The first half of the growing season is almost done. I still haven’t given much thought to the rest, except some vague notions of winter salads. Nearly all the available ground has something planted in it, the blue areas below. Just a few squares are empty awaiting something to plant. I have some seedlings on the go, various things, more on that to follow.
The weather has been strange the last few weeks. After some nice spring sunshine it has been gloomy and often very wet. This has suited some things, but mostly not so much.
Runner Beans – The runners (left side wigwam in the photo) are doing ok, although they took a while to get going. I have planted a second batch so will have two wig-wams going. I’ll be complaining about having too many soon.
Climbing beans – on the right side in the photo above, these have been a disappointment so far. I suspect the weather has been too wet and cool for them. The first batch are rather half-hearted, the second batch never germinated and the third batch are just coming through now. I have also sown a bunch more french beans, dwarf this time, for a later crop.
Squash – I’ve planted two ‘crown prince’ plants, both are looking a little slug damaged, but hopefully a bit of sunshine will perk them up. I also planted three ‘uchiki kuri’ plants near a bit of trellis. I intend to train them vertically, it worked quite well last year. They are rather squeezed in between some beetroot and onions, I hope they’ll be happy enough.
Courgettes – just two plants this year, both ‘ambassador’. Like the squash they are a little behind where I expected them to be, lack of sunshine has probably held them back.
Salad leaves – a big disappointment this year. Between forgetting to harvest and the dry (until recently) weather, nearly all the plants bolted. I sowed a second batch that also bolted, some before I even planted them out! The third batch was wiped out in the seed tray, slugs the culprit. Must try harder! I have sown a big fourth batch of different leaf crops. If I can keep the slugs away they should be harvestable in a few weeks time.
Onions – these ‘sturon’ sets have all started to lean, I think due to being slightly shaded by the overhanging apple tree. Hopefully they will still crop ok.
Garlic – close to harvest time now for these. I am tempted to lift them now but regretted that last year. There’s no rush. OK OK I confess, I did lift one bulb, it’s on the small side, so will leave them be for a few more weeks.
Peas – it’s a bit of a wild mess but they are cropping. I took a small harvest of ‘kelvedon wonder’ as mangetout but have left the rest to pod up, same with the ‘oregon sugar pod’.
Rhubarb – my single crown is going well this year. We have taken 2 or 3 lots of stems of and since taking this picture we have taken another crop, leaving just one or two stems to feed the plant.
Carrots – ah, carrots. My pointy orange nemesis continues to tease. The first batch germinated pretty well. Not 100% but not bad compared to my past efforts. The 2nd batch faired less well, but again some have come through. I sowed a 3rd batch in a wooden box which previously had tulips in. I have sown three rows and will thin out appropriately. Some have germinated, but spottily so far. I am hopeful that I will at least have some carrots worthy of the name this year.
Parsnips – patchy germination but definitely some parsnips there. Enough for christmas lunch perhaps.
Sweet peas – rubbish this year, I really don’t know why. They are beginning to flower, and some of the plants are growing quite vigorously but compared to last year they are pretty poor. Perhaps they just got a lot more sun last year. Mind you, they were not especially healthy looking when I planted them out, very bedraggled. I will keep this October’s sowings in the greenhouse until next spring, I think.
Beetroot – I’ve planted some in the ground and some in pots. None of them is looking particularly healthy to be honest, although some nice new leaves are coming through.
Potatoes – Earlies. The first earlies, ‘red duke of york’, are nearly ready to harvest. I’m leaving them till the end of the month. The second earlies, ‘charlotte’ still look very robust in the foliage department, they’ll be a while yet.
Potatoes – Mains. One sack of the ‘desirees’ is not doing anything, dunno why. The others are doing ok, I think. It’ll be September before those are harvested so I shall mainly ignore them for now.
Tomatoes – I have dispensed with the heath robinson watering system this year, I am relying on my own memory to water and feed this this year. I just have to figure out what I’ll do while on holiday. The plants all seem to be doing well, they have mostly topped their 4′ canes, now I am twiddling them around the string which will take them up to the apex of the greenhouse roof. There are flowers, so hopefully fruit will not be far behind. My labelling has gone awry so I’ll be guessing which they are when I see the tomatoes.
Chillies – also going well this year, despite the cool, wet weather. I think they benefited from a month or two in the heated and lit propagator I got for my birthday. They have been in the greenhouse for a while now, potted up into 3L pots. The two plants I overwintered are now doing OK, plagued though they were by aphids when indoors. The best chillies so far are on the overwintered ‘hungarian hot wax’ but there are many others coming through. With a bit of luck (and sunshine) I think I will have a much better crop than last year.
I think that’s the end of the plot tour for this month. How is your veg growing so far this year?
I’ll be back in a month or so, hopefully with tales of plentiful harvest