This weekly round-up is normally titled 'seedling spotlight'; however it's change to 'plant progress' is extremely telling in itself. We're 5 weeks into this year's London Vegetable Garden project and even at this early stage, we're starting to deal with some substantial plants. These plants were planted 5 weeks ago, however I have conducted some staggered planting this year, with a second batch of vegetable seeds being sown 12 days ago on the 7th of May.
So here's a look at what's 'growing on' in the London Vegetable Garden...
The early runner beans have really established themselves now. They are ready for planting out into the garden and worked alongside canes, which will be done this weekend, weather permitting!
Courgettes are another plant that is really starting to flourish. These plants grow quickly and they need planting out in the ground now, in order for their roots to spread out and seek maximum nourishment from the soil to aid their growth. You can plant these in pots too, providing you give them a hefty size and some really enriched soil.
There's nothing nicer than the taste of freshly shelled peas, which is why I'm so looking forward to these little chaps! Due to space restrictions in the garden, I'm planning to plant these in a hessian sack (available from all good garden stores) with cane support slots built in. I have also planted peas in my second batch of vegetable plants too, so that I can stagger the crop throughout the summer, shown below.
My tomatoes are also coming along nicely. Some thinning out is required and then in a few weeks, these plants will be a bit bigger and ready for direct planting into a grow bag.
Radishes are very quick and easy to grow and provide a fantastic, crunchy kick to summer salads. I planted some radish seeds 12 days ago, making use of an old wire frame for hanging flower boxes from balconies. I lined it with plastic bags (with drainage holes) and then newspaper, before filling with compost. Very makeshift, but it doesn't matter - plants don't mind where they grow!
This is the first year I've attempted French beans and they seem to be slower than other vegetable plants, yet coming along fine. Below you can see a '5-weeker' and a '2-weeker', representing the plants I have grown at different times.
Here's a shot of a couple of the 'outside' (mini greenhouse) plants ready for planting out:
My wife is a very understanding women and has very kindly allowed me to take over a small part of her work studio in the top of the house and turn it into a mini greenhouse. The skylight in the roof provides plenty of light and a great deal of warmth, which the new seedlings absolutely love:
Once again, I passionately believe that as vegetable gardeners, we learn from each other. This blog chronicles my attempts at growing vegetables, but I'm just as interested to hear from all of you. Please feel free to share your own gardening stories by leaving a comment on the blog, on our community-driven Facebook page or even on Twitter.