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Growing Veg 2016/#5: Outside Planting & Greenhouse Update

Greenhouse Plants |

Boy, have I been busy. Since May 1st I have been in the garden every day prepping, planting, watering, weeding and protecting this year’s selection of vegetables. I have developed shapely upper arms from carrying countless 10 litre (10 kg) buckets of water from the house to my vegetable patch. I have acquired in-depth knowledge on the burrowing habits of moles. I am tired, I am tanned and I am happy.

Last year I had four raised beds in my main vegetable plot. While I got good yields it wasn’t enough to fully supply our vegetable needs for the year, so this year I decided to expand. I had intended on doubling the plot to eight beds but somehow I have ended up with twelve. No harm, I thought – I’ll find something to plant in them. Selecting seeds to plant was, of course, the easy part. As we had fully rotavated the entire plot to expand the area, new beds needed to be built and then the earth painstakingly broken down and smoothed over, ready for planting. (From a body workout perspective I can confirm that hoeing and raking work on shoulders, arms and obliques. Remember to switch your leading arm from time to time for body balance.)

Preparing Vegetable Beds |

Two done, ten left to do.

My planting is now complete, save for one or two small corners. Here’s a full listed of what I’ve planted, including the varieties sown:

  1. Beetroot, candy cane – Chioggia
  2. Beetroot, golden – Boldor
  3. Beans, string green – Saxa
  4. Beans, string green – Ferrari
  5. Beans, string yellow – Tara
  6. Beans, string yellow – Blondor
  7. Beans, white – Unknown
  8. Beans, red spot – Borlotti
  9. Beans, large white – Cannellini
  10. Broccoli – Rumba F1
  11. Butternut Squash – Waltham Butternut
  12. Carrots – Nectar F1
  13. Carrots – Karlena
  14. Cauliflower – Nautilus F1
  15. Chillies – Cayenne
  16. Corn – Golden Bantam
  17. Courgette (zucchini) – Astra Polka
  18. Courgette (zucchini) – Cora F1
  19. Fennel – Fino
  20. Lettuce – Grand Rapids
  21. Lettuce – Saladin
  22. Lettuce – Merlot (Red)
  23. Lettuce – Merveille Des Quatres Saisons (Red)
  24. Melon – Jaune Canari 2
  25. Onions – Exhibition
  26. Onions – The Kelsae
  27. Onions – Unknown (from sets)
  28. Onion (Scallions) – Parade
  29. Radish – Duett
  30. Rocket – Olivetta
  31. Sage – Common Sage
  32. Sorrel – Lyonski
  33. Spinach – Monnopa

My greenhouse plants and herbs were listed in previous posts.

If everything I planted grows to plan I am going to have a very busy harvest and am going to need a bigger freezer!

Fennel Plant |

Fennel plants, started indoors at the end of March, are doing great outdoors.

Lettuce Plants |

Early lettuce plants in the polytunnel

We had planted 6 new fruit trees (four varieties of apple and two sweet cherry) last autumn and they are doing well, although we don’t expect any fruit this year.
We have added to these a number of fruit bushes:

  1. Raspberries – Unknown
  2. Red currants – Jonkheer Van Tets
  3. Gooseberries – Hinnonmaki Red

We already have a number of established fruit trees and bushes – apple, pear, plum, damson, sweet cherry, sour cherry, red currants, black currants, gooseberries and rhubarb. All flowered well and we look set for a great crop this year. I see lots of delicious juice, wine, jams, sauces and relishes in my future!

My greenhouse crops are growing strongly. For some reason my cucumbers did not fare well initially and one eventually died, but the rest have recovered and are fruiting well. The plants are already up to the roof of the greenhouse! My tomatoes are also large. All flowered well and I have lots of fruit developing. My peppers and chillies are still small by comparison but again are flowering well and starting to produce fruit. So far I am happy with my seed selection and planting choices.

Cucumber Plant |

Tiny Tomatoes Growing |

Tiny Bell Pepper |

Weeding is just starting in earnest. I can never understand how the weeds grow faster than the plants. With twelve beds I’ll essentially be working my way through and then starting again, round in circles, for the rest of the season. (From a workout perspective, weeding works on stretching hamstrings and strengthening lower back, stomach and glutes.) Time to have another coffee, convince myself I’m not tired and get to it!

