Filling in the gaps

I’ve been filling in the gaps today, with rows of spring onions, beetroot, radish and various salad greens appearing all over the raised beds.  So that we have at least something green by the weekend I’ve also planted out the New Zealand spinach that was originally meant to be part of the container growing demonstration. I It was slightly disappointing in the container but having just read how to plant it whilst  searching for the link, I’m amazed I managed to get anything at all. I also have a few things off the market (mainly lettuce).

It’s good to fill in the gaps, but I have a confession to make. I’m not that fond of salad. Spinach is OK but lettuce is tasteless, radish is pointless and beetroot is downright unpleasant. Thoughts like these are a disadvantage when it comes to growing your own.

Fortunately I love beans, peas, courgettes, nasturtiums and horseradish, which are the other things I’ve been planting.

My Good King Henry, comfrey, bamboo and pampas grass are all refusing to show but the rhubarb seedlings are looking good and I’ve just been re-potting Cape Gooseberry seedlings.

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NZ spinach on the edge of a broad bean bed

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Salads in an unused corner

I’m now starting to worry (after finding out about what I should have done with the NZ spinach) that there’s a lot more I need to learn and that I need to fill gaps in my knowledge as well as the physical gaps in the beds.

5 thoughts on “Filling in the gaps

  1. quercuscommunity Post author

    I’ll admit that you have a valid point regarding much of this, even beetroot leaves, though as a man I’d rather confine salad to the role of garnish. But I won’t concede on beetroot itself. Whether I was attacked with one as a kid or something I don’t know, but even the thought of it makes me feel queasy. It’s just a quirk of nature but given the choice between cannibalism and beetroot… 😉

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    1. Julia Davis-Coombs

      Well of course you’re entitled to personal preferences! I do believe our bodies tell us what they need, and what they can’t have. And sometimes that may come from foggy childhood memories. For me, it’s lima beans (possibly the same as broad beans). Ugh. 🙂

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      1. quercuscommunity Post author

        Lima beans are butter beans, something I gradually learned to like. Broad beans are fava beans, which I’ve always loved. Apart from our different tastes in veg isn’t it strange that there are so many ways of naming beans?Definitely two nations divided by a common language!

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  2. Julia Davis-Coombs

    I come to the defence of lettuce and beets. While iceberg lettuce is indeed tasteless, to my mind, there are many other varieties of lettuce, with tastes varying from delicate butteriness (think the small fluffy heads of some English lettuces) through the lightly ‘green’ taste of cut-and-come-again Lola Rosa or Lola Blanda, and the mustardy taste of Japanese mizun (picked young to use like lettuce) right up to the hot pepper kick of rocket (which I don’t like in quantity, but find it’s okay as an accent in a mixed salad). Even radish leaves (the smallest ones) work in a ‘lettuce’ salad. Regardless of taste, crunch and bulk is key for the palette, while colour variety appeals to the eye, improving one’s appetite.
    As for beets, please don’t write them off–use the greens just like spinach (raw, steamed or stir-fried, depending how big they are), and then steam or simmer or roast the roots. You’ll find they have a sweet, nutty flavour. Just don’t pickle them or smother then in candied gravy.

    As a bonus for your purposes, all of these salad vegetables, including (baby) beets, are fast-growing, and give fabulous variety to a garden that gets regular visitors/random helpers.

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