Over the last week or so, the fruit and vegetables at the allotment have started to come through and (at last) I am spending more time cropping than sowing/planting/weeding.
We’ve had several trays of strawberries but, unfortunately, I think that our total crop this year will be much smaller than last year. In mid/late spring, we decided that the couch grass and bindweed in the strawberry bed were growing to vigorously and we gave the bed a good weeding. This involved digging up most of the plants because the weeds were growing through them. Whilst we seem to have been very effective and there are few weeds in that bed, the impact on the plants has been “somewhat negative”. Our redcurrant bush is cropping well (but they take ages to pick). Mixed strawberries and redcurrants with cream make an excellent desert. We’re already freezing both strawberries and redcurrants so we’ll have to start the second freezer soon. The alpine strawberries are also producing dribs and drabs but I feel we’re competing with the squirrels.
Broad Beans are also doing well, we like to pick them when the beans are small but the plants we put out in the middle of February are proving a regular supply.
The spring cabbages are still producing a couple or three but they will be completely gone in the next week. Last year’s swiss chard is finished but the new plants have already started cropping in small quantities.
I picked the first garlic and new potatoes but neither are ready yet, I think we’ll have to wait couple of weeks. The first radishes however are finished and we’ve sown some more but previous experience says that we’re unlikely to have any that are worthwhile.
Finally the mangetout peas and lettuce are doing well. We won’t have to buy any more lettuce until much later in the year.
We are having problems with the french beans and the carrots, neither of which have germinated very well but we’ll keep trying (until we run out of seeds).
As always, I was really pleased the other day when we had an evening meal which was all our own vegetables: Sweetcorn and parsley from the freezer; potatoes, peas, broad beans, swiss chard, cabbage with strawberries and redcurrants for pudding. What more could one ask for!