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» What are you harvesting today?
by freebird Today at 10:11 pm

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What are you harvesting today?

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Post by FloBear on 22nd July 2017, 2:00 pm

Have had one small, very knobbly, cucumber and I can see another ready to pick. Fresh and crisp but not as 'cucumbery' tasting as others I've grown. Still picking broad beans though getting to the end now. Have quite a few very green tomatoes. Hoping they'll come through-last year got blight and lost the lot.

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Post by Ploshkin on 22nd July 2017, 2:37 pm

I hate to say it, I'm fed up with mangetout. They're not very versatile and every time I pass the plants I see more. I had hoped to do some sugar snap peas in the polytunnel but my early germination attempts kept failing so I went to the garden centre and the only pea plants they had were mangetout.
I think I will definitely avoid them next year.
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Post by freebird on 22nd July 2017, 11:13 pm

Picked yesterday, my first properly ripe Apache chillies. The earliest are rather small, so put two in the dinner tonight. Blimey but they were hot.

Nearly time for runner beans.
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Post by Dandelion on 23rd July 2017, 2:24 pm

Ploshkin wrote:I hate to say it, I'm fed up with mangetout.  They're not very versatile and every time I pass the plants I see more.  I had hoped to do some sugar snap peas in the polytunnel but my early germination attempts kept failing so I went to the garden centre and the only pea plants they had were mangetout.
I think I will definitely avoid them next year.
How about letting them grow and seeing if you get a few proper peas inside the pods? I only grew mange tout once, and forgot to pick them while they were small, but I did get some actual peas from them.

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Post by Ploshkin on 23rd July 2017, 6:48 pm

Some have gone as far as peas Dandelion, but they were pretty tasteless.
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Post by Chilli-head on 23rd July 2017, 7:52 pm

I used to grow a climbing mangetout carouby de mausanne which made nice pods, but the peas were not sweet enough for my taste.

I picked off a lot of peas (Terrain) yesterday as well as the beans and the inevitable courgettes !
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Post by freebird on 23rd July 2017, 9:55 pm

My first red pepper today.
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Post by freebird on 24th July 2017, 11:33 pm

And now my first runner bean - just the one!
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Post by FloBear on 25th July 2017, 4:03 pm

I've dug up a meals-worth of potatoes and picked more blueberries this afternoon and the last few odd blackcurrants. Oh and one red gooseberry! I must read up on what to do to keep my fruit bushes healthy and happy.
There is another knobbly cucumber waiting to be picked but we didn't need it today.
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Post by Ploshkin on 1st August 2017, 7:15 pm

My first ever melon!
It weighed in at 1lb 10 oz and tastes divine.
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Post by freebird on 2nd August 2017, 7:31 am

Ooh, lovely Ploshkin. What variety is it?

Yesterday harvested my first two beefsteak tomatoes, variety Brandy Boy. It's actually the first time I have ever successfully grown beefsteak tomatoes - the only other time I tried was some years ago when I still grew my plants outside and the whole lot were felled with blight. Got really disheartened and didn't grow tomatoes at all for quite a few years.
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Post by Ploshkin on 2nd August 2017, 10:47 am

The variety is Emir. It's got a netted skin and orange flesh. I've got 2 plants and have really left them to their own devices as I always lose track of what I'm supposed to be doing with trailing / climbing things. I just stopped shoots when they seemed to be overdoing it. I left it to the insects to do the pollinating and I have another 10 melons at different sizes. The first 2 were surprise ones that I came across hidden under the foliage at ping pong ball size.
I'm really chuffed as I was very dubious about attempting melons.
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Post by freebird on 2nd August 2017, 12:32 pm

I have only ever grown Sweetheart melons, a galia type, but they always seem pretty trouble free.

