Monday, June 20

Another first

If anyone had asked, I would have said that everything was way behind this year but looking back we picked our first 'spring' cabbage last year on June 15. This year we picked our first on June 18 so they have matured at the same time.
Also at this time last year we took home from the plot, strawberries, salad crops, roses and sweet Williams exactly the same things as we brought home last week.

The strawberries are split up according to variety. We picked Elsanta, Royal Sovereign, Marshmello, Vibrant and Cupid. Maybe we will carry out a taste test later but this lot all went into a couple of bowls together with some Greek yoghurt.
The strawberries along with everything else needs a bit more sunshine (or at least brightness) and a lot less rain.

Some of the strawberries had turned mushy and others had attracted the attentions of slugs. For this reason some are picked slightly under-ripe. They taste ripe in spite of the lack of redness.
The spoiled berries need dealing with in different ways - the mushy ones need to be removed and disposed of but the nibbled ones are best left on the plant. Slugs will return to the site of an earlier meal and eat more of the same fruit. If you remove it they will start on another fruit close by.

Every year the shrub roses on the plot start off with healthy looking leaves which quickly become covered in black spot but at least I can strip off the leaves and pick the flowers.
The daisies in the vase above are the ones that I picked last week and were too good to throw away. I also picked a few stems of candytuft from the self sown carpet under the pear trees.
The sweet Williams have been a disappointment this year. I left the ones that flowered last year as the new plants were poor. There is little difference between the two patches - if anything there are more flowers on the old plants.
Old plants sown 2014
New plants sown 2015
This year's wallflowers were equally disappointing. I sow the seeds in modules and transplant but this year I have decided to try direct sowing. Coincidentally Monty Don was doing just that on Gardeners' World last week. I did manage a small bunch but there won't be many more.
Today I am linking to Harvest Monday over at Dave's blog  Our Happy Acres



20 comments:

  1. Oh that's interesting about leaving nibbled strawberries. Your flower beds are looking productive xx

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    1. I can't see the sweet Williams lasting very long, Jo unless they manage to produce more flowers and they seem to be doing at the moment.

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  2. That's an interesting tip about leaving half eaten strawberries (of which I have many). My home ones aren't doing too badly, but down at the plot it looks like a bloodbath - they are squashed, eaten, mouldy, mildewed, mushy. I did bring home a few, but I really need it to stop raining. That would give me and the mice a better chance. Like you, I picked the slightly underripe ones just because I knew they wouldn't be there next time.

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    1. This wet weather has come at a bad time as far as the strawberries are concerned, CJ.

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  3. I'm glad you said that about slugs returning to the previously eaten berries, I've often wondered and did leave them yesterday. The Sweet Williams look so pretty we're a bit lacking in flowers this year.

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    1. I'm hoping that we will have more flowers when the annuals actually going a bit, Victoria

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  4. I have only 2 Rose bushes, but they both suffer from Black Spot. They often drop all their first leaves when the disease hits, and then grow another set which is usually OK. I think it going to be a bad year generally for strawberry growers who do not have the benefit of covered growing-space. Looking at the weather forecast is so depressing these days - rain and cloud for the foreseeable future!

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    1. At this rate we will all need polytunnel's, Mark.

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  5. Those strawberries with yogurt sounds delicious. I do think the rain is especially hard on strawberries, more than other berries at least. I'm still waiting on our first cabbage, so you are ahead of us there.

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    1. You are right Dave the other berries seem to come through OK

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  6. That is exactly why I like to take such detailed notes about what is happening in the garden as well as what is being harvested - our memory is so often wrong about the "when" and "how much" and it's not unusual for me to be surprised when I look back at my notes from past years.

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    1. Taking lots of photographs helps too Margaret especially when they are in dated folders

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  7. It's so good to have notes to fall back on. Sometimes our remembrances are...off.
    You might not think your flowers are up to snuff, but I'm sure enjoying them!

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    1. Memories do often edit the facts, Sue they like to play tricks on us.

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  8. I agree that it was interesting to hear about the strawberries and slugs. That's quite a variety of strawberries you are growing. I love that carpet of flowers for cutting under your Pear tree - quite jealous there. What a great use of your plot :-)

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    1. We like to grow a good variety, Shirley that way maybe we will find one that does really well. The flower carpet under the pear trees is all through self sown I haven't sown anything there for quite a few years. The candytuft comes up much earlier than that which I sow fresh.

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  9. I'm definitely missing my strawberries from the plot this year, I'll have to find a spot for some in the garden. I finally remembered to sow some sweet williams last year and I'm so pleased I did because they're just starting to flower now, they'll be a lovely splash of colour in the garden.

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    1. I must do better with sweet Williams this year, Jo.

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  10. It all looks lovely to me, it's nice to see the flowers you have managed to grow, I grew quite a few Cosmos this year, another week and they should all be in flower.
    Amanda xx

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    1. Our customers has some way to go before we get any flowers, Amanda.

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