The Joy of the First Harvests of Spring and More

Raised vegetable bed with rows of crops. Hoops placed over the bed are supported by bricks.

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It’s an exciting time in my small space garden. It’s been a cold start to spring but temperatures are now rising. Plant growth is rapid and increasing by the day. I’m impressed with how productive my very small space for growing has become. There is something very rewarding about eating the first produce of spring.

On April 24th I was able to bring in my first harvest of salad crops. It hasn’t felt like long since they were sown back in mid-February.

A pile of green pea shoots leaves piled high in a fruit box, placed on a wooden table. Blurred in the background is a small vegetable patch with green leaves.
I harvested these pea shoots in late April. They were sown indoors in mid-February.

In the meantime, there is plenty more going on in the garden. Potatoe plants are starting to push above ground and their growth is rapid. Carrots and parsnips sown a few weeks ago are starting to develop into healthy seedlings. And back inside on the window ledge, beetroot, leek and tomato seedlings are growing.

The First Harvests of Spring

I harvested pea shoots for salads, radishes and a few lettuce leaves on April 24th.

Radishes piled in a box on a wooden table.
I harvested these radishes in late April. (They were sown indoors in mid-February)

On May 1st I was able to harvest a few more radishes from a later sowing. Plus a few lettuce leaves, but the lettuce plants needed a little more time to really come into their own.

A box of rashishes that have been pulled from the ground and a box with a handful of lettuce leaves.
I harvested these radishes and lettuce on May 1st. (The radishes were sown in early March and the lettuce was sown in mid-February)

On May 8th I harvested much more lettuce. The lettuce is thriving now. I’m pleased with how they are growing both in the bed and in a trough-shaped pot. I used the pot to expand my growing space when I realised there was no room left in the bed.

A fruit box overflowing with lettuce leaves picked from the garden. The box is on a kitchen surface with blue tiles in the background.
I harvested this lettuce on May 8th. (Sown indoors mid-Feb)

I was able to get a good amount of pea shoots from the second batch I had sown in early March, plus a few more radishes. I was also pleased to get my first harvest of spinach of the season. While the spinach has been slower to grow than the lettuce I got a few nice green leaves. They were delicious in a pasta sauce that evening.

I could see that something had been nibbling at several of the leaves. But the damage was not too bad and still left us with plenty to eat.

Boxes on a kitchen surface containing radish, spinach, lettuce and pea shoots.
I harvested this batch of radish, spinach, lettuce and pea shoots on May 8th.

All the harvests have been delicious. It’s lovely to have a large side salad alongside every meal that we wouldn’t usually have.

Except for the radishes, the plants I’ve been harvesting so far are all continuing to grow. I’ll be able to keep coming back to them for a good while. So I can look forward to more delicious salads in the next few weeks. Salad is definitely a great crop for a small vegetable patch or garden.

Other Spring Updates

Of course, with more warmth and light my crops aren’t the only thing growing in the garden. I’ve had my trusty garden hoe on hand to tackle weeds at first sight (and even earlier). So they haven’t been too much trouble.

With temperatures rising I have taken the fleece that has been protecting my veg from frost off. I’ve replaced the fleece with fine mesh to protect the crops from birds and pests.

As mesh is heavier than fleece I put together a hoop kit to support it over the bed. At first, I struggled as the hoop ends should be pushed into the ground to stand up. With my bed being set up on concrete they slipped away at first! I didn’t think I could get the kit to work and felt like giving up.

Raised vegetable bed with rows of crops. Hoops placed over the bed are supported by bricks.
Putting together hoops to support mesh covering over the veggie bed

I tried propping the hoop ends up with bricks – phew, problem solved. I’ve placed a lot of stones around the fleece. I hope the whole construction won’t blow away at the first strong breeze. I may have to take it down should we get strong winds – not uncommon in my area.

The kit created a tunnel longer than the existing bed so I moved an extra trough of lettuce underneath. I also stowed some pea shoots, carrots and parsnips that I’ve planted in pots under the cover too.

A wide view of the garden showing the raised salad bed in the middle now covered with fleece supported on hoops. A bed to left with peashoots covered with fleece and compost bags with potatoes planted in them.
A current view of the garden with the raised bed covered in mesh. I’ve planted the bed to the right with potatoes. The compost bags to the left have more potatoes in them.

It’s nice to see the crops under the mesh cover and makes the garden feel much more like a veg garden. The bed also seems like a longer and well-organised bed. Though my spacing is hectic there is some sense of rows! I left the potatoes uncovered.

I’m amazed by how quickly the shoots have come up from the First Early Red Duke of York potatoes. I only planted them out two weeks ago.

A close-up view of shoots of leaves of a Red Baron potatoe plant in a long thin vegetable bed. More potatoe shoots receed behind it.
Red Duke of York potato shoots

So that’s what’s been going on in my small vegetable garden. I hope yours is growing well too.

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