Sitting here, looking at the rain makes me grateful that I won’t have to go watering.
The allotment is going well with Broad Beans, Peas, Mangetout, Swiss Chard, Lettuce, Broccoli, Potatoes and Courgettes all adding to the number of vegetables we are eating and the Rhubarb, Redcurrants, Strawberries and Raspberries providing a lot of fruit.
Other fruit and vegetables are on their way, Cucumbers in the greenhouse and Beetroot, other Brassicas and French Beans certainly looking like they’re going to add to our crop before much longer. Gooseberries will be the next fruit to be here in volume.
I was at the allotment yesterday for nearly three hours and in that time only managed to pick stuff, no digging, sowing or planting. Redcurrants are a real drag on picking time, a lot of effort for little volume (although the taste more than makes up for it). The Raspberries are also difficult to pick, but this is more due to the fact that I’ve let them grow into each other than the berries themselves being awkward.
In a way it seems sad that some things are already finished. I picked the last of the garlic last week and the broadbeans yesterday and its unlikely that the strawberries will provide more than a handful or so more. My plan yesterday was that I would prepare the ground to plant the overwintering brassicas (Red Cabbage and Purple Sprouting Broccoli) but ran out of enthusiasm before I got that far – next time perhaps when there will be fewer redcurrants!
The courgettes are beginning to bulk up. We’ve picked the first off most of the plants but there are lots of flowers coming, it won’t be long before we’ll be complaining that there are too many and trying to find ways to use them up. The same is true with the potatoes. Two weeks ago I dug the first new potatoes and got five golfball-sized potatoes from each root. Yesterday it was two meals of potatoes from each root so our carbohydrate consumption has to change from rice and pasta to potatoes for the next few weeks or so. We haven’t grown as many potatoes this year as normal, having converted one of the beds to Autumn Fruiting Raspberries to extend our fruiting season. The plan is to convert yet another bed to a mix of different strawberries this year so that we get more than two weeks fruit. To that end we have six different varieties sitting in pots creating runners for new plants to go in later in the summer/autumn.
The french beans have at last decided that they will germinate. After three fialures (10% germination), the last sowing has produced about 20 plants and they all look like they’re growing. I took this as a sign that the time was now right and sowed more seeds directly in the ground at the allotment. The recent rain (including today) makes me hopeful that we will get a reasonable harvest (albeit late).
So that’s it for this week, a short term glut of fruit and a gradual build up of vegetables.