First signs of edible life in the garden

BFF: Pumpkin and potatoes

Its been a while since I posted a garden update, but fear not – the plants live! In fact, my poor little serrano peppers were the only casualties. My fault completely. Their seeds had only just sprouted in a small pot indoors when I over-ambitiously thrust them outside to scorch in the bright sun (who could have seen that coming in England?). Lesson learned: be patient.

Fortunately, my fondness for hot peppers means I didn’t restrict my chilli crop to serranos alone. All of my jalapenos are alive and well and last weekend, I glimpsed my first sign of an actual chilli. I can taste the salsa now!

There will be peppers!

The jalapenos weren’t the only plant to make an appearance. It seems like all around the garden, things are finally taking off.

The tomato plant in the raised bed has fruited. There are just a few little bundle-balls of joy so far, but I know there are more to come.

First tomatoes of the polytunnel

I even harvested my first potato yesterday. I’m growing the spuds in a big pot, and I now understand why ready-made potato growing pots have access points at the bottom: I really had to DIG to find that potato! In theory, there’s more where that came from, but I’m kind of tempted to wait a bit and let them develop more. These are Queen Royal earlies (I think – though I don’t trust my memory on the name and may very well be word associating). Potato growers of the world – when do you know that they’re ready?

First potato

I’m also growing pumpkins in a very large pot next to the potatoes. Sweet pumpkins, so when Thanksgiving and Christmas arrive, I can pay homage to the fam back home with a good old fashioned pumpkin pie just like mom used to (and still does) make. The pumpkins are VERY happy, except for when they are sad, usually because they are thirsty. And man do they drink a lot of water.

Pumpkin in progress

Now this really excites me: cucumbers! My first gherkin is hanging tenderly by the seat of its pants, anxious to grow into a full-grown pickle, ripe for pickling. If you know me at all, then you know I’m obsessed with pickles, and forever disappointed by the pickles I’ve found in UK supermarkets. Most are overly sweet, and not at all crispy. The baby gherkins are sometimes a fair compromise, but sometimes a girl needs a big, juicy, crisp dill pickle. If the UK pickle-makers ever had a Chicago-style veggie dog (or a battered and fried dill pickle), they’d understand.

First cucumber sighting

Beyond the garden, in the orchard that our cottage is named after, the apples and pears have appeared, and I’m so excited to see them. We are going to have a TON of apples this year, and I’m already thinking about what to do with them. I’m trying to look beyond an infinity of crumbles, shortcakes, pies and sauces and am somewhat inspired by our current elderflower champagne experiment. Watching, listening and smelling our bucket of bubbly brewing away makes me ambitious to try other home brews. So I’m thinking… cider? Why not?

First pear sighting

First apple sighting


6 thoughts on “First signs of edible life in the garden

  1. Mom

    Monica, yes indeed…. a plant can’t be brought outside without some conditioning to prepare it for the harsh existence outdoors. Kenny calls this "hardening off"… he puts his tender seedlings outside on the porch, out of direct sun, but where they experience the cooler nights and warmer days. They stay there for a few days or a week, getting frequent waterings. Then he moves them to their final home in the garden.

    Don’t be tempted to knock the blossoms off the tips of your veggies or fruits. This is the most vulnerable place on a vegetable, the place where most disease begins. When dried completely, the blossoms will drop off, kind of like an infant’s umbilical cord!

    Keep up the great work!

  2. Nome

    It’s all looking really good! My chillies are just starting to show their first buds too.

    If your potatoes are earlies, you can supposedly start harvesting from when they flower. If they’re too small now, give them another couple of weeks. Make sure they get enough water while they’re flowering, as this helps the potatoes to swell.

  3. Callie Durbrow

    Im jealous! I want my own garden, but living in an apartment building, the possibilities are extremely limited. Your garden looks great, keep up the good work!

  4. Jo

    My tomatoes are at about the same stage as yours. I’m looking forward to eating those first sun warmed tomatoes. Not all potatoes flower, especially when being grown in a container, so the best thing to do is have a feel about in the soil. You can take some of the larger potatoes and let the others continue growing if you don’t disturb the plant too much. I’ve been harvesting potatoes from my containers for a while now, they’re delicious, and I’ve still got all those on my allotment yet to dig up. I love gherkins too but have never grown them, perhaps I should.


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