon' ...and friend.

Zinnia ‘Oaklahoma Salmon’ …and friend.

Inside the polytunnel there is progress too:

We have many peppers this year, this one is called 'Lilac Bell'.

We have many peppers this year, this one is called ‘Lilac Bell’.

Definitely one headed towards the pickles is 'Pepperoncini'.

Definitely one headed towards the pickles is ‘Pepperoncini’.

'Sweet Pepper Corbaci' doesn't feel ripe yet but is already eight inches long.

‘Sweet Pepper Corbaci’ doesn’t feel ripe yet but is already eight inches long.

My kind of hanging basket. ‘Sugar baby’ watermelons.

Maybe it’s the heat but  I just don’t yet feel completely prepared with my winter plans yet. Trays have been sown with kale, radicchio, lambs lettuce, spring onions, chard, florence fennel, overwintering onions and parsley. Puntarelle, leeks, potatoes, kohl rabi and some rabbity dandelion are already planted. It’s just a bit early for mustards and spinach. I also want to trial more experimental planting inside the polytunnel.

The slug damage outside this year has been frustrating, costly and infuriating.

The 5 p’s are niggling me.

Proper planning prevents poor performance. The dibber is going to have to be ditched temporarily, more paperwork sadly is needed. Darn it.

limegarden@sky.com • 24th August 2016


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1 Comment on In Two Minds

Karen said : Guest Report 12 months ago

It all looks so beautiful 😊 having moved house last November I am.still struggling with exhusted soil, so no beautiful pictures for me.this year.

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