Saturday, 4 June 2016

First and last

We are enjoying the first of the mangetout and almost the last of the swiss chard. I thought the chard was finished earlier in the year but having chopped it right back to ground level a couple of plants sprang back into to life. They are now on their last legs and are going to seed so we really shall be finishing it off over the next few days.

We have just a handful of mangetout at the moment but a lot more are forming on the plants.The yellow ones are Golden Sweet from the Real Seed Catalogue and the green are Oregon Sugar Pod. I started both of them off indoors in seed pans. The Oregon was originally grown in window sill pots for early spring pea shoots but after a few cuttings I decided to see how they would fare outside. I did protect both varieties from the cold snaps we had by surrounding them with a sort of cold frame made from old metal window frames, bubble wrap and garden fleece. 

I spotted the Golden Sweet seeds in the Reading Food Growing Network's seed swap box along with the more common Oregon Sugar Pod. (I swapped some Indigo Beauty tomato seeds for them). That is one of the great things about community seed swaps; both the unusual and commonplace are often to be found side by side. The Golden Sweet is growing at about the same rate as the Oregon, but I understand it eventually reaches double the Oregon's height. One other noticeable feature of the Golden Sweet is the lovely purple-blue flowers. Easy to grow, tasty and pretty. Definitely worth a try. 

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