This is the season of return for all our hard work during the year when we have the pleasure of keeping up with all the delicious fruit and vegetables as they become ready for picking. The air is full of the buzzing of the bees in the foxgloves, marigolds, phacelia and marguerites, collecting the nectar and pollinating our fruit and vegetables.
The rain during the week was very welcome so we only watered what was in the tubs today. We wage war against the weeds every week but it takes time to get round the plot and the rain has just encouraged them.
The priority is to keep the vegetable beds clear so the onion bed was weeded today to let the sun in to ripen the bulbs. The beet and turnips had almost disappeared in the weeds and once the weeds were out you could see they needed further thinning. We need to keep on top of the staking and netting, The last row of peas was staked.
The raspberries are colouring up so time for getting the netting over these too. The ground underneath was weeded first and we found a giant hogweed plant at the end of the row. It was cut back for the moment and will be dug up properly once the raspsberries are over.
Some of the runner beans haven’t appeared probably due to mice eating the seed so a few more seeds were pushed in. We found more signs of the cabbage root fly in the cauliflowers but at least the curds have started to form so we at least have mini cauliflowers to eat. The cabbages are growing on well and looking fine for the moment.
The main work this week was picking the fruit and vegetables. The strawberries continue to amaze us and the first picking of the gooseberries gave enough fruit for gooseberry fool and some for the freezer for jam making later on.
The little purple Milan turnips are ready and the first of the mangetout peas, variety Shiraz, with the purple pods.
The broad beans are at their best when picked small. The blackfly has appeared on the tops of the broad beans so these were pulled off. Bit of a shame because we saw ladybird larvae on the plants but there were still blackfly on some of the stems so food around for them.
This is the time of the year for the June drop of the apples when the plant decides what it can support. We prefer fewer larger apples to a larger number of smaller ones so we did a further thinning out. Our apples are on dwarfing rootstock which is another reason to do more thinning to reduce the demands on the energy of the plants.
Jobs for next week
Keep picking the fruit and vegetables [bring containers]
Empty out the compost heap and turn the other one into it
See you on Thursday