The main crops of the week have been the end of the redcurrants, raspberries, rhubarb, gooseberries (both red and green), the first blackberries, peas (both Mangetout and Podded), courgettes (which still haven’t burst into life but are producing a handful every other day), lettuce, cucumber, the last of the broccoli, a couple of small cauliflowers, the first french beans and some watercress. And of course potatoes.
This is a time of year that I really like, as much fruit as you like (the excess goes into the freezer for cooking and jam making later in the year), salad leaves of all sorts and cucumbers starting. Our tomatoes are yet to get into the swing of things, there are plenty set but the position of the polytunnel means that we don’t really get enough light onto it to ripen fruit early in the season but, the first one is on its way and will be fit to pick before next weekend.
The raspberries have done really well (there’s lots still to come), netting the plants has certainly kept the birds away and (unless something untoward happens) we’re going to get a freezer full.
We uncovered the strawberries (they’ve finished) and in the next week will cut off the leaves to give the plants the sunshine they need to ripen the plants ready for next year. Our plan is to create another bed of strawberries which will contain six or seven different varieties so we are taking plants off runners to give us the necessary plants.
The potatoes are doing well. Our first earlies (Sharpes Express) are giving us more than we can eat and we haven’t yet looked at the second earlies. So far (and I know I’m tempting fate) we haven’t had any signs of blight despite the number of days which have counted as “Smith’s Periods”. I can’t make up my mind whether I should take the tops off to prevent blight getting to the plants or just trust to luck. Probably the latter.
Whilst there don’t seem to have been many Cabbage White butterflies about this year, there have been plenty of other varieties Peacock, Red Admiral, Tortoiseshell and Comma to name but a few. Hopefully this is a good sign that the wildlife on the allotment and in the garden is thriving.
Our tomato plants are doing well and I’m hoping the crop will start soon, earlier than last year and the year before.
See our tomato webpages here.
All the best