Monday, July 9

Just about keeping up

Well we are just about keeping up with watering - still not a drop of rain - and harvesting and our harvest boxes are definitely showing more variety as different crops come on stream.

There are one or two maintenance jobs need fitting in somewhere but these will have to be squeezed in as and when.

This year the blackbirds seem more generous in sharing the tayberries. We're not sure whether this is due to them having easy access to a couple of redcurrants bushes or that the gazebo that we erected a couple of weeks or so ago is making them nervous. It's years since we bothered to erect the gazebo and it is old and a bit ramshackled but it is serving the purpose of providing a shady area to retreat to.
A variety of berries are vying for time. Picking is fitted in between our regular watering regime. The potatoes are still being neglected as a lost cause but many other plants seem to be responding well to our system of  drenching the soil when we water.
2 July
We are picking a few broad beans from our first planting of Witkiem Manita. These plants never really grew well so any crop is a bonus. Our second batch of broad bean plants look more promising. The second variety is Masterpiece Green Longpod.
3 July

Calabrese is producing side shoots which are harvested quickly to avoid them starting to flower.

The cabbage is hearting up faster than we can eat it so some is  being shared and we are also eating lots of coleslaw with our lunchtime sandwiches.

The later Malwina strawberry plants have always look the healthiest and are now beginning to provide us with a few fruits. Above the first two are nestling in a bed of raspberries. Later in the week there were a few more. They didn't disappoint. Of the plants that we have grown Malwina is way above the rest on flavour.

The first lot of peas are starting to swell their pods. 
5 July
I'm picking them as soon as they are of a reasonable size, even if the peas inside the pods are small. Peas hate hot dry conditions so I am just hoping that they don't suddenly succumb to mildew. Watering the peas is one major priority. Each watering we give each row four cans of water. The second sowing are already producing pods and the Sugarsnap are flowering so my fingers are as crossed as carrying watering cans allows.

Last week we added a few spinach and leaf beet leaves to our haul. 
 It looks as though it may be time to dig out the courgette recipes.
7 July
The yellow variety - Atena Polka - is preparing for a glut and sporting lots of tiny fruits. 
We picked another cauliflower last week. There are a few small heads forming and so we are hoping more will be ready next week. We may be making piccalilli soon.
The apricot and cherry trees have been stripped so the cherry can lose its ghostly shroud. The cherries are a variety called - Stella . Martyn thinks they should be renamed Stellar as the flavour certainly has star quality.

As if we didn't have enough picking and pulling to do, the sweet peas are also flowering thick and fast. We are coming away from the allotment with bunches on every visit.
Hopefully if we pick the flowers quickly enough those horrible little pollen beetles that are browsing some of our other flowers won't infest them.
I'm sure one of the little beasts bit me the other day. Has anyone else noticed that they bite?



This week I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on 

Dave's blog Our Happy Acres

Rant alert - I am now receiving email notifications of comments so I shouldn't miss any or any comments awaiting moderation. I had to do some tweaking to settings that, unless you browse the Blogger forum, no-one bothers to tells you about!

This new GDPR business seems to be going too far to my mind. Browsing the internet is made irritating by constantly having pop-ups to agree to. Does anyone read all the privacy policies that you have to agree to in order to lose the pop-up? I'm all for protecting data but this hasn't stopped all those nuisance telephone scams which to my mind are a worse problem.


28 comments:

  1. You're right about GDPR, it's not wiped out the problem it was designed to tackle. I'm envying you those cabbages, they're perfection. And yes, Malwina strawberries are wonderful. I planted a whole bed of them on your recommendation and they're excellent, we've just started picking. Really big as well. They aren't as covered in fruit as Cambridge Favourite, but the fruits are much better quality and really superb flavour. The timing works well too as my earlier strawberries have finished, so it's been lovely to start picking again. Here in the West Country we always pronounce Stella as stellar anyway.

