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Mid Summer Abundance in the Garden

It's mid-summer and the garden is full of good things growing! Weeds are pretty firmly under control – thanks to regular hoeing. After the rains the place is teeming with frogs of every size and colour! We have hardly seen a white butterfly but, as always, our resident population of field voles is resourceful and active and our greatest nuisance. Wire and nets have kept the blackbirds and pigeons at bay. So let's get started with a full inventory of the crops:

Salad – a bumper crop of lettuce, rocket and spinach – all doing well with surplus to spare for the neighbours.

Parsnips – 3 plots growing well despite patchy germination. They'll be big and long by winter.

Carrots – 4 plots already thinned twice. I think young rabbits may have eaten a few.

Beetroot – the new pink beet are looking amazing. The seed tape batch have grown very well.

Potatoes – Looking good and we've nearly finished the first plot of earlies – very tasty.

French Beans – the early netting worked well against the birds and both plots are growing well now.

Runner Beans – the greenhouse start has worked brilliantly and the runners have just reached to tops of the strings

Onions and Garlic – Enjoying the recent rains, they're doing well with only a few having bolted.

Peas – these are my problem crop and clearly a favourite of the voles. Only one batch going well.

Courgettes – a robust crop now just coming into flower

Pumpkins – 3 plants doing well but they have not really got going yet

Sweet Corn – 70 plants now growing well after the warm wet weather

Rhubarb – slow to get going this year with such a dry spring

Blackcurrant, Raspberries and Gooseberry – all doing well and growing like mad things. The big crop will keep us very busy harvesting and freezing in July.

Strawberries and Blackberry – Just started to harvest the first of what should be a good crop.

In the Greenhouse

Both the big vine and the 6 tomato plants are ridiculously vigorous – probably 100 bunches of juicy grapes. The new vine has struggled in its second year – possibly because of root competition with its greedy neighbours. On the big worktop we have a bumper crop of basil in various boxes – it will be ready to harvest for making pesto next month. We also have the very important seedlings for next year's broccoli crop – they will be ready to plant out under netting in 2 or 3 weeks time. Remember we still have 20 bags of frozen broccoli from March this year!


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