Wednesday, 18 May 2011

'Kaizen' (vegetable style)

Kaizen is the Japanese term for 'continuous improvement'.

As a gardener you always wish to continually improve your methods, ideas and hopefully your final crop/harvest.

At the moment, the veg patch in the garden IS continually improving. The whole area is full of green and everything is growing well!

The pictures don't really represent what it looks like in real life. The courgette plants are going crazy, the tomatoe plants are growing daily, and the first lot of early potatoes are on their final cover up of soil and are peeking well out of the bag. There is also the gorgeous blue pot and the ravishing mange tout and runner bean bushes...

I mentioned the courgettes a minute ago. Want a peek?

There are ten courgettes on there. Some are minute, but 3 or 4 are over finger size, harvesting is a day or two away!!

Here is the second sowing of mange tout. The third sowing is just germinating now. The first lot have really thrived in a trough style pot, so the second lot are following suit..

Despite the progress in the bags and pots at the eglu end of the veg garden, the potting table is looking pretty uninspiring compared to a few weeks back. Just a seed tray of germinating mange tout, half dozen pitiful tomato seedlings, some cabbage seedlings and a few more runner bean bushes.

Away from the potting table though I have planted 15 runner beans, 6 sunflowers (for my grandparents) and 3 more pumpkins. I also sown some raddish seeds in the same pot as the salad leaves.

Unfortunately (where there is something good in the garden there is always something bad) some plants were affected by a quick frost a few days ago. The tempratures plumeted to -1 celcius and it is evident that some plants have suffered a little. Some of the edges of the leaves on the tomato plants have blackened and the cucumber plant has significantly yellowed. The runner bean bushes which were establishing well look very limp, but fortunately the younger plants that have just germinated seem to have come through well.
This is what I mean.. see the blackening tips of the leaves?

The chilli plant is really limp. I saw a picture on Mel and Paul's blog and there's was about to bloom but ours is far away from that. I've fed it and propped it up against a cane so fingers crossed!

We weren't going to be growing traditional runner beans this year, that's why we bought the runner bean 'bush' seeds. However, we now have resources to grow both. I made this structure the other day and the runner beans have been sown in pots whilst I improve the quality of the soil in the area. I've added multi-purpose compost on top of the actual soil and have 'dug it in'. I've also added some liquid feed so hopefully they'll get off to a good start!

The structure is against the boundary fence between the vegetable garden and the lawn.
Not only do we have this arched structure, but I have now got an obelisk which I took from my Grandad's garden, I'm in the process of starting to do his too! His first growbag was set up today so he can grown some tomatoes. My grandparents taught me everything I know about 'growing my own'.

Anyway, asides from good old vegetables, I finish my exams next Wednesday and I have a few projects lined up including my grandparent's and Amy's mums garden.

Amy is still keen on the idea of bantams, and we found ourselves bidding on an eglu on ebay earlier...

In the beehive, I removed the queen excluder so hopefully the bees will begin to draw out the comb so they can store some more honey!! I'll try and take pictures tomorrow.

Have a lovely evening.



  1. Thank you for the small lesson in Japanese :)
    You have lots going on and I love the structure you have made for your beans! Mo

  2. Thats all looking very impressive if you ask me. Don't forget my chilli's are in the greenhouse and were sown very early so I'm sure yours will catch up. :)

    Random question of the day, your chickens, do they stay in a run all day, or do you let them wander the garden at all?

  3. Hi Melanie. When I had the chickens at home they were free to wander wherever they liked! :)

    Amy's Dad is now the primary carer of the two chickens that we 'half own'. He doesn't let them out as much as we would like. If you look back through the blog there are plenty of pictures of them down the garden, rummaging, foraging and sunbathng!

    Thanks for visiting!

    Martin :)


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