Monday 13 June 2016

Harvest Monday - 13th June 2016

Once again, my harvest this week starts with Lettuce:

I think you'll agree that this is a nice-looking Lettuce though. It is a "Cervanek", grown from seeds sent to me by Dominika in the Czech Republic.

From the outside this lettuce looks very red, but it's just the tips of the leaves that are red: the inside is mostly a very yellowy green:

This week I have lifted the first of my potatoes:

Lady Christl at left, Nicola at right

I made a mistake with these. Against my better judgement I lifted some 2nd Early ones ("Nicola") first, because they had produced flowers, which is normally an indication that the tubers are ready. As soon as I took the plants out of their pot I saw that the tubers were NOT ready. I took just a few from around the edge and then put the plants back in the pot so that they can continue growing.

Then I did what I should have done in the first place - I lifted a pot of 1st Earlies ("Lady Christl"), and these were much better. The yield was not huge (899g from two plants in one 35-litre pot), but the tubers were very clean and even.

I was a bit concerned by how dry the soil was in both of the pots though. This year, because of fears over weedkiller contamination,  I am not using any of the composted stable manure that I have used for the past few years. The growing medium in the two pots I harvested from this week is a mix of Norfolk Loam and that Wickes multi-purpose compost. The loam had set very hard, and the MPC had a lot of very coarse fibre in it (I think it might be shredded wood!), so neither was really fit for purpose. Some of the potatoes I planted a bit later have home-made compost instead of the Wickes stuff, so we'll see if that has made a difference to the moisture-retention. In the meantime I have made a note to be even more attentive than usual with watering the spuds.

The last harvest I want to mention this week is this:

They are my first ripe chillis of the year. These little pods are from a plant of the type I call "Turkey, small, red". We won't be eating these three, because I want to dry them and keep the seeds for sowing next year. Hopefully there will be more pods for us later on. As you will have guessed from the nickname, the seeds for this one originally came from Turkey, and right now, because of the political / security situation, it seems unlikely that we will be visiting Turkey again in the near future, and consequently there won't be any opportunities for re-stocking!

I'm linking this post to Harvest Monday, hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres.


  1. I do agree, that is a very nice looking lettuce. And potatoes already! They look perfect. I'm growing a couple of peppers from Turkey this year but I have no idea what they will look like.

  2. That is a handsome lettuce indeed. I've stuck some lettuce seeds in the ground in the greenhouse, a mixed bag really - so hopefully we will have some handsome ones to eat too, as long as the slugs don't get them.

  3. You always have such lovely potatoes! The lettuce is a charmer too, and I imagine it was tasty and tender by the looks of it.

  4. Those potatoes are gorgeous! It certainly seems that good potting soil is a hit or miss proposition these days. Once I pot up my sweet potato slips (they are taking a very long time to size up!), I'll be using a mixture of bagged manure (which now comes in an organic version, so I'm hopeful that there will be no contaminants in it!), soil from one of my beds (which is super rich) and potting soil to lighten the whole thing up.

  5. Yes, that is a gorgeous lettuce. You are lucky to have seeds of it since it doesn't seem to be generally available. And your potatoes look too perfect, as usual.

  6. Your potatoes and lettuce look so good. New potatoes are so tender and delicious. And that's amazing that you have ripe peppers already. I really want to try growing regular potatoes in containers, this year I'm actually growing sweet potatoes in a giant planter.

  7. Do the red leaves of the lettuce taste any different to the green ones?

    1. No, I don't think they do. TBH you have to be a real connoisseur to tell the difference in taste between one lettuce and another. I think a variety of colours and textures is appealing in a salad though.

  8. I was glad to read this as my second earlies are flowering too. I've never grown them before and have been itching to see what's lurking under all the greenery! Will have to contain myself a while longer.


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