May 2011

Full details of weekly harvests at bottom of page.

Week 4:   May 22 – 28

Total for week = £7.82 / 978 g (2010: £8.93 / 800g)

The flowering and fruiting purple mange tout are looking good outside the front door:-


Purple mange tout outside front door © Vertical Veg


The other highlight this week is my first ever home grown turnips. As you can see the turnips roots are small (I still struggle to grow decent sized root veg) but luckily the leaves are also edible and surprisingly tasty.


Turnips: baby roots but luckily the leaves are tasty too © Vertical Veg 2011


This is what the front looks like now. The tomatoes are beginning to take over!


Front of the house: we can still see out of the windows, just! © Vertical Veg 2011



Week 3:   May 15 – 21

Total for week = £10.30 / 1.028 kg (2010: £10.85 / 475g)

If you have a wormery, you’ll know that one beneficial spin off is that you end up with lots of worms in your containers. I’ve found these worms are of great interest to a local blackbird, who is brazen in helping herself. While I’m happy to be feeding her and her offspring – and delighted that she also seems to be eating the slugs (this forum discussion seems to confirm they DO eat slugs) – I’m less happy that her antics are uprooting seedlings. Any tips on how to discourage her or do I have to resort to netting?


Blackbird feeding on worms & slugs amongst lettuces © Vertical Veg 2011


This week I also planted out the Insect Beacon. This is a container filled with flowers that beneficial insects love: borage, pot marigold, dill, californian poppy and nasturtium. I put it on a prominent corner of the balcony in the hope it will lure lots of beneficial insects!


Insect beacon © Vertical Veg 2011


And talking of beneficial insects, have you noticed how bees love chive flowers? Every time I look, there is one busy at work. Like this:


Bee on chive flowers © Vertical Veg 2011


A lovely variety of leaves for the table this week: lovage, bean and pea shoots, pak choi, Chinese cabbage, chives and mint.

Week 2:   May 8 – 14

Total for week = £10.30 / 938g (2010: £4.49 / 310g)

Everything is happening so early this year. The purple podded peas are already cheering up the street with their bright pink flowers.


Purple podded peas in flower - adding a bit of colour to the street


The strawberries are flowering too:


Strawberry flowers


Picked lots of bean shoots this week. I’m experimenting with ful medames, which are basically miniature broad beans from Egypt. The shoots taste similar, too: fresh and delicious with a pleasing crunch in the stalk. I grow them from the dried beans you get at the local continental stores – just £1.49 a kilo. Because the beans are small you can really cram them in.


Ful medame shoots - sow them thickly for a bumper crop



Week 1:   May 1 – 7

Total for week = £13.86 / 990g (2010: £7.04 / 390g)

Strong easterly winds. Grrr. Tomato plants are getting a battering. It amazes me how much there is to learn about a tiny growing space. Before now, I’d never realised me how much more exposed the bay window sill is than the others. The wind is so strong here, the leaves are being snapped. I can bear to watch no longer and untie the supports and bring the container in for 48 hours.


Tomatoes on string supports - suffering from wind exposure © Vertical Veg

Week 1: 1 – 7 May

Sunday: 84g salad leaves, 23g bean shoots, 6g parsley, 14g mint, 16g sorrel.
Monday: 126g salad leaves, 3g thyme, 8g parsley.
Wednesday: 44g bean shoots, 76g salad leaves
Thursday: 26g lovage, 40g bean shoots, 9g mint
Friday: 10g rosemary, 112g salad leaves
Saturday: 260g salad leaves, 9g wasabi leaves, 8g wasabi root, 57g mint, 59g lovage

Total for week = £13.86 / 990g (2010: £7.04 / 390g)

Yearly total to date = £13.86 / 990g (2010: £7.04 / 390g)

Week 2: 8 – 14th May

Sunday: 133g salad leaves, 120g bean shoots.
Monday: 15g lemon balm, 46g salad leaves.
Tuesday: 3g thyme, 6g parsley, 27g lovage
Wednesday: 86g peas.
Thursday: 83g salad leaves
Friday: 131g salad leaves, 22g pea shoots, 45g bean shoots, 4g mint, 4g chives
Saturday: 95g tatsoi, 51 salad leaves, 38g bean shoots, 29g pak choi.

Total for week = £10.30 / 938g (2010: £4.49 / 310g)

Yearly total to date = £24.16 / 1.93 kg

Week 3: 15 – 21 May

Sunday: 187g salad leaves, 114g bean shoots, 109g pak choi, 35g Chinese cabbage, 9g purple podded peas, 5g Vietnmee coriander, 4g mint, 3g chives
Monday: 19g coriander, 102g bean shoots, 9g nasturtium leaves, 109g stir fry greens, 4g parsley, 4g chives, 2g mint, 2g lovage.
Thursday: 118g salad leaves.
Friday: 12g purple mange tout, 5g chillies.
Saturday: 173g salad leaves, 3g chives.

Total for week = £10.81 / 1.03 kg (2010: £10.85 / 475g)

Yearly total to date = £34.97 / 2.96 kg

Week 4: 22 – 28 May

Sunday: 189g Chinese cabbage, 10g purple mange tout, 50g salad leaves, 2g parsley, 2g thyme, 2g Vietnamese coriander.
Tuesday: 252g salad, 116g turnip, 8g parsley
Wednesday: 3g chives
Thursday: 40g purple mange tout, 74g Chinese broccoli
Saturday: 29g purple mange tout, 63g broad beans, 75g chard.

Total for week = £7.92 / 978 kg (2010: £8.93 / 800g)

Monthly total = £42.89 / 3.94 kg
Yearly total to date = £42.89 / 3.94 kg


2 thoughts on “May 2011”

  1. Susan Seymour

    I’m not up to your meticulous weighing and pricing, but in May (excepting the front garden as that wouldn’t be fair) from the balcony I harvested pea shoots, rocket, lettuce, beetroot leaves. So far in June, add potatoes to that.

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