Thursday, July 26, 2007

I say tomato

The first tomatoes of the year! Gardener's Delight, and very tasty they were too. Shop-bought tomatoes can't compete with home grown, freshly picked ones - the skins are thicker on home-grown ones, especially if grown outdoors, but the taste is much more intense and properly tomato-ey. Plenty of little green tomatoes on the early plants, especially the Rosada:
See all those tiny plum tomatoes, just waiting for some sunshine? I'm hoping the dreadful summer we've had so far means we might get a decent August and maybe a good Indian summer so everything will have a chance to ripen up.

The courgettes are also beginning to do their thing:

Picked a couple last week, and another couple tonight, with quite a few small ones developing nicely on the plants. The last couple of years have been dreadful for courgettes (not only me, my aunt and cousin also had bad years) but this year, despite an early profusion of male flowers, it seems there should be plenty to pick. Again, shop bought can't compare to freshly picked - A doesn't really like courgettes but ate the home grown ones last week and declared them to be a different taste altogether.

Leaves not doing too badly:
although I've have to sow a third batch of mixed leaves, as the snails took most of the second sowing, despite the presence recently of Prickles:
We used to have regular visits, as evidenced by occasional viewings of two different hedgehogs (who we named Spike and Prickles - but knowing a little about hedgehog habits, there could actually have been half a dozen of them calling in) plus the little hedgehog poops they left behind. Then, the last couple of years, they didn't seem to have been around at all, so I was really pleased to see this little chap the other night. Especially as it seems not only do hedgehogs eat slugs, they also deal pretty swiftly with snails, from the "crunch, crunch, slurp" sounds that Prickles was making, and the broken shells he was leaving behind. Frogs have also returned to the pond, so hopefully they'll deal with at least some of the slugs. But it's so wet and mild at the moment, I might as well rename my garden "slugopolis". There's a reason one of the roads we live between is called Endyke and the other Inglemire - might as well have called our part of the world "bogland".
But at least we won't have a hosepipe ban this year ....


Blogger Lianne said...

How cute is Mr Prickles? I do love hedgehogs. Had no idea they ate snails - I usually spot them in bins, chomping their way through bits of old pizza.

Your veggies are looking lovely Sal. Wish I had a garden!

8:17 am  
Blogger Stacie said...

My co-worker wants to know what hedgehog poops look like? Like rabbit's?

7:13 pm  
Blogger Jackie's Garden said...

Oh, I WANT those red tomatoes! I have only green, darn it. But, I think you can keep those hedgehogs...I've never seen one, and think maybe I don't want to. :-)

10:45 pm  
Blogger Viv said...

Oooh! Lucky you! Lovely looking tomatoes!! My plant hasn't got any at all on it yet... but I'm still hoping! Some late summer sun would be perfect.

Have fun in Stratford, I'd love to hear how the Penelopiad goes!

3:23 pm  

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