To complete my posts covering fruit performance last season I am going to start with something that technically isn't a fruit - rhubarb.
We started pulling sticks of rhubarb early in April. We never force our plants so some may think that is early. The secret to early picking is in the variety and Timperley Early is one of the first to produce stems. In fact ours is already producing new growth.
We picked the last stems in June as by this stage many other fruits were coming into production and we had frozen enough rhubarb for later in the winter.
We always leave plenty of stems on the plants which helps to keep the plants growing well.
This year we bought some roots of a new variety - Poulton's Pride. This variety is reputed to be the longest cropping rhubarb and should crop up to November.
The three roots were potted up and gradually moved on to a large planter where they are building up strength until we decide where to plant them - if they seem to enjoy life on the container they may even stay there.
We have a well established grapevine - Himrod -in the garden greenhouse.
This needs a stern hand as if left to its own devices it would fill the greenhouse and beyond as it will quickly find an open window to escape from. In fact it has been known to head out of a roof vent and then scramble up a nearby tree.
As long as it is kept in check it provides useful shading should we have a hot and sunny summer and has the added benefit of reliably producing lots of sweet seedless green grapes.
We haven't weighed the harvest as we usually just pop up to the greenhouse to pick a bunch of grapes whenever we fancy.
The bunches are not of uniform shape as I long ago decided that pretty bunches of grapes were not worth a stiff neck and the collection of the removed grapes down the neck of whatever I was wearing.
As an experiment we planted a couple of vines - Madeline Sylvaner and Boskoop Glory - on the plot which although they have produced grapes these haven't swelled up to an edible size.
I think maybe we need to be a bit more ruthless when removing some of the bunches.
Finally tucked just inside the garden greenhouse in a large pot is out Brown Turkey fig. It isn't very large but does provide us with a few summer treats.
To be honest before we grew our own figs the nearest that I came to this fruit was in a fig biscuit.
Now I wonder if next year we will have more figs, will our allotment vines produce edible fruits and will we be pulling rhubarb in November? This grow your own lark certainly keeps you guessing doesn't it?