Monday, August 4

Picking, pulling, cutting and digging - Monday Harvest

Picking sweet peas is a full time job at the moment - every couple of days we are coming away from the plot with handfuls. Strangely  some still have really long stems and others of the same variety have very short stems. It's not a problem as the short stemmed flowers are just right to create a posy for the bathroom.

After not planting gladioli for a while, we decided to plant some bulbs this year. The trouble is they all flower at about the same time even when planting is staggered. I planted a mixed pack of bulbs and so far the colour range is rather ordinary. Maybe next year I'll choose some named varieties instead.
If you read Martyn's blog you will know that the first lot of plums that we picked were inhabited by plum moth grubs. Happily the plum moths have left us some grub-free plums to enjoy, but we won't be biting into any before cutting them in half.

The alpine strawberries are doing really well this year which is just as well as their larger worn-out cousins haven't offered much at all - though we did pick four berries last week. More alpine strawberry plants have been planted this year with more in the greenhouse waiting to be planted out. You do need lots of plants to provide a decent harvest.  
The courgettes are quite another story, just a few plants can create a glut. I think this calls for a courgette crumble. It tastes remarkably like apple crumble.

We've developed a taste for raw vegetables as an addition to a plate of salad and some of the cauliflower below was delicious and crunchy when eaten raw. The Sungold tomatoes were a recommended variety on a few blogs last year and are definitely sweet and tasty. The fruits are also ripening well ahead of the other larger varieties of which, so far, we have managed a grand total of two ripe fruits.
Most of the potato tops are dying back and Martyn dug up the first to be planted. One variety - Rocket - has been scrubbed off next year's list as the slugs and other pest seem to love it and have left hardly anything for us.

We tried growing some potatoes under weed control fabric which certainly appears to have worked with the first lot of potatoes. As the potatoes were not earthed up, some tubers were just under the fabric and these were badly eaten by slugs but the ones below the surface were fine and the yield was good. It was almost as though providing the slugs with an easy accessible treat had them leave the rest alone. You can read more about this on Martyn's blog here.
The large outdoor cucumbers are joining Mini Munch on the fruit production line. The peas below were another raw addition to our salads as was the carrot which I accidentally uprooted when pulling out the few weeds that had managed to pop up between the carrot roots.
As well as Cobra, we have three varieties of non-climbing French beans one green, one yellow and one purple variety. I picked some of the low growing green beans but had maybe left them a little too long. It's easy to overlook them hidden amongst the leaves at ground level. When the beans touch the ground they can tend to curl and also are easy pickings for hungry slugs so we are thinking of sticking with climbing French beans next year. We just need to choose a purple and a yellow variety to add to Cobra.
The Woodblocx raised bed is proving its worth and now supplying us with salad leaves. It's much better having freshly cut leaves than ones that, having been picked earlier on the plot, had to be stored in a plastic bag in the fridge.
I'm not sure whether it counts as a harvest but we have now lifted the onions and shallots. They are now drying off raised above the ground on wire mesh to allow air to circulate around. We just don't need it to now decide that it is going to rain every day for a week or so, but if it does at least the onions won't be sitting in water.

Once again I am linking to Harvest Monday over at Daphne's Dandelions.


PS This week is apparently Allotment Week in the UK which is why they are running the competition that I have been entered for. At the moment I'm not last but the competition is very strong and that could change. Votes are counted on Friday so you still have a chance to vote and keep me off the bottom rung! (I don't think voting is restricted to the UK). Thanks to those who have voted since my last thank you.

32 comments:

  1. Such a lovely variety of food from your garden, displayed together with gladioli and other flowers it´s a feast for the eyes too.

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  2. What wonderful harvests. Sungold was one of my favorite tomatoes when I could eat them. It was always the first to produce in the summer and the last to die in the fall.

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    1. We are definitely impressed so far, Daphne.

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  3. It all looks fantastic - such a variety of fresh, healthy food ! What could be nicer.
    I have voted for you Sue, good luck on Friday !

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    1. What could be nicer indeed, Jane and thanks for the vote - I appreciate every one even if I'm unlikely to win.

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  4. It's lovely to have a variety in the harvests at this time of year. You're making me envious of your sweet peas, mine didn't do very well and ended up on the compost heap so I'm without them again this year.

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    1. It's a shame about your sweet peas, Jo. Any ideas as to what goes wrong.

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    2. They just weren't looking very healthy at all. Perhaps the same compost issues that my tomatoes had at the start of the year.

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  5. You had a great harvest. If you don't mind me asking what do you actually do with sweet peas? Here nobody grows them. I managed to buy some this year and flowers look great. But pods don't look edible. They are all hairy and firm.

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    1. Sweet peas are just grown for the flowers Leanan you are right he pods are inedible,

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    2. Thank you I think I get it now. We call sweet peas(grašak šećerac) peas that have edible pods. I researched a bit and I think you call them mangetout.

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  6. You are having some great harvests Sue despite some drawbacks the flowers are looking good too - it's a great time of year for gathering. You sure have a lot of onions let's hope the rain keeps away for a few days.

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    1. As always, Elaine some you win and some you lose as you showed in your post

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  7. Gosh....I'm in awe of your harvests....so many onions, mine are tiny....as usual! Those beef tomatoes look good. Do you eat all this or share it with family and friends?xxx

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    1. We share, eat and freeze, Snowbird

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  8. So much wonderful variety in your harvests! I hear you on the plums - last year about half of our plums were infested with the plum curculio, so we also cut all of the "uninfected" ones in half, just in case. Sadly, our winter was a bit too severe and our tree didn't produce any plums this year.

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    1. Our plums usually fruit well every other year, Margaret and shouldn't have much fruit this year but other than hatting plum moth grubs they have done well

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  9. I'd agree on the beans, the dwarf are getting destroyed by slugs and not keeping well so close to the ground. And I really don't need them anyway. Cobra look set to give me bucket loads, all hanging clean off the ground. And maybe the slugs can't climb that high?

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    1. Oh slugs and snails can definitely climb, Jessica. My sister has had them on her bedroom window. Maybe if there is enough at ground level they don't bother.

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  10. Oh my, you've really got a huge assortment of veggies coming out of your plot. Those beans on the table look huge but so perfect. And don't let me forget the flowers, they are lovely.

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    1. Lots more beans to come, Michelle

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  11. Impressive harvest Sue. Our courgettes seem to have stopped producing entirely.

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    1. Do you want some of ours Victoria?

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  12. Wow... great harvest Sue! Your courgettes make me so jealous. I have been waiting my first courgette on my terrace garden. The gladioli and sweet pea look so gorgeous!

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    1. You'd love the perfume from the sweet peas, Endah

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  13. Amazing harvests! All the veggies and flowers look lovely. That courgette crumble sounds interesting and a good way to use up all your harvests.

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    1. We just made two mini crumbles to start with, Julie as we couldn't imagine it working - but it did.

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  14. A veritable cornucopia!

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    1. Isn't that a great word, Rick?

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  15. Marvellous pickings Sue, but what a pain about the plums. I am definitely going back to sungold next year, I've not had more than an odd handful of toms as yet, a big difference ton last year.

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    1. We are now doing better with plums, Janet. Apparently the maggot makes the plum ripen sooner and so the first pickings are worst affected,

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