Monday, July 31

Wouldn't you just know it?

Our first lot of brassicas have now been cleared. From this we managed to harvest a few vegetables including a cauliflower that was turning pink. Other than the colour it was fine. The pinkish tinge develops when the head is exposed to light and being the last head to be harvested, it had been subjected to more light than the ones picked earlier. The pink colour was just cosmetic and disappeared after cooking so didn't affect our enjoyment when eating it.
25 July
The week before last, we picked a couple of curved cucumbers, last week we harvested one that would almost pass the supermarket test. It may have been rejected on length grounds but it could out compete any supermarket fruit in a crispness challenge.

The Oullins Gage plums are ripening quickly now. Each year at some stage the wasps move in, so this year I decided to make a couple of waspinators using large brown paper bags. Wouldn't you just know it? These were hung up just before the first 'proper' rain we have had in a while so probably will be papier mâché when we next see them. I'll take a couple more bags just in case.
The plums were delicious so all I can say is that the wasps have good taste.
We picked our first three runner beans to add to the Cobra, French climbing beans. We have three varieties of each but the runner bean, Celebration and Cobra are the first to produce beans. Celebration is unusual for a runner bean in that it has pink flowers.
28 July
On the subject of flowers we have had plenty to choose from for cutting material. The dahlia below was one that had overwintered but we weren't sure of the colour. The resulting flower was a nice surprise.


The second of our new dahlias is Franz Kafka. This time unlike the first one to flower looks as it is supposed to.
The fluffy multi-headed flowers are ageratum. Short growing varieties are used as bedding plants. I had never come across the tall growing variety before so thought that I would give it a try. Now the pollen beetles have vacated the flowers, I decided to cut some. I'll definitely be growing them again next year.
The carnations pictured above were actually cuttings grown from material provided by some cut flowers that we bought. I posted about taking the cuttings here way back in 2014.
The sweet peas are now providing armfuls of flowers.

The Kestrel potatoes however, have been far less prolific. The potatoes below are the complete harvest from one root. We are hoping that it is just that Kestrel don't like the prevailing dry conditions and that the other varieties that we are growing fare better. Certainly the early Casablancas produced a better harvest. Another factor is that the ground where the Kestrel were planted is one of the roughest parts of our allotment so it will be interesting to see how the varieties growing alongside Kestrel have performed. One of the reasons that we grow a range of varieties is to try and cater for differing conditions. 
For those of you who enjoy watching videos, Martyn put together a short film (about 6 minutes long), of the state of play of our potato crop to date.

As usual I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on Dave's blog Our Happy Acres




23 comments:

  1. Good harvest again, and I must find out more about your waspinator as I lose a lot of my apples to wasps. Hope the rest of the potato harvest is better, but at least potatoes are cheap and plentiful if you end up buying some to see you through.

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    1. The rest of the Kestrel were lifted today and we ended up with a bucketful - no pest damage though. Still lots to go at so hopefully the harvest will see us through.

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  2. Shame about the poor yield from "Kestrel". Mine yielded about the same as all my other varieties. I think that it is a variety often chosen mainly for its looks on the showbench, so it is perhaps not as robust as some other types, and expects a bit of cossetting! I've not had a good year for cucumbers. My first plant (Passandra) only produced 4 fruits and now seems to have died. The other (Diva) is only just producing its first fruit, and look pretty sickly too. I don't know what went wrong.

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    1. No cossetting of potatoes here, Mark they have to rough it. They don't even get watered.

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    2. We grew Kestrels again this year and ours were smaller tubers than usual too. They were grown alongside Maris Peer, which were a bit bigger, so wo knows why? And that lovely new dahlia of yours, we have an identical one that is new this year from a mixed pack we bought in a local shop. It just has the one stem, but is a keeper for sure. I'll be putting a pic in next Monday's blog so you can see what I mean!!

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  3. Beautiful colourful photos - I can almost smell some of those goodies through the screen!
    Our potato harvests have been pretty slim so far, but we have a good few left and now that we've had such tremendous rainstorms perhaps they will be improved...

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    1. No tremendous rainstorms here, Belinda but we have lots still to go at too.

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  4. It's been so long since I've grown cauliflower I forget it turned color like that when exposed to light. I've not heard of a waspinator trap though.

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    1. The waspinator isn't a trap, Dave. The idea is that it mimics a wasp nest and passing wasps think it is another colonies territory and stay away. That's the theory anyway whether it works or not we will see, Maybe ripe plums are worth the risk of a battle.

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  5. It seems that the pests always know what's best. I've got 2 varieties of strawberries growing in pots and the rodents consistently "harvest" the sweetest, best tasting, and rarest variety.

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    1. They must have built in highly sophisticated taste radar, Michelle.

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  6. How fun. Love the dahlias and the sweet peas of course. I had some potato woes this year myself. Lol. Growing carnations from a floral cutting. How clever.

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  7. Wonderful harvests and those flowers are gorgeous! That's so interesting about the waspinator - we often have wasp nests (not the spherical paper type but the honeycomb type) in our sheds and they could care less if there is another one nearby. In fact, I recently had to get rid of two active nets on the doorway that were mere inches away from each other.

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    1. Oh dear maybe the theory is wrong then, Margaret, at least I haven't wasted money buying one!

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  8. I do love the colour of your harvest and your lovely flowers. Sorry to read your potatoes have been disappointing too, but at least the garden plot is rewarding you with other veg, I am esp. envious of your yellow courgettes - again I have only harvested 2.

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    1. We still have the other varieties of potatoes to harvest so hopefully these will fare better, Shaheen.

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  9. Wow, what a food harvest, Sue :-) However, given our recent event it is your harvest of cut flowers that I am seriously admiring - very impressive!

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    1. More peacock food eh, Shirley?

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  10. I do hope your faux wasp nests work and that the rain didn't spoil them. Those plums do look good as does the rest of the harvest.xxx

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    1. So far the waspinators have survived, Dina

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  11. I like the tall ageratum, Sue. Did you grow them from seed?

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    1. Yes I did grow the ageratums from seed, Margaret. It was a variety called Timeless. I have never seen taller growing ones advertised before

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