Monday, September 14

Victoria reigns supreme

Queen Elizabeth II may have ousted Victoria as the monarch to be on the British throne for the most number of years but on our plot it is Victoria that reigns supreme this week, Victoria plum that is.
Tuesday's harvest
I don't know whether the later flowering period this year played a part but this is our best Victoria plum harvest ever. We have given away nearly as many plums as we have kept.
Friday's harvest
Climbing French and runner beans are still going strong and we are now harvesting small but sweet sweetcorn cobs as well as the occasional cauliflower.

We picked our first raspberries on 1 July and have picked some on just about every plot visit since with the varieties - summer Glen Ample and Tulameen and autumn Joan J and All Gold blending seamlessly.

The larger tomatoes are now ripening. We have been pleased with the tomatoes this year after two disappointing years that we are blaming on rubbishy compost.
The mini cucumbers and salad leaves have provided a constant supply for lunch time sandwiches.

The aubergines are fruiting steadily. Until we started to grow the variety Jackpot we had little success with them.
Sunday's harvest
The onions and shallots had already been dug and laid on the surface to dry and last week I managed to clean off and bring in half of them before the rain on Saturday spoiled things and the second lot gathered on Sunday needed laying out to dry again.
The onions are a variety of sizes being planted to encourage this. Some sets were planted closer together or in clusters.

The harvest was good but as usual there was quite a few onions that needed throwing away. Onions seem to be the target of innumerable pests and diseases.
Some bulbs had been hollowed out maybe by mice and one was being eaten by a spotted snake millipede. Some had what could be white rot and others were infested with what looked like onion fly larvae.

Some had run to seed - we used to plant heat treated sets to avoid this bit this meant we had to plant later.
All this and the fact that there are other onion pests and diseases that affect other parts of the country are inevitably creeping our way means that if we hadn't plenty of space I doubt we would grow summer onions. Added to this is the fact that flavourwise I don't really think home grown are particularly superior to commercially produced ones.

Shallots seem much `easier` and winter onions seems to avoid some of the problems that seem to plague their summer cousins.

Maybe you totally disagree and couldn't be without home grown - is there something else that would be the first to be crossed off your growing list?


31 comments:

  1. Fantastic plum harvest, lucky you. I quite like the overwintered onions because they usually provide a reasonable harvest. I'm not sure if I'll try swedes again, I didn't get any decent sized roots at all. Quite of a lot of the time things make me feel like such a rubbish gardener. So many things failed this year. No doubt I'll be trying again next year though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are not a rubbish gardener at all CJ. This year has been exceptionally challenging. We all have failures and we tend to concentrate on them more than we do the successes.

      Delete
  2. Gosh Sue that plum harvest is something else - you have so many! I think some of my onions were affected by white rot so I am going to give them a miss now. I'm hoping to find some space for some garlic though & I will give the aubergine a try next year. I really struggle to grow them x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jackpot certainly seems to work for us Jo so good luck.

      Delete
  3. You can't beat a good Victoria Plum.
    I think it is safe to say it has been an odd year, weather wise, for crops but a grand year for the pests. Let's hope they get their comeuppance next year then?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pests don't seem to have a bad year, Debs

      Delete
  4. Wow, what a fantastic harvest- especially of plums! Like you, I consider that good compost has a hugely important role to play, and good compost is hard to get these days. Next year I am going to avoid getting any compost made by Westland. Their various brands have given me endless problems. Ideally I would like to get my compost from a small local producer, not part of a national chain. They would hopefully be more keen to please their customers by providing decent compost, not rubbish impregnated with fast-disappearing artificial chemical additives - or weedkiller!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To get away from the usual peat-free brands, I recently bought an all purpose compost made from recycled green material - it has the texture of coarsely shredded bark most suited to mulching kids play areas. An 'all purpose' growing compost it most certainly is not !!

      Delete
    2. Mark and S and D, I think one of the main problems with compost made from the green waste is its lack of absorbency. It doesn't retain moisture very easily. The other problem is the consistency of the raw materials. The type of green waste is always going to be variable. You can have one bag that performs reasonably well and the next bag of the same brand is absolute rubbish.

      Delete
  5. What a great harvest, so much variety. A shame about some of your onions but on the whole, they look to have done really well. Your plum harvest is brilliant, I didn't get a single one this year so I'm hoping my little tree does better next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will Plum trees often have a good year followed by a poor one Jo so good look for next year.

      Delete
  6. Good harvest Sue! Tomatoes are nice and I think they are sweet and delicious. What could I cross off my list -- this is eggplant, because we have no many hot days that this veggie needs to ripen. The plums are so large, oh! I will find this species and variety Victoria to plant in my garden as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We grow our aubergines or eggplants in the greenhouse, Nadezda and until we found the variety Jackpot we never had any luck either.

      Delete
  7. Wow what a great harvestr especially your plums nice to see your sweet peas to. I have just planted my first onion bulbs this weekend winter growing ones so hopefully they will grow and be ready to pick next year with to few problems its my first half year of growing. I love seeing what you have been harvesting, dee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We went to the local nursery for some bottom onion sets today Dee but they haven't arrived yet so you have beaten us to it.

      Delete
  8. What a marvelous harvest and such lovely plums! Absolutely gorgeous tomatoes, onions and beans and very nice raspberries.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Those plums are gorgeous with hardly a blemish to be seen! Do you have issues with the plum curculio there? A couple of years ago, we lost a big portion of what was a small plum harvest to begin with to them. But this year, they were nowhere to be seen - not one plum was infected. Very happy, but not exactly sure why that was. I love growing all the alliums - onions, garlic, shallots, although I do have to keep the onions netted to avoid onion fly maggot damage. I would be hard pressed to pick one veg that I would cross off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had to look that pest up, Margaret as I had never heard of it. No we don't get plum curculio but we do have a plum moth maggot which can cause a lot of problems. One year we lost quite a lot of our plans because of it. Fortunately this year hasn't been a problem but we still always cut the plums in half before eating them just in case.

      Delete
  10. Wow what a great plum harvest. Not to mention the other things. I hope next year I get a plum or two from my tree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I hope we get some good peaches, Daphne :-)

      Delete
  11. All I can say is wow ... outstanding harvest!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Awesome harvest! Look at the plum! They look so abundant and fresh! It's very expensive in my world!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do plums grow in your area, Malar

      Delete
  13. I look forward to the days when we can harvest plums, our trees are still too young! Magnificent harvest Sue. I agree about the impact of compost, my toms have been much better this year too, I just wish there was a way of guaranteeing ongoing quality of any particular brand. I think shallots are a great value crop, I am hoping to be able to sow some from seed again next year as that worked really well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never tried growing shallots from seed, Janet

      Delete
  14. Wowee sue, what a harvest! The plums are amazing especially. Glad your tomatoes are now getting going.
    I was thinking aubergines would be the thing I'd stop trying to grow as I could fit in another 3 or 4 tomato plants. But, I will keep an eye out for Jackpot when I put in my seed order....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jackpot is quite an easy variety to find, Lou.

      Delete

Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment - it is great to hear from you and know that there are people out there actually reading what I write! Come back soon.
(By the way any comments just to promote a commercial site, or any comments not directly linked to the theme of my blog, will be deleted)
I am getting quite a lot of spam. It isnot published and is just deleted. I have stopped sifting through it and just delete any that ends up in my spam folder in one go so I am sorry if one of your messages is deleted accidentally.
Comments to posts over five days old are all moderated.