Monday, July 27

A couple of surprises

I really dig up the garlic the week before last but it has been drying and I only cleaned it up last week. We grew elephant garlic and a variety called Marco as this was the only varoety at the nursery when I went to buy it.


Marco has done very well and produced good sized bulbs. The opposite is true for the elephant garlic which has produced bulbs smaller that I would expect. The photo above on the left shows an elephant garlic next to  a bulb of Marco. If anything Marco on the right is the larger of the two.

One issue is that the cloves in some bulbs have split apart as shown in the photo above on the right. I'm not sure why this has happened bit the cloves still look useable.

Tuesday's harvest
We pick salad leaves and a mini cucumber each day. We also like to add a sprig of mint to our salads and sandwiches. We've found the salad leaves more useful than the whole lettuces and so have bought some more varieties of seeds to sow in the salad bar.

We almost mossed that some of the figs in the greenhouse had ripened. We actually picked ten fruits but six aren't in the photo as we thought they were over-ripe and probably useless. Happily we were wroing and they were fine.

Wednesday's harvest
The sweet peas and courgettes are now getting intto the swing and providing regular pickings.
 Friday's harvest
Friday's harvest brought a couple of surprises. Some of our berry fruit is either starting to either wind down or we have picked plenty to store in the freezer but I noticed the first few fruits had ripened on our thornless blackberry - Loch Ness. This variety always seems much earlier than the thorny varieties but the ripening of the first fruits always takes me by surprise.

In an earlier post I mentioned that the blackcurrants were smaller that usual, well now the later fruit us a much better size.

The second surprise fell to Martyn. He was clearing weeds from the concrete bed destined for planting our winter brassicas when he came across a crop of volunteer potatoes, They had produced quite a good crop of unblemished potatoes especially surprising considering the bone dry rock hard medium that they were growing in. (We are desperately hoping for some rain now to give us half a chance of planting the brassicas).

Peas and climbing beans are also struggling through lack of moisture. We try to prioritise them when watering but to give them enough would require an agricultural water cannon. 

We did manage a picking of peas and some yellow - Golden Sweet - (More pale green to me)  and green - Carouby de Maussane - mangetout.

Saturday's harvest
We lifted some of the autumn planted onions which have done really well being one crop to have thrived in the dry  conditions. Even the red variety that can be a bit temperamental have  produced good bulbs. They haven't been watered at all but still haven't died down completely. In fact this year it is hard to distinguish between the autumn and spring planted onions





46 comments:

  1. Amazing harvests considering you've had it so dry.
    Our garlic cloves have split on some bulbs too - I'm blaming the weather (obviously) 😀

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    1. I'm blaming the splitting garlic on the weather too, Belinda. Either that or it just kept on growing rather than dying back.

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  2. Beautiful harvest! Looks like you have plentiful berries! The birds here are getting in to mine even before they ripen. I do cover some things like the blueberries, but how do you cover thorny things? Ah well, hopefully they leave a few things for me.

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    1. I often pick blueberries just before they ripen, Sue so that I can get them before the birds. They seem to ripen very well off the bush.

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  3. Wow what a gorgeous amount of berries and vegetables I cant wait until this time next year when I will be able to plant more and will harvesting the quantity you are especially potatoes. My blackberries are ready to pick to in my garden and the fruit is huge unlike the ones I picked from the hedge row last year. I love reading your blog posts and seeing what you are picking. Best wishes, Dee :-)

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    1. Hi, Dee do you prune out the old canes from your blackberry is each year? This helps the bush to keep growing the larger berries. Then again the cultivated varieties usually produce larger berries and the wild ones. Fingers crossed for you next year.

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  4. It all looks wonderful! Glad someone is having a harvest and I'm pleased for you.
    My garlic has failed miserably. One of the few things I did plant before things went pear shaped, and the tops were beautiful and strong, but the bulbs are non existent. Sad face here.

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    1. What a shame, DebI was disappointed when I could only buy Marco but in the end he came good.

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  5. It's such a wonderful time of year and brilliant that you are managing to pick fresh produce every day. Our onions have been terrible this year but the garlic has been a treat!

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    1. Hi, Jane it's a shame about your onions. Our autumn planted onions have done the best ever. I think the mild winter weather helped then keep growing. Then it has been a cool summer and so they haven't died off as quickly.

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  6. What a lovely harvest! That is a nice surprise to find the potatoes.

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    1. Hi, Audrey it was a nice surprise. We usually have a few volunteers thought these produced better than we have had before.

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  7. Good harvest Sue! I liked your potatoes and the surprise - I think Martyn was glad to dig more potatoes.

