Saturday, 23 July 2011

The veg garden in July

July is the month in which I normally have the greatest variety of fruit and vegetables ready for eating. The early stuff like the Broad beans, peas and broccoli, is just finishing and the late stuff like Runner beans and tomatoes is just beginning.

This month I have harvested:-

Potatoes, Broad Beans, French Beans, Peas
Cabbage, Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Swiss Chard
Daikon, Perpetual Spinach, Lettuce, Endive
Tomatoes, Cucumber, Baby Carrots, Beetroot
Rocket, Komatsuna, Blueberries, Raspberries
and herbs of many different types

I offer you a few pictures of some of the above...

The first ripe tomatoes were picked on 15th July. Only two each of Maskotka (red) and Tumbling Junior Yellow (yellow!), but hopefully the first of many.

The beetroot has been coming on steadily, with a few maturing every now and then, which suits me fine. I don't want vast quantities of it all at once. The first of the "Burpees Golden" variety was harvested on 16th July, whereas we have been eating the red ones ("Boltardy" and "Red Ace") since early June.

I had to pick a load of Blueberries in a hurry last week, because I saw that the Blackbirds had discovered them. Birds can strip your precious crop of fruit in minutes if you give them a chance, so I picked the fruit that was ripe or nearly so, and covered the plants loosely with a piece of fleece to hide them from view.

Mind you, there's a threat to the Blueberries that is even more voracious than the Blackbirds - Lara (my 2-year-old granddaughter). She can eat her own body weight in fruit (especially Blueberries) in about 10 minutes flat! I love seeing Lara's reaction to my garden when she visits us. Last week she discovered the delights of fresh peas eaten straight off the plant. If only you could have seen her little face light up!
My short row of peas has not produced a very big harvest, but I can't resist growing peas. Fresh home-grown ones are just so delicious. This bowlful is a medley of different types, mostly "Early Onward".

We're seldom short of salad ingredients in our house. This year the Lettuces have done particularly well. This one is "Delicato".

The cabbages have done well too. I deliberately plant mine at closer spacings than most people would use, since this keeps them smaller. One like this is quite sufficient for the two of us, and I don't like having half-used cabbage hanging around if I can help it.

I have been REALLY pleased with the way the carrots have turned out. Because of problems in previous years with carrot-fly infestation, I have grown my carrots in some old plastic washing-up bowls, placed well above carrot-fly cruising level. These little beauties are "Amsterdam 3 Sprint". As you can see, there is no sign whatever of the fly. We are eating these at the "finger" stage (that's to say, thay are about the size of a finger - approx 4 or 5 inches long), which the only sensible thing to do when growing them in a shallow container. Can you see how several of them have bent ends, with the root having to go sideways when it reaches the bottom of the container?

The Tenderstem broccoli in its various guises has been a success too. It is still producing lots of tender sideshoots, though they are smaller than the earlier ones were.

Shoots are beginning to appear out of the ground by the base of the main stems as well. Since the broccoli has already had a good run for its money, it will be difficult to decide whether to leave it in place until all those basal shoots mature, or to dig up the plants to make space for something else.

In line with my policy of honestly declaring my failures as well as my successes, I should also show you this rather pathetic specimen of the cucumber "Marketmore". The plant from which this one came only produced this one fruit and then promptly died. Was it worth bothering, I ask? It's probably full of seeds anyway.

Actually, come to think of it, the production of seeds is what a plant is all about, so this one probably thought it had done well to survive long enough to produce at least one lot of seeds! :)


  1. That cucumber is a bit slug shaped but I'm sure it will taate good

  2. Grovelling jealousy both for your growing and your photoing.


  3. Mark, what beautiful vegetables! Your garden has been and is, a delight. I would have loved to see Lara enjoying the peas and blueberries!

  4. Am equally envious and admiring! Love the pics and the variety you grow! We have just harvested a bumper crop of FOUR pea pods this week! :oD However, those four have given my daughter and I absolute moments of joy as we muched on the raw peas which were wonderful! Your garden (and as others have mentioned) your photographic skills (especially love the lettuce)are things that I aspire day! :o)

  5. Your fruit n veg looks superb! Especially the carrots and great idea to go for smaller cabbage. Looks a very successful year for you (and I'm sure there's lots more to come).

  6. The golden beet is lovely! I didn't know you grew kohlrabi. Full of surprises!

  7. It's wonderful to grow such a variety of veg, no chance of getting bored of eating the same thing in your house. I'm envious of your bluberries, after losing the whole crop to frost last year, this year the plants have produced hardly any fruit.

  8. You are a vegetable whizz! Just shows what you can do without chickens and goats.

  9. We wish we have that many pea harvest Mark. My boys keep on chanting peas each time they saw I am holding the harvest basket. But the weather is too cold for the peas to pod proper. Many nice varieties harvested from your garden.

  10. What a riot of colours! Blue, Red, Orange, Green. Your blueberries look really tempting. No wonder you have to protect it from so many "threats". I can imagine how happy you feel when your grand daughter relishes the garden produce. I also feel no compliment is greater than that from my 3 yr old son.

  11. Impressive harvest Mark, cucumber not withstanding. Glad you have failures too, makes me feel better ;-)

  12. Those beets are beautiful and those carrots look fantastic!

  13. Awww....very sweet that your granddaughter discovered the peas. :) My oldest sweet bean thinks that peas are a permanant fixture in the garden and gets very confused when she realizes they aren't there all year round. :)

  14. Nice and colorful harvest. I grow some short carrots in my more shallow beds and even some of them get a little bent on the bottom when they reach it. Those look good that you have! I picked some pretty ugly cucumbers today as well, they will be on next weeks HM post. That one's not so bad, really ;) lol

  15. Your root crops (beets and carrots) look really good. It's interesting how adaptable the carrots are for their growing conditions... just tipping sideways when they reach the bottom of the container! Blueberries look delicious and we have to net them here too. I have some in front of our shop that are unprotected and we manage to eat a few but they are mostly sacrificed to the bird gods. The main bushes though are covered by bird netting placed over hoops.

  16. What fantastic colors!!! Congratulations on a phenomenal harvest this week!

  17. I like the idea of keeping the cabbages closer together so they don't grow as big - Thanks I will give it a try.

  18. Those blueberries look delicious. I was at the farmers market today buying some. I wish I had producing blueberries, but we just planted some this spring.


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