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

Monday, 10 September 2012

Veg Update (Aubergine, Bean, Tomato, etc)

Every year I grow something new from seed, and of course I panic slightly as to when to harvest. (Seed packs assume you know a bit about what you're growing!) Last year I grew tomatoes for the first time and I panicked about pinching out and tying in. This year I'm growing aubergine/eggplant for the first time and I still haven't eaten any as I'm not sure it's ready? A fellow blogger posted on Mark's Veg Plot that they are ready when they are shiny and slightly spongy to touch. I'm still unsure. The one at the bottom of the photo has gone past being shiny (however they're shiny as tiny little plants growing). I suppose I'll just have to pick and eat and hope for the best. That will be my goal this week!

Variety: Aubergine Early Long Purple 3. Sown from seed indoor on 8 April 2012; potted-on 17 June 2012 and grown over the summer in a sun room/glass house.

Above and Below:  The cherry sized tomatoes are ripening and I'm filling a small bowl daily which is just enough for my use in salads. I also enjoy them slightly oven-warmed as an accompaniment to any main dish.
Above and below: Pot grown Bean 'Dwarf Purple Queen'. I'm getting  a good, regular harvest this year - an improvement on last year. I must be getting better at growing veg! (However, I've had little success with Cobra and Scarlet Emperor this year.)
Above and Below: Speaking of Scarlet Emperor Beans - I did a late sowing and planted two plants in my flower border and it looks to have potential. I may get a meal or two out of it! (You can see Fennel in this photo as well; looks nice with the climbing bean.) 
Above: Courgette (yellow zucchini) 'Soleil F1' - It suffered blossom rot last year. This year I've had a few courgettes, however, it's on my list of poor producers. On the plus side, it looks pretty!

The other big producer at the minute is kale. Celery is very slow to grow, not sure I will have success this year; I think I sowed too late. Carrots are soon ready to harvest, after I had to resow several times (didn't seem to germinate early in the year), and I've potatoes to harvest. I've really enjoyed seeing posts of  fellow bloggers' summer harvests - really inspiring indeed ! Happy Harvesting!

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


  1. Beautiful harvests! I think your eggplant is ready! I think it is a different variety than I have seen (long and slender instead of a bulb shape) and it looks good. I like to dip eggplant in milk and then corn meal or Italian bread crumbs and fry it until tender. Then use in a casserole with tomato sauce and cheese melted (eggplant parmesan),adding oregano and basil for flavor.

  2. I am surprised that your yellow squash do so poorly. Here they bloom in abundance. Can't stop them. Now your egg plants are long like cucumbers while ours bell shaped or pear shaped. My faculty friends are loving them. And purple beans? Someone said that they do turn green when you cook them. They are pretty cool. You have a good harvest going there, Kellie.

  3. What a beautiful photo of your tomatoes. I have been waiting for mine to produce..but to no avail in this heat. This is the first time I have seen yellow zucchini is really pretty, or is it handsome?!

  4. You've done really well with your aubergines, it took me three years before I got a plant to fruit. I've just mentioned in my latest post that I find yellow courgettes never seem to produce as well as green ones do.

  5. It looks great, I love the purple beans, I planted some this year and they were neat when I cut them open they were green inside.. I can't await to plant more next spring and I will plant more..My tomato plant is huge and has a lot of flowers and tomatoes but keep getting these darn bugs...I love eggplants...nice job...Happy Tuesday with love Janice

  6. All your eggplants in the photo look ready to pick. Congratulation on your success on growing them, its not an easy plant to grow if you have short summer. Well done! Beautiful tomatoes. Miss them fresh.

  7. You are so very successful at the vegetables that you grow! Mine did not do well this year. The green beans didn't give me a single bean, the radishes went straight to seed and the potatoes were a complete joke! But there were other successes. Tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, and sugar snap peas turned out wonderful!

  8. You are so lucky to have the problem of deciding when your aubergines are ready for us no decision necessary - ours are still just flowers!

  9. If you leave one on the stem until it goes really past its due date (brown and spongy), you will be able to harvest those seeds for next season. The seeds take longer to mature than the eggplant.
    I like to slice eggplants in half, score the flesh with a knife, drizzle with olive oil and top with a can of diced (or fresh) tomatoes with chilies. Back in the oven for about 40 mins. Really good eating.