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Our Summer Garden 'Jungle' - late July

It's almost impossible to believe how the rush of summer growth turns bare soil into something more like very productive “jungle”!

We are full-on harvesting now: black currants, red currants, gooseberries, blackberries, courgettes, tomatoes, French beans, broccoli, potatoes, beetroot and, of course, salad by the bucketful.

The sweet corn is giant, the runner beans are crazy, the parsnips are almost waist high and the onions/garlic are nearly ready to harvest.

'City Garden' project

We've already had to harvest all the new potatoes in the new “city” garden – for some reason they were hit hard by blight. The crop was saved and the soil cleared – it looks pretty good and weed-free now.

Beetroot, salad and broad beans are all doing well. All in all the experiment seems to have been a success – although the soil is very light and sandy (perhaps we'll move the asparagus there next winter).

Harvesting always takes more time than people realise – especially all the preparation in the kitchen to sort and blanche before putting into the deep freeze.

I reckon it takes almost 2 hours to harvest a single busy blackcurrant bush!

In the Greenhouse

The greenhouse is busy again now as I have just pricked out a multitude of basil plants.

The first packet of seed seems to have been old because it did not germinate well and even the little seedlings seemed weak.

The new crop is looking good and enjoying the cooler weather. This should all be ready to harvest in 4 weeks’ time – then the pesto making can beg

Of course the big vine on the greenhouse wall is festooned with a huge crop of fruit.

No doubt the blackbirds will soon be making their raids to steal the ripe grapes!

Meanwhile, in the orchard the apple crop looks disappointing – I suspect this is probably due to the late frosts; the espaliered trees, on the south-facing wall and more protected from the worst of the frosts, are fully laden with fruit as are the plum trees.

It's great to see the walnut trees growing strongly now – just 5 years after planting.

Inside the protection of our magnificent butterfly proof cage the broccoli are growing mighty fast – wonderfully vigorous plants the brassicas!


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