Sunday, 3 August 2014

Garden Share Collective - August 2014

This is my August entry for the Garden Share Collective, a monthly "meet" of gardening bloggers from Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the USA.

For me July is a prime "cropping" month. Not much is sown or planted, but lots of things are harvested.

I have harvested potatoes every few days for the last two months or so. Mine are all grown in containers, and I find that one container usually yields about enough spuds for a meal for two. This one of "Nicola" was above average though; it produced 900 grams.

I have picked quite a few beans this past month - mostly the climbing French Bean "Cobra", but also a few Runners ("Scarlet Empire").


"Scarlet Empire" and "Cobra"

My Runner beans got off to a poor start, suffering from the weedkiller-contaminated compost that caused so much damage to lots of my crops, but I think they are slowly getting over that, and I'm hopeful that August will see a bigger yield. Whilst I'm not very keen on frozen veg, this is one crop that I don't mind freezing if we get too many to eat fresh.

In mid-July I pulled the first of my maincrop Carrots. It was only a few, but they were very nice! All the nicer for the fact that I had to all intents and purposes given up growing maincrop carrots because of Carrot Root Fly infestations. This year I have grown them under Enviromesh, and the results are much better.

The salad succession has been working very well, and a steady supply of lettuce has made its way into the kitchen, such as this pair of "Little Gem"

We even ate a cabbage - one which I had mistakenly thought would mature in about September!


The tomatoes have started ripening too. Due to the compost issues, this year's yield will be small, and some of the fruits are a weird shape.

One of my favourite Tomato varieties is "Maskotka", which produces small red fruits - seen below with some "Iznik F1" Cucumbers.

The Chillis and Peppers are getting into their stride now. Only one or two fruits have ripened so far, but lots more are coming on:

Turkish Sweet Pepper - nearly ripe

Turkish Sweet Pepper - immature

Chilli "Nosferatu"

Chilli "Ohnivec"
Looking ahead, the Brussels Sprouts are doing well.

Little sprouts are definitely forming, so we're on target for Autumn harvesting.

The Leeks have put on a fair bit of weight too. A lot of the leaves are looking rather ragged, but I suppose that's normal, isn't it?

I had a bit of a scare with the Purple Sprouting Broccoli. Soon after planting-out several of the seedlings were attacked by Cabbage Root Fly. Two of them were replaced by spares, but then the spares were attacked too, and I thought I would lose the lot. Fortunately, by dint of assiduous watering, and protection from the blazing sun to stop the plants being unduly stressed, most of them pulled through and are now looking OK.

I had planned to have six plants. I now have five decent ones, and this poor thing, which is just about alive still, but only just!

The salads have fared rather better. We have certainly consumed copious quantities of Lettuce this Summer! I have now planted out several Radicchio, which will replace the Lettuce as the days get shorter and cooler next month. With the advent of cooler weather their green leaves will gradually darken and eventually turn red.


I keep planting Endives too - though most of them have bolted in the hot weather. I'll persevere though, because we love Endives and the odd one or two mature OK.

Curly Endive

Here's a summary of the month:-

Sowed during July.
Cabbage (3 varieties), PSB (an emergency re-sowing of spares due to Cabbage Root Fly attack!)
Landcress, Corn Salad, Radishes, Endives.

Planted during July.
PSB, Lettuce, Radicchio, Endives, Parsley.

Harvested during July.
Potatoes, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Chillis, Lettuce, French Beans, Runner Beans, Beetroot, Cabbage, Carrots, Blueberries.

Plans for August.
Harvest same veg as July, but also Radish, Landcress, Corn Salad, Baby Carrots, Raspberries.
Most anticipated crop - the Pink Fir Apple potatoes.
Pot-up Strawberry runners for next year.
Plant Cabbages, Endives, possibly PSB.


  1. It looks like it has been a good month for you even with the compost problem. Too bad about the root flies though. I had the same trouble with my cabbages this year. I transplanted five, but I ended up with three. They got into the broccoli too, but only two of ten were attacked and one luckily recovered.

  2. Well done, some really great looking veg and lots of healthy food to eat!

  3. July certainly was a good month for you. That represents a lot of hard work on your part and a lot of patience while you waited to see how your afflicted plants fared. I'm not sure I would have had that sort of patience and might have just cut my losses and tossed the whole lot out.

  4. What fantastic looking crops! Nothing is tastier than fresh veggies from your own garden.

  5. At least the compost hasn't caused too much devastation - thankfully.

  6. What a lovely bunch of harvests! Makes me wish it was summer here. Ah well, I will have to content myself with cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower.

  7. i second bek - makes me yearn for our summertime. too far away. a beautiful harvest.
    i will have to content myself with your colourful pictures!

  8. I love endive too. I often let one grow a metre tall so it can flower and the bright blue attracts bees to fertilise the summer tomatoes. Its winter here so its very warming to visit your summer garden and lovely produce.

  9. Nothing better than a harvest month, i have a planting month in front of me. Everything looks so good especially that cabbage and those carrots. i am going to have to try to get my carrots as impressive as yours. see you next month

  10. Your garden (and produce) is looking great! That's interesting about the radicchio; I had no idea it started out green. Love the peppers - I'm growing hot banana peppers for the first time - they are so prolific compared to the sweet peppers. I definitely want to branch out into different hot peppers next year and the varieties you are growing have piqued my interest - how do you use them?

    1. Margaret, funnily enough we do not use a huge number of chillis in our cooking, even though I love growing them. We use some in oriental dishes, and some in things like Chilli con Carne and Mexican pork and beans etc. I made some into chilli powder last year, but it was disappointingly mild!


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