Monday, 18 July 2011

July 2011 in the Vegetable Garden

I've spent most of my gardening time in the last couple of weeks picking and processing fruit; redcurrants, blackcurrants, whitecurrants, strawberries and raspberries. But everything is coming on now, so here's a quick round-up. The courgettes are flowering well - they're F1 hybrids and don't need male flowers for pollination so they're quick to get going. Once the fruits have set, I take the flowers off the end to stop rotting if we get monsoon weather like we've had this weekend.
The peppers I bought a couple of weeks ago are growing well under their cloche and have lots of flower buds. This is an experiment, no idea if it's going to work!
The red gooseberries need picking, must do that in the next couple of days.
The pumpkins which suffered under the predations of the slugs and snails and then the cold have now recovered and are growing well. On the subject of ravenous critters, since I bought the new slug pellets the plot is now littered with corpses, about 60% snails, the rest slugs. We didn't used to have snails on the allotment but in the last few years the population seems to have grown. I do feel slightly guilty but round here there are no natural predators in big enough numbers to impact the snail population so some of them have to go - once the plants are big enough, I won't need the pellets anyway.
These are my shop-bought cabbages and cauliflowers (replaced the eaten plants) which are now doing very well under their butterfly net.
And I've built supports for the apple trees; this is the Worcester Pearmain tree which is going to need a new stake in the winter as it's leaning at an alarming angle now. While the Katy tree has nice tough branches now, this one is still a little floppy, so that's a project for winter. For the first time, all four trees are carrying a good crop, so there's lots to look forward to.
And the pruned plum tree is also doing well, with the plums swelling nicely. They will start to turn colour this week.
You can just see the second crop of peas on the left, then broad beans and the first peas. The broad beans have been magnificent this year, still plenty left, and another good picking of peas.
And this is the garlic - the best I've ever grown. The lettuce in front is doing well, the nibbled plants are now recovering. I expect to be pulling the garlic next month, I'm hoping there may be some really monster bulbs under there!

So, back to the fruit picking...
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