Thursday, 13 July 2017

Coming soon...

My garden at present is full of potential but to be honest I have not yet harvested a lot. OK, the potatoes have mostly been pretty good (and there are still plenty more to come)

"Charlotte" (L) and "Kestrel" (R)

The Broad Beans were great, and you probably saw my recent posts about harvesting onions and carrots, but right now I repeatedly find myself silently urging the crops to hurry up!

My tomato plants are heaving with fruit and I really don't want to lose it to blight, so this is the crop most urgently in need of ripening.

"Ailsa Craig"

As long as disease stays away, I should have a huge crop of "Maskotka".

"Maskotka" - nearly there!

"Sungold" is showing signs of ripening too. My plant has 5 big trusses of fruit - two of them forked or double trusses.

Actually both of those varieties have been beaten to the winning-post by "Losetto", which has produced this one lone ripe fruit:


I have so far picked only two ripe "Passandra" cucumbers, and unfortunately some of the tiny embryonic ones have shrivelled and died - possibly as a result of non-pollination, or maybe the prolonged heat?

Fortunately, the other cucumber plant ("Diva") has finally condescended to produce some female fruit, so maybe it will "pick up the baton", as it were.

The Courgette plant has given us four fruits so far, and we have eaten them in a couple of different ways (most recently in a courgette and cheese omelette). Neither of us is particularly keen on courgettes, but I have to say that when they are home-grown and dead fresh they are "not bad"!

"Defender F1"

The plant is in fine form and has lots more fruit coming along, so I can afford to pick them young.

"Defender F1"

I'm very impatient to start picking Runner Beans, but I'll have to wait a few more days yet. We had some rain yesterday, which will have done the beans (and everything else) some good. If the plants are thirsty, the pods don't set well, nor do they swell properly.

I haven't had any ripe chillis yet, but most of my plants have lots of green fruit now. This is the experimental / new one from Victoriana Nursery Garden, that used to be temporarily called "Challock Chilli", but it now has an official name - "Fat Bird".

The Beetroot is nearly there too. The roots are about golf-ball size at present, but I want them to be a little bigger before I start using them. This year I have two short rows of them - one long variety called "Cylindra" and one round variety, my old favourite "Boltardy".


I have got more Radishes on the go now, both alongside my newly-planted PSB and also in a couple of the pots that used to hold potatoes.

I've never in the past been successful with growing Radishes in pots, but maybe this time I will be. For a start, the pots are filled with soil, not compost. In the Spring Radishes take several weeks to mature, but in July I reckon they could be ready within a month from sowing. Certainly the warm weather will help, and I'm making sure to keep them well watered.

These "Long Red Florence" onions are steadily getting bigger (not quickly enough for my liking, of course).

"Long Red Florence"

Lettuce hasn't had much of a mention recently, even though we eat some of it 2 or 3 times a week. I'm struggling to keep up the supply with only half a raised red available for it this year, and lots of the plants bolting in the hot weather. This week I planted a few more, and sowed another batch of seeds.

"Tom Thumb" and "Little Gem"

For now though, just a little more patience is required...


  1. for your courgettes: I love the taste of sauteed onion with them. This year I bought a spiralizer to make noodles and that turned out great! Saute onions and garlic, then add noodles to the pan for 5 minutes. My other favorite way to eat them is stuffing with Italian sausage/hot pepper and roasting

  2. Is it ok if I ask for advice? I've just started sharing an allotment in Halifax. By 'allotment' I mean a strip of land that has been divided into falling-apart raised beds submerged in a sea of wild plants. I'm thinking for the moment it would be encouraging to grow a few things in each section as we clear it - way ahead of developing a proper plan for the spring. You are sowing radishes and lettuces. They wouldn't have a chance in the midst of slug-infested uncleared ground but is there anything one could put get away with putting in now as a kind of statement of 'belonging' and 'intent'. (I'm very much hoping it's too late for broad beans cos I really, really don't like them!)

    1. Hi Lucy; If it were me, I'd plant some brassicas - PSB, Spring Cabbage etc. It's also not too late for Leeks if you can get some seedlings.

    2. Oh yes, it's also still OK to sow some Dwarf French Beans, because they grow very rapidly in the Summer-time. And I nearly forgot, onions and/or garlic.

    3. I'm really pleased I asked. I'd thought about brassicas and was hoping too that maybe the society sold members spare seedlings - which either they don't or they've sold out. But I'm in a total muddle about the seasons. I was thinking we are much further into the year than we are - more or less thinking this is autumn. I've just looked at the weather info. for today in both places (Dorset and Halifax). In Dorset it's 20 degrees, sunny and no rain. Here, it's 16 degrees with heavy rain forecast in the next hour followed by a dull afternoon. I'm actually looking forward to a cooler, wetter climate but haven't got used to assessing it yet in relation to the time of year. (When I wrote the post i was thinking it's September or later. Completely disoriented at present!) But your replies are great - specially the French beans. I prefer runners but we can't have everything!

  3. Please, please let's have a blightless year. We have the first flowers on out runners too.

  4. lovely! when is the best time to harvest spuds? I have some growing but not sure if they're ready yet!

    1. It's usually best to let the foliage die down before harvesting spuds, but with 1st Earlies you can do it when the flowers (if any) drop.


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