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    1. He was pleased with himself,Nadezda. He didn't tell me they were volunteers until after we had eaten them.

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  8. Fabulous selection and with all that fruit! very nice surprise in volunteer potatoes, especially since they came out so well.

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    1. It was a nice surprise, Jenny. Especially as they were growing in rock hard soil.

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  9. What a great find of potatoes! Another marvelous set of harvests too! My elephant garlic has been disappointingly small this year.xxx

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    1. Our elephant garlic was poor too, Dina.. I wonder why that grew so poorly but the ordinary garlic grew so well

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  10. Wonderful harvests.. especially with the lack of water. Your sweetpeas look so pretty I can almost smell them.. Mmmmm. Great find with the potatoes :o)

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    1. The vase of sweet peas are just behind me as I type, Julie and I really can smell them. They are lovely.

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  11. HI Sue...just been playing some catch up. It looks like your harvest is doing well despite the dry conditions though here at the moment we are getting plenty of rain so I hope you are too. We also really need the rain...I just wish it would stick to dark hours so I can still get stuff done during the day time!!. Things are still busy but i am hoping to manage things a little better time wise and at least get a couple of posts in a week and catch up with everyone on a weekly basis!!

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    1. We are getting a little bit of steady rain now, Tanya so we are just hoping it will have softened the ground enough for us to plant winter brassicas Some things are managing in the dry weather quite well but of the things are struggling such as the runner and climbing beans.

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  12. The surprise harvests like your figs and volunteer potatoes are often the most satisfying ones. My little garden seldom produces any surprises (I know every inch of it), but I bet there are some relatively unexplored bits in parts of your extensive plots! Sounds like you missed out on all the recent rain. Down here we had two days (Friday & Sunday) of solid rain, so my soil is not rock-hard.

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    1. We eventually got some steady rain, Mark which amounted to just over 2 cm. I guess growing potatoes in pots you are less likely to get any volunteers. There are places on our plot that need some attention and have been overlooked for a while.

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  13. You always have such a wonder variety of berries. Lovely. And I don't think you even mentioned them in your post, but those cauliflower look wonderful. I've always been a bit afraid to grow them as they have such a reputation of being hard.

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    1. We have had trouble with cauliflowers in the past, Daphne but have found a couple of varieties that seem to suit us and our soil.

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  14. Such gorgeous (and plentiful!) harvests, Sue - it must take you a good part of the day to sort it all out (cleaning, packaging, etc) when you get home. I think that the issue with the garlic usually means that it was picked a bit too late & the cloves start breaking apart from the bulb. I had the opposite problem last year - I picked my garlic too early and many of the outer skins were loose as the garlic hadn't filled them out enough.

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    1. You are probably right about the garlic, Margaret. It didn't seem to want to die down and so I left it too long before picking it. Fortunately the cloves will still be usable though.

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  15. I'll copy Margaret's comment - gorgeous and plentiful! Those onions look fantastic!

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    1. They are the best autumn onions that we have ever had, Susie.

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  16. Fantastic harvest, especially those figs. All of the rain is here in North Wales with me. Everything is green, green, green. I hope a bit reaches you as well though.

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    1. We are hoping for a few more figs CJ. We have had some steady rain arrive at last. Hope that it doesn't rain too much on you in North Wales.

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  17. Now those are most welcome surprises Sue. I've had a potato pop up in an odd place but haven't investigated the potential crop yet. I imagine that you've had some most welcome wet stuff fall on the plot by now.

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    1. We have had a couple of days of steady and showerymwet stuff, Anna. Hopefully now we will be able to do some planting.

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  18. Beautiful harvest Sue! That's very good looking garlic bulb fresh from garden! ;)

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  19. I had that splitting with some of my garlic as well, definitely the weather!!
    What a great harvest, always love surprise ones too.

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    1. Better split than no cloves at all Annie

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  20. Lovely harvest, Sue! Actually, I really want to grow my own garlic in my garden, but I always fail on growing that plant. I think the temperature is too hot.

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    1. It does like a period of cold to form cloves Endah

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  21. Gosh, that's a good week sue! And I love figs too ....last year (or was it the year before) a friend at work brought in some from her garden, absolutely delish and a fruit I def want to grow in our next house (whenever that will be!)

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    1. You could have a pit in your lean to, Lou and then take it with you when you move. Ours is in a pot in the greenhouse. They like to have roots restricted,

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    2. Hmm, I like that idea but I think it might shade our lounge too much. Something to think about anyway, thanks sue.

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    3. You can keep them quite small, Lou

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  22. Wow amazing harvests Sue, you must rarely need to venture out to the shops!

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    1. We still have to crack how to grow oranges and pineapples , Damo, We don't buy much veg though

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