Purple Haze

Apologies for my absence on the blog lately, I’ve had a very busy month. I haven’t been to my plot nearly as much as I’ve liked, and when I have been, I haven’t had the time to blog about it.

It’s been a fruitful few weeks on the plot. We’ve finally had the chance to taste some of our produce. Last week, we dug up our early potatoes, partly because they were ready and partly because they got very bad blight and I decided to just pull them up instead of trying to fight it off. We ended up with a mountain of lovely, bright purple baby potatoes which were miles tastier than any new potato I’ve had in a long time. Maybe it was the satisfaction of knowing I had grown them myself but they were really delicious, fluffy and floury. The variety of new earlies we grew were Red Dukes of York and I’m so pleased with them that I think I’ll grow them again next year.

Bucket of spuds

We’ve also had some lovely swiss chard, rocket and perpetual spinach over the past two weeks. There seems to be a very purple/pink theme happening in the plot at the moment. We’ve had purple potatoes, chard, and of course, yesterday we pulled up some gorgeous, bright purple, baby beetroot.

My rhubarb which, you may remember, had been destroyed by the bad weather in April, has come back to life and is now absolutely huge, thick purple stalks and huge leaves, it’s torture not to be able to pick some but I’ve been told time and time again not to pick it in the first year so alas, I just have to admire the view and wait until next spring before I indulge.

Rhubarb and a million weeds

My strawberries are starting to ripen and I stole a cheeky nibble of one yesterday. It’s amazing to be able to sit on my plot and eat veggies, straight from the ground.

The plot is, however, in dire need of some work, the weeds in some parts are knee high and unfortunately, a lot of my plants have bolted. My swiss chard, which has been doing well until now, bolted over the weekend and I had to pull up two of the plants as they were no longer viable, I also noticed a few of my red onions were starting to bolt so I cut off the centre stalks and I’m hoping I caught them early enough. My dad tells me that bolted onions do not store as well so to pull them up as you need them, thankfully it only happened to a few. The weather continues to be a challenge this year, the warm, wet conditions are a haven for blight, pests and of course it’s causing many of my plants to bolt, but it is my first year and there’s a huge learning curve, I’ve already learned some invaluable lessons for next year. I’m just pleased I’ve had so much success so far.

I’m very excited about one thing in particular. My peas, they have pods! Only a couple of weeks until I can pick my favourite crop from the plot, nothing beats fresh peas from the garden. They make all the hard work worthwhile.


0 thoughts on “Purple Haze”

  1. Glad you are back. What a great report! I’m a first-timer, too, so I’m very interested in your findings (even though our climate is much different). I want to try those potatoes, but you can only grow potatoes from potatoes, right? Can you write about how you will grow them next year?

  2. OK, someone explain why you cannot eat the rhubarb of the first year? I received mine on a transplant from a friend who was thinnning hers. I didn’t wait either when I grew it at my old place or when we moved. I am ready to transplant some now as the patch has gotten too big, and I am pretty interested in this no first year thing. I have heard that on asparagus, but… Love the rest of your stuff. Also to the question above about potatoes, yes you must plant them from potatoes. I have used old over grown ones, but the best is purchasing good seed potatoes. My aunt claims they planted just the eyes from the peelings, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Good luck to all. I can’t wait to start eating from my garden in earnest. In the Dakotas that doesn’t always happen until the end of July or early August.

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