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What are you harvesting today?

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Post by freebird on 30th July 2018, 7:47 am

Picked and ate my first Rose de Berne tomato yesterday. Disappointingly watery.

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Post by Ploshkin on 30th July 2018, 8:32 am

I've had a couple of Rose de Berne (from the seed swap). I thought they were rather tasty.

I've been taken hostage by French beans. I had 10 plants from a garden centre to get an early crop in the polytunnel and they did start producing early but they won't stop. I picked 2 lbs of beans on Saturday, I picked another pound yesterday.
For dinner yesterday, with home reared lamb, we had potatoes from the garden, French beans, courgettes and carrots from the polytunnel followed by melon and strawberries from the polytunnel.
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Post by Dandelion on 30th July 2018, 9:48 am

That's interesting that Rose de Berne is behaving differently for different people - maybe differences in soil? The seeds came from me: I bought loads of varieties one year, then cut them down tothe ones which I had really enjoyed. I'm not sure I gave Rose de B a fair chance, as I grew it in a pot which was smaller than I would normally use, because I was pushed for space and pots.

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Post by Ploshkin on 30th July 2018, 10:33 am

Is it down to watering I wonder. I'm assuming that Freebird's were grown in her autopots which would give them a continuous supply of water. Mine have been watered pretty regularly but with the excessively hot conditions probably haven't had as much water.

I have come across 2 schools of thought on tomatoes. Usually they are referred to as very thirsty plants needing a fair amount of water and they mustn't dry out. I have also read that they should be kept quite dry. That one suits me better as I'm not good at remembering to water.
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Post by freebird on 30th July 2018, 10:58 am

It's possible that it is a variety that benefits from less watering, but I see no reason to suppose that all varieties need exactly the same conditions. If I don't use the autopots, I may as well forget greenhouse veg, as I can never guarantee regular watering. If Rose de Berne doesn't work for me, I'll find a variety that does. Brandy Boy, which I grew last year, had an excellent flavour - didn't grow it this year as it was a very gnarled, segmented tomato which made it difficult to use for anything much except cooking.
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Post by Ploshkin on 30th July 2018, 2:08 pm

It's funny isn't it, I didn't get on with autopots for tomatoes at all but found them brilliant for cucumbers which I had never had much success with. I wouldn't grow my cucumbers any other way now. Actually, I have just put some little gem lettuce plants in my spare autopot. I've been struggling with lettuce this year.
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Post by frankbeswick on 30th July 2018, 10:16 pm

I cleared my onion beds, which were ready for picking, and I picked some cherry tomatoes. But the rest of the morning was spent weeding.
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Post by freebird on 31st July 2018, 12:17 pm

Currently eating Rose de Berne #2 in my egg mayo sandwich. Much tastier.
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Post by frankbeswick on 31st July 2018, 2:45 pm

Rather similar to yesterday, but this time I dug up some nice potatoes. The cherry tomatoes have opened well and I am still picking them. My neighbour at the allotment is a judge at flower shows, so I sought his advice about when to pick the butternut squash, for this is the first time that I have grown it, and he says three days.

That's the point about horticulture, it is so vast that you have to be learning all the time. That is what annoyed me about David Cameron, who once listed gardening with unskilled jobs!
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Post by Dandelion on 31st July 2018, 9:51 pm

frankbeswick wrote:

That's the point about horticulture, it is so vast that you have to be learning all the time. That is what annoyed me about David Cameron, who once listed gardening with unskilled jobs!

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Post by freebird on 31st July 2018, 9:59 pm

Interesting, Frankb, that you used the word horticulture to describe the activity. Somehow, gardening has hobbyist connotations, involving nothing more than a trowel, seceteurs and a lawnmower. Perhaps if David C had been considering horticulture, he may have ranked it somewhat higher.
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Post by Ploshkin on 31st July 2018, 10:15 pm

Frankbeswick, when you say 3 days, 3 days from when?
I'm not an experienced squash grower but I don't find them ready to harvest until late in the season when the foliage is dying off and then I will leave them for some time for the skins to cure.
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Post by FloBear on 1st August 2018, 8:57 am

May I also ask if anyone has any idea when peaches are ready to pick?
I have a pygmy tree that I bought earlier in the year and the fruit is looking quite ripe but feels very hard.
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Post by frankbeswick on 1st August 2018, 8:59 am

