End of July update

Harvesting has continued. Potato foliage may have a touch of blight. We’ve had a few “full smith periods” – ideal conditions for blight. We have had some good spuds though.

Some onions needed to be harvested – the leaves had gone yellow or disappeared. White Ebenezer had even started to get some sort of rot/mildew in the top couple of layers near the neck – I’m not sure if the affected area was on the predominantly wind/rain facing side – perhaps that’s a factor. Other onions, apart from some Tondo Musona sown onions that are about the size of “sets”, look fine.

Shallots also have started to be harvested. Some are a fair size, though I have not been wowed this year by Topper. Pikant (late buy!) and Yellow Moon have done better.

Runner beans are cropping, and are still covered in pretty red flowers. The climbing french beans are also doing well – pretty variegated pods. All the french beans we have are also suitable for drying. Broad beans and peas have filled the freezer (well, almost!). Got 4 bags of broad beans to deal with from this week – no (or little) blackfly, and chocolate spot appeared relatively late on.

Early sown carrots – Amsterdam forcing look more like those expensive “baby carrots” sold in supermarkets but even smaller – some weren’t even an inch long or a centimetre thick (though still tasty!!)!  Cleaning was done using a new (but cheap) toothbrush (we did at one time have a vegetable brush with the handle looking like half a spud). Some root fly damage too. Later sown carrots are doing better, including a white carrot.

My mother phoned me today to say she was eating a lovely red cherry tomato. Her tomatoes and peppers (which she had sown, but I potted on for her) are doing a lot better than mine.  She has fat peppers, thin but long peppers, large peppers, red tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, ….. She came to visit us for the week and laughed at my “pathetic” looking peppers and tomatoes. I haven’t even got any tomatoes turning colour. She lives in Lincolnshire and the weather is generally better there. There are both tomatoes inside the greenhouse and outside. Mine are inside a “greenhouse.”

Soft fruit has done exceedingly well. Not sure really what to do with it all. We have redcurrant jams & jelly, blackcurrant jelly, whitecurrant jam (perhaps a bit overcooked, but not burnt), eaten various fruity pies & crumbles. I’ve also put fruit in alcohol too.

Greengage is doing well. Fruit are yellow and are almost all ready. Yummy. Tree was bought from Morrison’s supermarket – though I can’t remember which variety they are.

Thinking of having more fruity trees. Not sure what yet, or what would do any good – more plums perhaps. We had an apple tree but it split in the wind. A second tree is doing ok.  There is also a cherry tree (Stella, perhaps) and a pear tree.

In the garden, we had a cherry tree (Sunburst) we had 4 cherries (first year).

Yay, I have small tomatoes

Ok, they are only green, but still. The tomatoes at my mother’s have already started to turn colour – I am jealous!

Currants still loaded. Need to have a serious harvesting session soon. On the lookout for more jam/jelly recipes and drinks to make with currants…

OH is really happy with Shetland Black potatoes. We want to have those again.

Hoping that the later sowing beetroot will work – earlier sowings didn’t have good germination.

We’ve got jam + update

We have been harvesting lots and lots of soft fruit – these have gone into fruity pies & crumbles. Last week, I also made redcurrant jam with over 5 and a half pounds of red currants, and for the first time, blackcurrant jam. Used various sugars to hand (light muscovado, demerara, caster…). Still have lots of jam from last year. Am intending to make redcurrant jelly this year.

Peas have all been picked. Broad beans are all ready. We’ve even had to give broad beans away (no room in freezer).

Runner & french beans now in flower. Onions are bulking up nicely (only a couple threw up flower stems which we’ve picked off).

Teasel down the plot is huge, didn’t realise they’d grow that big and magnificent. Hope the birdies will like it.

Strawberries almost all finished. The raspberries on our second plot were planted by previous tenant and are coming to an end – they don’t taste as nice as our ones. We might cull these and plant fresh elsewhere on the plot. The raspberries there are also hiding a gooseberry the previous tenant planted – the fruit are about the size of black currants.

Recent sowings of carrots are germinated. More peas have been sowed. Pak Choi too, I think. Will sow some more beetroot too.

Planted out some more brassicas and leeks.

Shetland Black potatoes are yummy.

I can’t think of anything else at present.