Hello Tasty Surprise Vegetables!

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It really feels like Spring has arrived here in London. Finally I headed out to the roof terrace to tidy the garden and prune all the plants. I suspect I was supposed to prune last year but I never did as I was not sure how much to cut things back. By now many of the herbs have made it completely clear which of their long, dry stalks they no longer need so pruning was pretty easy.

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Along with pruning was the task of clearing the first of what I refer to as ‘troughs’ in preparation to plant some beetroot in a week or so. These are long containers which were on the terrace when we moved to the flat. They have no drainage holes (aesthetic over function unfortunately) but there were some broken up tiles in them when I emptied them out last summer. I left the tiles in and arranged them to allow quite a lot of space for drainage before re-filling the troughs. Unfortunately it looks like the soil is really soggy and rubbish. We will need to find a way to get better drainage into these containers if we want to grow anything in them this season.

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The good news is that the tidying unveiled a few treats. One of the troughs had a few *very* small turnips from seeds I planted last, um, August I think. They all sprouted at the time but never really went anywhere. Well now there are a handful of tiny turnips in there.

The carrots also seem to have survived the winter. We pulled up one from each container to inspect the size, which can only be described as tinchy. The rest will be left for another while as those containers are not needed yet so we might as well see if they grow in size.

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Finally swiss chard. This beauty has survived the winter, looked a little worse for wear a few weeks ago but in the last week it has started to thrive in the sun. you can really see the effect the sunshine has on it from this photo as the leaves closest to the camera are much larger on account of longer exposure each day.

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We sliced all our new veg and fried with plenty of garlic. I will not claim it was the most delicious side dish I have ever tasted but it was a tasty first dish from the garden for 2012!

Emma

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