Real Men Sow

6 Things I’m Hoping For On My Return from Holiday


I’m off on holiday for a week today. The veg beds and seedlings have been left in the capable hands of my mum, and my suitcase is packed with shorts and flip flops.

Going on holiday is great, but coming home is exciting too. I love the first trip down to the plot after time away. It’s exhilarating to see what has grown in your absence.

Here are 6 things I’m hoping for on my return from holiday.

Bigger Tomato Seedlings!
My tomatoes are taking an age to grow. I sowed them in the greenhouse at the beginning of April, but they’re still only 9 inches or so tall (pictured). I usually aim to plant out tomatoes and other tender veg plants by the beginning of June, but it looks like I’m going to be late this year.

Every day I have been urging the tomatoes to grow quicker. I’ll be leaving them in the greenhouse whilst I’m way, with my fingers crossed that the plants will be big enough to plant out on our return.

Strawberry Harvest
Last year, I went on holiday at this time of year too, just as the strawberries ripened. Cue gloating text messages from my dad that he was nicking all the best strawberries from my garden on his way home every night.

The strawberries are much slower this year (fortunately for me!), but there are lots of flowers, and small fruits forming. A week of sunshine will do the world of good, and I’m optimistic of a handful of sweet strawbs when I walk back through the door this time next week.

The elderflower is out, which means the gooseberries can’t be far away either. I’ve harvested cooking gooseberries as early as the first week in June before, so I’m anticipating that the sun will ripen the gooseberries too so I can explore some more of the elderflower combos. Last year I made a fool, and I’ll definitely be repeating that.

Being cooking gooseberries (they’re the green ones by the way) you can harvest them earlier than the red eaters as the cooking will sweeten and soften the fruit.

Broad Beans
Another harvest I’m looking forward to is the broadies. I overwintered plants this year, but the amount of beans is disappointing at the moment. That said, there are still beans to be had and by next week hopefully enough to accompany our dinner, as well as a broad bean, feta and mint smash on toast…

Planting Out Leeks
Leeks are best planted out when pencil thick. Like the tomatoes, the growth of my leeks have been sluggish but they’re starting to bulk up now. I’d say they’re more the size of the inside of a biro than pencil thick, but a week longer of sunshine and the seedlings will be ready to go into the ground.

I’ll be using my homemade leek dibber to plant out the leeks next weekend – I’m not sure why, but this is one of my favourite jobs of the year.

Totting Up May’s Veg Saving!
I can also tot up the first full month’s savings on the 2015 Grow Your Own Savings project! I won’t give too much away, but the rhubarb has definitely made a positive impact on my spreadsheet entries for May.

May into June is always a wonderful time from my experience. Suddenly, everything is growing and the hungry gap passes on. The days are long, and Winter seems a distant memory.

So, when I’m back and tweeting about the holiday blues, please refer me to this post. A nice list of the good things to come will do wonders in perking me up!

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About Real Men Sow

meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope. However, over a decade later, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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