Tuesday 18 July 2017

Harvesting at last!

Harvesting is the culmination of a veg-gardener's efforts, and for many it's the most enjoyable part of the whole hobby. This week I have finally been able to harvest some of those vegetables that I have been waiting so long for. Well, it isn't actually a very long time since I sowed these, it just seems like it!

First we have Beetroot:

Beetroot "Cylindra"

These ones are of a variety new to me, called "Cylindra", on account of their cylindrical shape.

Beetroot "Cylindra"

I do also have some of my favourite variety, "Boltardy", but I was keen to try the new variety first. The beetroot was in the pan and cooking less than 5 minutes after harvesting - just long enough to take some photos! Once cooked they were lovely and tender and tasty. I made my share into a salad (served tepid) with some thinly-sliced red onion, salt and a splash of red wine vinegar. Jane prefers beetroot left dead plain.

Next up, Courgettes. My single plant has so far yielded 7 fruits, which I have picked young so that we don't get overwhelmed. At present, they are keeping pace with our needs.

Courgette "Defender F1"

It's difficult to tell from my pics how big this courgette is, so let me tell you that it was about six inches (15cm) long.

Courgette "Defender F1".

On Sunday I pulled another batch of carrots, taking one or two from each of my 5 varieties. I chose the biggest ones, whose removal will allow the others more room to develop.

Mixed Carrots

Most of the carrots were smooth-skinned and regular-shaped, which I attribute to the fact that the soil of the bed in which they are growing is well-nigh perfect for carrots - it contains lots of home-made compost and loads of sand. The bed is also protected with Enviromesh, which keeps the Carrot Root Fly off very effectively.

Not all the carrots were perfect though!

Sunday also saw the harvesting of my first batch of ripe tomatoes. These are mostly "Losetto", but there are two "Sungold" in there as well. It's not a big batch, but hopefully the first of many.

Mostly "Losetto", with 2 x "Sungold, Top Right

To be perfectly honest, the tomatoes, whilst nice, would certainly have improved from another day or two on the vine, but you know how it is - once they colour-up it's very hard to resist picking them!

The same goes for these Runner Beans, I suppose. I could have left them on the plants for another day, but I really wanted to pick them! Harvested young like this they will be especially succulent, and the big firm ones can come later.

Runner Beans "Scarlet Emperor"

From an aesthetic point of view I find that the first few pods are seldom the best though. They are often quite curved, like some of these. Later on I hope to get some much longer, straighter ones (not that they taste any different...)

Runner Beans "Scarlet Emperor"

Then there were the onions:

Onions "Sturon"

I'm going to write more about my onions in another post, but for now let's just say that they were "a mixed success".

The final harvest to show off today (picked early this morning) is another of the "Passandra" cucumbers.

Cucumber "Passandra"

The cucumbers have been a bit few and far between so far. This is only the third one I have harvested. Several of the embryonic fruits shrivelled-up before developing, so I guess they were not pollinated. I was hoping for a lot more fruit (say perhaps 7 or 8 from each of my two plants?), because they are not huge. To give you a better impression of the size, here's this latest one posed next to a pair of secateurs.

Still, along with everything else I've harvested, it makes a very welcome addition to the larder.


  1. Nice harvest with a lot of different vegetables. How I wish I could grow beetroot, but the rabbits home in on them like guided missiles and leave nothing.

  2. Some nice variety there! (I picked my first Boltardy today but the Cylindra are some way off yet) I am delighted to see you are picking runner beans because it means I will be doing the same in another week (or two)!

  3. We had our first handful of Cobra beans. No carrots or beetroot yet, or tomatoes or cucumber. The first if the season are always the best aren't they?

  4. I am so jealous of the cucumber. I have tried third year in a row to grow them, but they just don't want to grow for me.


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