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    1. I'm glad that you like Malwina, CJ. Cambridge Favourite has never really done well for us

      The GDPR thing is a plaster cast up to the elbow to heal a cut finger. It causes more problems and doesn't solve the real problem.

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    2. I totally agree, it's ludicrous.

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  2. Watering is still the dominant theme here too. Your cauliflower looks an awful lot better than the one I picked yesterday (my first ever!).

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    1. I'm sure that your cauliflower was just as much loved, Mark

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  3. You are being well rewarded for all your hard work with the watering. Thanks for the tip on harvesting broccoli side shoots quickly.

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    1. It’s not usually such an issue with the side shoots, tpals but this year in the sort of heat we are having the buds seem to burst really quickly.

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  4. I love seeing all those beautiful berries that you grow, it's such a wonderful assortment. I don't know how you manage to lug those watering cans but keep up the good work, it looks like it's paying off. All your harvests look great.

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    1. Needless to say we have both lost weight, Michelle.

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  5. Everything looks sooooo beautiful and abundant! Yuck about the bugs. It's always a battle! All the flowers are just beautiful as well.

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    1. For a few years pollen I haven’t seen as many pollen beetles, Shawn Ann but this year there seems to be a plague of them.

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  6. I too am always amazed at the lovely assortment of berries you grow. And I do know how time consuming it is to keep them harvested. But fresh homegrown berries are so tasty! It sounds like Malwina is especially flavorful.

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    1. The compotes made from the berries last us through winter, Dave so picking is a major priority.

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  7. Lovely post Sue thank you for sharing i must check my soft fruit and check on my preach tree which has fruited for the first time blessing to you both

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    1. Good luck with your peach, Linda

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  8. I've thought for a long time that good harvests are a result of regular watering; your pics bear this out. My water butts have run dry and harvests are minimal here so it's lovely to see your perseverance with the watering can paying off.

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    1. I’ve read pieces, Caro where people have said they haven’t watered anything this year and things are thriving but I know that if we hadn’t watered anything most things would be dead. Most of the fruit however has flourish without watering. Fruit bushes have produced lots of new growth, no doubt due to the wet early spring and deeper rooting system.

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  9. Wow!! Your harvests are outstanding! You have so much producing, no wonder your watering is so exhausting. Surely we'll get some rain sooon!?

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    1. Oh, and that coleslaw photo! Yum yum!

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    2. We are eating lots of coleslaw and egg fried rice with cabbage, Belinda. I also tried a cabbage and potato curry that was surprisingly successful. It would be good if the rain gives us a break.

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  10. What amazing variety, despite your watering hardships! My garden seems slower than normal this year - not sure why, but I'm thinking it may be the torrid heat. During a typical summer, we hit 30C four or five times all season long but this year (and last year was similar) we have been in the 30's practically every day for the past 3 weeks with only a couple of days or reprieve.

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    1. At least we are staying in the high 20s for most of the tome, Margaret and that’s plenty hot enough.

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  11. Another convert to Malwina strawberries here, thank you! Ours have just started cropping and they are certainly the tastiest. Love the look of your coleslaw, very fresh looking.... and surely it'll rain soon? (please)

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    1. I’m glad Malwina was a hit for you, Kathy. We’ve just come in tonight and there were a few raindrops on the windscreen so I wonder whether we will have some overnight rain.

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  12. I'm with you on Data Protection, having to agree terms on every site is driving me crackers too. Oh, how we need water too, I'm amazed at your harvests, especially during this horrendous drought. I would love a night of torrential rain.xxx

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    1. I’d settle for steady rain, Dina. If we read all the privacy statements we wouldn’t have time to actually read any web sites.

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  13. Right that's it - you are officially the Berry Queen! Wow, I bow before you and offer my allegiance, hahaha. What harvests! Everything a success, maybe bar the spuds but what a great haul - congrats and long may it continue (with a little rain added on top!) x

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    1. What an accolade, Carrie. Thank you berry much!

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