Wish I could say the same for those wretched Beth Alpha cucumbers. Plants growing away strongly, but no sign of any fruit.
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Post by Chilli-head on 2nd August 2017, 6:28 pm

I suspect Ploshkin has the magic ingredient to grow melons, as discussed previously. Copious dung ! I grew rock melons from RealSeeds. Utterly divine, but I only got 2 Sad
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Post by Ploshkin on 2nd August 2017, 6:39 pm

Copious dung

Ah yes. I had intended to do a hot box but by the time I got round to it my plants needed planting out and the weather had warmed up anyway. So, I used my 'box' (another piece of drainage equipment - 2' square and bottomless) half filled it with well rotted manure and topped it off with bagged compost.
Freebird, my Beth Alpha cucumber plant is rather lethargic. There is fruit forming but it is very slow. The other cucumber plant I have, which I bought from the garden centre because my other sowings failed, has produced several full sized fruits already.
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Post by Dandelion on 5th August 2017, 10:32 pm

Good - our daughter visited today, and left loaded down with runner beans, courgettes and tomatoes. That's a few I don't have to freeze or batch cook. The freezer's getting a bit full...

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Post by FloBear on 6th August 2017, 2:26 pm

Had the first two Sungold tomatoes today. Other self-sown toms. are on the way - most look Sungoldy- shaped.
Black Russians that I bought are large and weighing down the plants but only thinking about turning from dark green to a lighter shade.
Have had a few outdoor cucumbers. Nicer than supermarket fare but not as tasty as others I have grown in the past.
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Post by Ploshkin on 6th August 2017, 2:38 pm

Gosh, your Sungolds are late - we've been eating them for a couple of weeks now and I have had my first massive beefsteak tom (Ruby) weighing in at 1lb 4oz plus a few more not quite as big.
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Post by FloBear on 7th August 2017, 2:13 pm

Am I right in thinking your tomatoes are in a polytunnel, Ploshkin? Mine are all outside and the Sungolds are simply volunteers that have worked their way up through two sorts of beans.
Presumably you just lash your beefsteaks to the nearest telegraph pole or something. I've had to rescue my Black Russians from the horizontal on several occasions.
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Post by Ploshkin on 7th August 2017, 3:16 pm

Ah, yes. I forget that other people can grow toms outdoors. I tried a couple of times about 20 years ago and decided there was no point. The great thing about the tunnel is that it has the framework to lash things to so I've got baler twine from the top and poked in under the plants when I put them in for each tomato plant to wind round. They can still be a bit unruly but they can't flop over.
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Post by Chilli-head on 12th August 2017, 8:59 pm

What am I harvesting today ? Beans. Lots of beans. Mostly the dwarf French ones from the hugel

Also red and white onions, beetroot, and carrots. The Atomic red carrots are looking good. I now have onions hanging in nets from the garage rafters - may have grown too many ...

Cherry tomatoes are prolific this year. Golden crown have produced tens if not hundreds of fruit. Trouble is, I don't greatly like their flavour. Too sweet without balancing acidity.
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Post by FloBear on 13th August 2017, 9:58 am

Had to pick all my Black Russians yesterday as the plants are getting brown patches on the stems and some of the tomatoes are going brown as well. Presuming it's blight of some sort. Not sure how many will actually ripen now - and I'm not fond of green tomato chutney unless there's at least an equal weight of ripe tomatoes in the mix.
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Post by freebird on 13th August 2017, 3:09 pm

It's been a two-trug harvest for me today. A very few remaining french beans, runners in full flow, radishes, sweet corn, large and small tomatoes, handful of strawberries off the ever bearers, chillies and some beautiful yellow peppers. And in the other trug, Redsleeves eating apples and Victoria plums.

The only reason there were no courgettes today is because I needed extra for lunch yesterday, so harvested some early.

I wouldn't have expected for one minute that the start of my no-dig regime would yield any better results this season, but it has probably been my best ever year for veg growing. Coincidence?
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Post by Ploshkin on 13th August 2017, 8:32 pm

That sounds really encouraging Freebird. I'm checking the sweetcorn every day - it won't be long, we haven't really had any sun this month.
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Post by Dandelion on 13th August 2017, 10:54 pm

Does anyone want any courgettes....????

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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 FloBear on 14th August 2017, 10:23 am

No thanks, Dandelion. I didn't plant any this year but a few self-sown have popped up. No idea what they'll turn out like but I do, at last, have one female flower after almost giving up.
I think it's been a good year, on the whole, for produce that comes from flowers, freebird, though your conditions were probably a bit different from mine. But I'm sure your no-dig regime has contributed too - as well as perhaps, a new found enthusiasm?
I picked a brand new ultra fresh French bean for Lulu the parrot, cut it into three parrot-sized pieces and the little baggage threw them all on the floor!
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