Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Harvest Time

I've got a glut of cherry tomatoes at the moment, and the cucumber is doing well. We've had about four so far and there are a lot more to come. Both the cucumber and the Butternut Squash are growing all over the place - I'm glad I had them grow up a trellis, but it isn't nearly tall enough. Next time, I'll make one of steel rods rather than plastic-coated metal poles. The netting works well, but two poles aren't strong enough to bear the weight of two heavy vine plants. I would never have thought that the squash would be so prolific.

The deer have been getting at the chard and beetroot. We thought we had beaten them with the entrance to the wood blocked off, but it seems that they jump over the fence. I kept finding chard and beetroot plants rooted up and the tops nibbled off right down to the base of the plants. So I've covered them up with the chicken wire cages again and they're growing back again, thank goodness. I think they liked the artichoke too, for some reason, but I think it will survive.

The bush beans are coming on well, as are the purple runner beans. We had some today with the last of my sad little leeks, some freshly dug potatoes, diced salami and summer savoury. Scrumptious.

We picked the first courgette - the last of the lettuce (planted some more young plants, as well as Chinese Leaves and Zuckerhut - can't remember what that is in English) - lots of blackberries and some more strawberries. I made a couple of pots of bramble and strawberry jam. Yummy.

We've got some pumpkins coming - our neighbour kindly gave me a plant a few months ago, but frankly, apart from pumpkin pie and soup, I can't think what to do with them. There'll probably be about twenty at least, as well as the butternut squashes. Not being American or German, I don't have many uses for pumpkin and we don't do Halloween, so I've no idea. Suggestions welcome.

Next year I'd love to make another raised SF bed, this time for potatoes. Those that I've grown this year have been brilliant - we still have two rows-full to dig up, but I've read that you shouldn't grow potatoes in the same place two years following. So I'm thinking of putting carrots, leeks, onions and spring onions in the old potato bed, which is sandy and not as nitrogen-rich as the SF beds (I can always add some compost), and in the new bed, which I hope to be able to put in front of the apple tree, I'll put a mixture of our sandy soil, as well as Mel's Mix, for the pototoes.

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