A month of picking and enjoying, really, apart from sowing a few more lettuce seeds which are just starting to come through – and some leeks because I had a forgetful moment and am not entirely certain whether the plants just showing are leeks or possibly spring onions. All will become clear but just to be on the safe side I thought I’d get some definite leeks in the ground. I’ve planted out some red cabbages as well – just a dozen or so, which will keep very well once they are ready.
But back to harvesting. We ate our broad bean crop in one go towards the end of June while they were still small and tender, and similarly have been enjoying the cucumbers from the greenhouse. The green peppers have been yielding well, too, for about the last three or four weeks. At the end of June we picked the last asparagus spears and are not letting the ferns develop, hopefully rejuvenating the plants for next year.
At the end of June we picked a bumper crop of 5lbs of strawberries; some of them are now jam and some in the freezer for successive summer puddings over coming months. Our red currant bushes produced another 5lbs of them, as well – also destined for the freezer and summer puddings – alongside a good few white currants.
The gooseberry bushes gave us five or six jars of jam’s worth at the end of the first week of July. They were a little bit smaller than usual but very nice for all that. A few days later we picked masses of black currants. I’ve got a good trick for them which saves pruning work later in the year. I just cut out the whole fruit bearing branch and can then take the fruit off sitting down at a bench. The fruit only grows on last year’s branch growth, and those are the one that need to come out, leaving this year’s growth to produce fruit in 12 months’ time. So you can’t go wrong – just take out the branch that’s carrying fruit.
I’m patiently waiting to see what my two self-seeded potato plants produce. They just appeared, and seemed healthy, whatever they are, so I’ve earthed them up and am awaiting developments. And it won’t be long now before we can eat the first crop of garden peas. What a treat that is, and so much nicer than anything you can buy (whatever it says on the freezer bag!!)
Back to harvesting – see you next month.