Last week, I posted about trying to find the time to write some decent blog posts now Lewis is a walking, talking bundle of energy who will shortly be joined by a new sibling.
In concluded that my plan for the next few months is to try publishing a slimmed-down Sunday version of Real Men Sow – with all the usual growing tips and anecdotes, but more of a weekly digest of what’s happened on the plot, jobs for the next week, links to previous posts where I’ve covered relevant stuff and anything else that’s tickled my fancy that week.
So, without further ado, here’s my first Real Men Sow Sunday update. It doesn’t have a proper name yet, but I’m working on that. My brain is fried from decorating, so any ideas are greatly appreciated. For now, the working title is the Sunday Supplement. I hope you find it useful.
In the week that astronauts grew lettuce in space, things have been more conventional here at Real Men Sow HQ. After defeating the blackfly earlier in the Summer, I’ve been rewarded with a promising crop of runner beans, as well as beetroots, salad, and of course, plenty of courgettes.
Since I began growing runners in my rich raised beds, the crops have improved dramatically. Runners like soil high in nutrients, so make sure you dig in lots of well-rotted muck before planting out (you could also try a runner bean trench, which I used to do on my allotment sometimes).
Over the next few weeks, harvesting will reach its peak, and in order to enjoy your produce in tip-top condition, learning to know when to harvest is important. Here’s a post I wrote not so long ago, with 6 tips for harvesting allotment crops.
Beating the Cabbage White Butterflies
I that maybe, just maybe, I’ve beaten the cabbage whites too. I covered my brassicas in scaffolder netting as soon as I put the seedlings in this year, which I hadn’t done in previous Summers. I cut a large piece of netting so the plants had room to grow up, supported it with sticks, and held the net down with bricks.
There were a few hearts in mouth moments as the butterflies hovered over the netting a couple of weeks ago, but at the minute, the kale and cavolo nero looks to be surviving. That’s a real relief, as these reliable, hardy cut and come again veg are an absolute winter staple in our house. A Winter without kale is definitely a rubbish one, as I can testify after 2013’s brassica massacre.
I’ve noticed the traditional courgette and marrow glut is striking, with people asking for ideas for using up their harvests. Well, here’s one from leftfield: according to the blog archives, I made this Good Food marrow and pecan cake two years ago this week, and I’d very much recommend it if you’ve got some time this weekend.
The cake is dead easy but really tasty and although the ingredients ask for marrows, courgettes work just as well. A marrow is, after all, just a grown-up courgette.
I’m in the process of writing a blog post detailing my favourite courgette recipes, and hopefully, by next Sunday I’ll have finished so can include them in the Sunday Supplement 2. If you’re anything like me, a lot of August is spent rummaging through cookbooks in search of something different to do with courgettes!
Have a good week.