Good point Ploshkin. Three days from 31st July. My squash are perfectly shaped by now, maybe a bit small, but their colour I right.
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Post by Ploshkin on 1st August 2018, 9:19 am

I've never grown peaches but would imagine there needs to be a little bit of "give" when you feel them. I think that most things reach the right colour well before they are actually ripe. Can you go by the smell? This is only my second year growing melons but as soon as I walked into the polytunnel I knew by the smell if one was ripe.
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Post by freebird on 1st August 2018, 3:49 pm

If supermarket peaches are anything to go by, they will probably ripen even if picked when hard - however, I think the flavour is probably better if left on the tree.
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Post by FloBear on 1st August 2018, 4:15 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. There are about 6 peaches on the tree so room for experimentation!
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Post by freebird on 7th August 2018, 8:00 pm

Anyone else having runner bean problems? I think it must be the hot weather. Quite apart from having very few flowers set, those that do run to seed (ie lumpy inedible beans) in about two days. There seems to be a half hour window when they are just about right. 90% of my pickings, which are already very sparce, are going to waste.
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Post by frankbeswick on 8th August 2018, 12:06 am

I have had no bean problems, but I am in the cooler and wetter North West England.

I picked some windfall apples [Worcester Pearmain] and my daughter-in-law, a newly qualified chef, has turned them into jam. We go fifty-fifty. I grow them; she cook them and the result are split evenly
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Post by FloBear on 8th August 2018, 8:57 am

Ooh, I used to have a Worcester Pearmain tree in my first proper garden - gorgeous apples. And a Victoria Plum - also delicious.

Dug up all my remaining potatoes yesterday. The Belle de Fontenay had a lot of small ones, I think they just needed more water than I gave them. Had nearly 5kg in the bucket. But the surprise was how many volunteer Pink Fir Apple came up and how large they were. Leftovers from last year's crop: nearly 1.5kg. Best salad potatoes I've ever tasted so I'm very glad to have them.
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Post by frankbeswick on 9th August 2018, 8:29 am

Snap Flobear. I also have a Victoria plum.
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Post by Chilli-head on 12th August 2018, 9:19 am

Yesterday was the time to sort through what was left of the allotment and garden veg patch.

The good news is I'm back in time for sweetcorn, and to pick peas and dwarf beans at their prime. The less good news was two courgettes "gone bad" - i.e turned into giant marrows which I find unspeakably vile. I also missed a row of peas - they are drying out, so I'll leave them to make next year's seed.

We picked off the overripe tomatoes and made passata. The other exciting news from the greenhouse is that I have ripe chillies Very Happy Basket of fire, serrano and ohnivec.

I was surprised at the allotment to see the squashes and sweetcorn thriving, despite not being watered for a fortnight. The benefit of heavy clay ! I suppose they are both crops that like heat and sun. If this weather is due to climate change, we might need to change our crops.

The sandy garden veg plot fared less well, I have mostly cleared it and resown with quick cropping stuff - radish, rocket, spring onions, chinese cabbage and land cress (thanks Freebird !). I did get a usable crop of volunteer Charlotte potatoes though. Nice they were too.
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Post by frankbeswick on 12th August 2018, 12:31 pm

You can enjoy marrows if you slice them, fry them hot oil and then apply salt and a dash of pepper sauce. I really relish them cooked this way.
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Post by Dandelion on 12th August 2018, 1:25 pm

freebird wrote:Anyone else having runner bean problems? I think it must be the hot weather. Quite apart from having very few flowers set, those that do run to seed (ie lumpy inedible beans) in about two days. There seems to be a half hour window when they are just about right. 90% of my pickings, which are already very sparce, are going to waste.
We went away for a few days last week - I picked any runners which were ready to eat the night before we went. Four days later, and most of the remaining beans on the plants are exactly as you described - tough, lumpy and inedible. I picked a goodly handful of beans for tea, but having trimmed and sliced them, and having thrown most of them in the compost bin, I had to supplement what was left with frozen peas! Hopefully the tiny beans on the plants will be edible in a few days thanks to the rain we're now having.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Chilli-head on 18th August 2018, 6:24 pm

For the first time ever ... pears ! I have a few "Beurre Bedford", bred quite near to here by Laxtons. They came away from the tree easily on a gentle lift - but are still rock hard. How do I store them to finish ripening off the tree ?
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Post by frankbeswick on 18th August 2018, 6:48 pm

I got some plums, which we had for dessert this evening. Then there was some squash and runner beans.
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