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Wildflowers in my garden, Lithuania |

Some wildflowers and wildlife in the garden

19 Comments Post a comment
  1. Very much impressed. Looking forward to your harvest with you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    June 23, 2016
  2. Everything looks great & healthy. Sounds like you are in awesome shape. And to think some people spend a ton of money on gym memberships 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    June 21, 2016
    • If only more people knew, Amy – fresh veg AND a workout all rolled into one! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      June 22, 2016
  3. Mike Palmer #


    I Skyped with family in Lazdininkai last night, and they suffered some damage to their (plastic) greenhouse, and it would seem that there was damage inland in Kaunas. I trust that all is well with you guys, and that you didn’t lose any of your greenhouse plantings !

    Liked by 1 person

    June 20, 2016
    • Hi Mike. We did have that storm here in our village and some trees came down (see photos in link below) but thankfully our polytunnel and garden were not damaged, other than a few leaves on my zucchini plants. The weather seems to have settled now again. Hope your family’s damage was not too extensive.


      June 20, 2016
  4. lindydugan #

    Your produce pictures are beyond belief, super-spectacular! My organic produce is not so commercially attractive, having been nibbled by insects and whatever. Still tastes good, nutrient dense and a blessing! Oregon Vegetable Grower Lindy

    Liked by 1 person

    June 9, 2016
    • Thanks Lindy. Delighted you like the photos. I’ve been lucky with insects so far this year. Happy planting!


      June 10, 2016
  5. This is stunning and uplifting and inspiring and I thank you. I’ve shared the post on FaceBook to give a similar great green vibe to my friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 9, 2016
    • Oh, thank you Osyth. That is really lovely to hear. I do fear that these posts about planting vegetables are boring as sin to people who don’t grow veg themselves, which is why I try to intersperse them with a bit of humour and some nice photos. Thank you so much for sharing on FB – that’s very much appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

      June 9, 2016
  6. Wow June that is hugely impressive! You obviously have a great talent. I can’t even keep my herbs alive. Does that mean you don’t have to buy fruit or veg at all?

    Liked by 1 person

    June 9, 2016
    • Thanks Donna! I don’t know about talented but I certainly work hard at it! The plan is to get to a stage where we don’t have to buy any fruit or veg, or very little at least. There are certain things we can’t grow, like citrus fruit, and some we don’t grow yet, like potatoes. I definitely think we will have enough fruit and juice to see us through to next summer but we may still need to supplement veg, depending on what does and doesn’t grow.

      Liked by 3 people

      June 9, 2016
      • I just had a look at your other posts and I think what you’re doing is great. It must be a real sense of achievement after all your hard work. I hope the crops are successful.

        Liked by 2 people

        June 9, 2016
      • Thanks Donna. I do remember a great sense of achievement when I finally got finished harvesting and processing everything last year. I was completely knackered, but a nice kind of knackered. Fingers crossed I get a good crop. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        June 9, 2016
  7. Fantastic June (and Arunus no doubt!), Surely you can’t comsume all of those veg, herbs and fruit, as wonderful as they are, do you intend to go ‘commercial’?

    Liked by 1 person

    June 9, 2016
    • Thanks Gary! I know it sounds like a lot of veg, but if you consider that it needs to feed us for a whole year it’s not that much. Five portions a day for two people for 365 days is a lot of fruit and veg! Much of the fruit will be turned into wine and juice and more will be made into jams and sauces. I actually worry that we haven’t planted enough! We may have too much of some things, but I reckon we’ll end up trading for veg we didn’t grow (such as potatoes) rather than selling. We’ll see how it goes. It’s only my third year growing, though, so my hope at this stage is just that everything will grow!

      Liked by 3 people

      June 9, 2016

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Growing Vegetables #7: Winding Down | My Food Odyssey
  2. Half-Sour Pickles | Rauginti Agurkai [Recipe] | My Food Odyssey
  3. Growing Vegetables #6: Harvesting Begins | My Food Odyssey

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