Sunday, 10 July 2011

Garden update

July is high Summer in the UK. At this time of year my garden is packed full of veg that is ready for harvesting or soon will be, so here's an update on how things are doing.

Have a look at these lovely Broad Beans. I think you can see why this variety is called "Imperial Green Longpod". I expect there to be 8 - 10 beans in each pod, as opposed to the 6 - 8 beans there are in the pods of my other variety, "Jubilee Hysor".

The growing of peas always presents me with a dilemma. We love home-grown peas, but I can't afford as much space as I would like for growing them, so I never get a very big crop. We tend to use them in combination with something else - for instance Broad Beans - or simply eat them raw as a "nibble". This year I sowed a few each of four varieties. "Early Onward" has performed best. The plants have been very vigorous, and have grown to an enormous height. However their pods are only just approaching maturity when the other three types have just about finished.

"Early Onward" peas

I have few pots of Dwarf French Beans on the go now. I sowed them a month or so after the climbing beans because they are more sensitive to cold weather and I wanted to wait until the danger of frost had passed. There are two pots each of the purple-podded variety "Amethyst" and the stylish bi-color black-and-white "Yin Yang". I'm growing the Amethyst for their young pods, but I'll let Yin Yang mature fully so that I can harvest the beans.

The red cabbages are looking healthy, if a bit "leggy", and just beginning to form hearts. I only have three of these cabbages. They are the "Marner Langerrot" variety. They will mature towards the end of September I expect.

One or two of my tomatoes are finally showing a bit of colour. These ones are "Maskotka" - a bush variety which produces huge quantities of small red fruits. These were Lara's favourite last year, so we will probably need large quantities!

I'm harvesting more Daikon than we can eat now. Must give some away... Here's some of them, along with a "Caramba" cabbage and a "Webbs Wonderful" lettuce.

The latest batch of Rocket is just about ready for using. I think I forsee a pizza meal...

I even have a pot of Coriander. I won't be eating this, because I am allergic to it, but Jane likes it so I have grown it for her. When I'm away from home on business she normally takes the opportunity to eat fish and seafood (which I don't eat), so next time she will be able to have Coriander on her Prawn curry maybe!

The only things that are doing really badly this year are the cucumbers. Each of my plants has produced only one very small fruit so far, and the plants have refused to climb up that lovely wooden structure I made for them. In fact the plants are still very small and have very few leaves. Maybe if the weather warms up they will have a late rally? 


  1. Same here Mark with the cucumbers, they just don't seem to be doing anything which is a shame as I've had great crops in previous years. Those broad beans look fantastic, have you been polishing them?? Look so glossy and healthy.

  2. You certainly have nothing to be envious about, your place is looking tip-top! Do you re-sow peas for fall by any chance?

  3. It all looks delicious. Hope your cucumbers surprise you.

  4. Those are very glossy broad beans. I'm looking forward to your Amethyst and Ying Yang harvest. I have no idea how they look or taste, but with such nice names, they seem promising. I just happened to browse through your "Some of my photos". Tucked away in a corner of your blog, I may not have noticed them. The photos are all full of colour and absolutely stunning.

  5. I too hope your cucumbers surprise you. I have harvested a few, but mine don't seem to be producing much fruit either. Sweet peppers aren't doing well either.

  6. Yes, Anita and Damo, I hadn't really thought about it, but the Broad Beans do look as if they have been polished! Maybe I should get into this Growing for Showing lark after all...?

    David; I have never grown Autumn (Fall!) peas before because I never have any space for sowing them at the appropriate time. My peas-and-beans bed becomes the Winter Brassicas bed.

  7. Hi Mark,

    I'm glad it's not just me having a cucumber nightmare. My first three plants turned yellow and died so I have one of the originals left and it hasn't grown in over a month and will not climb up the pole!

    I bought 2 healthy looking ones from a country market on Friday. They are quite established so fingers crossed they will give me some late fruits.

    Your produce is looking wonderful, keep up the good work!

    High summer? Tell the weather please been nothing but rain for four days now. The ground needs it though, still rock solid in places.

    Martin :0)

  8. Jealous of your red cabbage and tomatoes. Am putting red cabbage and daikon on my list for next year. Kelli

  9. How strange that we are all having the same problems with cucumbers - mine have been very slow also, but I harvested my first the other day. The rest of your stuff is looking good.

  10. That red cabbage is gorgeous, with its strong ribs and the contrast of red and blue-green. I would grow it in a flower border just for the interest factor.

  11. your veggies look so healthy! Very nice:) The golden tint on the tomato is beautiful!

  12. I love coriander but can't even stand to look at seafood!

  13. How I wish our plants can grow green, glowing and healthy in summer like yours. Unfortunately most of our plants usually got burn badly in mid-summer and don't produce well during this time. Can't wait to see how your red cabbage mature.

  14. It is so hot here lately that everything is dying. We are getting some rain but they are dying anyway.

  15. It's all looking great, especially those shiny broad beans, they look lovely and healthy. I can't wait for my tomatoes to start ripening. I've got some growing quite large now, no doubt they'll start ripening whilst I'm on holiday in a few weeks. I harvested the first of my peas over the weekend. I usually grow Early Onward but I'm having a change this year and have grown Hurst Green Shaft. I'm in the same boat with my cucumbers, no sign of any fruit yet.


Thank you for taking time to leave me a comment! Please note that Comment Moderation is enabled for older posts.