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|
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.
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.