This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Veg Update (Turnip, Tomato, Bean, Carrot, etc)

Below: Turnip growing in containers. 
After my initial problems with turnip bolting I'm finally managing to harvest. The pack recommends harvesting at golf ball size which is the one pictured just pulled from the soil. I was a bit worried the bigger ones would taste bitter but I did a raw taste test and they seemed fine... so they're now cooking in a casserole for dinner.

VarietyTurnip 'Purple Top Milan', Mr Fothergill's seeds, £1.49. 

Kale Curly Scarlet; Seed sown indoor 8 April 2012. I'm not too  fond of the texture but since I've very little else to harvest, tonight I'll stir fry curly kale with onion.
Above and below - the tomatoes are doing good. Lots of flowers and some fruits forming. They share the sun room / conservatory with the aubergine plants (and my bamboo table for four) . Varieties: Tomato 'Red Cherry' and  'Gardener's Delight'; seed sown indoor 8 April 2012.
Above: carrots sown in the wheelbarrow are finally growing.
Below: this is what happens when the drainage holes get clogged - and it rains almost every day!
Bean plant - one of the better looking plants but not producing much. 
Courgettes might just decide to produce - finally!
Below: Patty pan squash.
On the slug front - after safari hunting and experimenting with various home made traps (with the help of my 11 year old garden helper), I've gone back to beer traps. In one night, from 8 beer traps there were 42 slugs drowned. I managed to buy beer at 58pence per can. It took 2 cans of beer to fill 8 traps - at a total cost of 3pence per slug. A bargain especially if we manage to catch more slugs tonight from the same beer!

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.


  1. Your turnips look great....such a pretty color. Your Kale is pretty, too. And soon you will have tomatoes ripe and ready to eat, as well as two kinds of squash! A nice garden!. It is really quite nice of you to give the slugs a beer party; they seem to like it a lot!!Good luck getting rid of them!

  2. So did the slugs drown themselves in beer with an Irish tune on their tongues? I am glad that you found something that works. My dad used to grow turnips. I never liked them when mom cooked them, perhaps because they were far beyond the golf ball size. Do you grow parsnips? Now those I liked as a kid. I am amazed at your tomato vines. I will post this week about our tomatoes. You are to be commended on growing strong, healthy tomato vines.

  3. That courgette looks big enough to pick.

  4. At least you are having some success - it won't be long before you are harvesting lots of veg - I'm not terribly keen on turnip but I love swede - all a matter of personal taste I guess.

  5. I have sown the same variety of turnip this year. Its my first time so I hope they look like yours when I harvest them.

  6. Those turnips look perfect to me. Whenever I try to grow them they always get riddled with flea-beetle tunnels. Oh, I could just fancy a Navarin of Lamb with navettes (baby turnips)... They are lovely cooked long and slow in the lamb gravy. My solitary Patty Pan squash fruit is about the size of a marble still. I'm not sure yet if it has been pollinated.

  7. Hi Kelli, much the same story down here wind and rain, last night was like a Nov night as the wind howled!Veg not producing and everything is really hit and miss, monster slugs on the prowl too!

  8. Love your purple theme. Our milan purple top turnip does not get that much purple like yours. Your tomato growing great. Enjoyed watching your produce.