In theory this wonderful hot sunny weather should mean more time on the plot but it’s not quite working out like that. Most days it’s just too much to do anything in the open after midday until early evening. Much of the time is spent watering, sometimes twice a day in the polytunnel. Still, apart from sitting in the shade, I’m getting quite a bit done.
The garlic crop is excellent this year. The Printanor has done really well although it was struck with a rust just a week before harvesting. The rust hasn’t done any harm although it looks a bit off-putting.
It’s always a bit of a guess with harvesting garlic. You don’t want it too early but if you leave it too long in the ground the bulbs split into individual cloves. If the first plant comes up too early, it’s no big deal – just use the fresh young garlic.
I’d planted two varieties, Longnor and Giselle. The Longnor have done nicely but the Giselle are a total failure. They’ve just produced a mass of tiny bulbs. Very odd.
The onions are all doing well and the first crop will be lifted very shortly
The Aquadulce have been harvested, pretty decent crop but quite a few blanks in the pods. Frozen a large bowl full. Started harvesting the Karmazyn – looking good.
The early calabrese crop was very good. Took the first large heads off and left the plants in the ground so the secondaries would develop. I think we got slightly more from the second crop than the first. Once they were harvested, lifted the plants which were hung up in the chicken run and converted to eggs. Surplus blanched and frozen.
How to Store Your Home Grown Produce
It’s great growing your own and eating freshly picked fruit and vegetables, but what do you do with the inevitable gluts? We’ve faced that problem over the 40 years we’ve been growing our own and this book passes on our answers.
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This book is aimed at people like us, those who like their own produce but are often busy and short of time. So we show you the quick ways and shortcuts we’ve found work without compromising the quality, or safety, of the food you eat.
It’s not ‘theory’ – it’s a practical guide for those who grow their own on how to store their home grown produce. 186 pages, full colour photographs and diagrams, glossy paper.
Last year we were hard pushed to get enough to satisfy the grandson, never mind any for jamming. This year we’ve kept him happy, had loads ourselves and frozen a couple of kilos for jamming when the weather cools.
Growing them in hanging baskets in the polytunnel is a real success story. No slug damage whatsoever. Problem is feeding them which involves lifting a watering can to the basket. Answer: use a 5 litre can not the 10 litre (pretty obvious really)
Redcurrants & Blackcurrants
Last year a small crop which fed the birds. This year a bumper crop under netting. Looking forward to redcurrant jelly later in the year. Masses of blackcurrants which need harvesting now.
Easy Jams, Chutneys and Preserves
Like all our books; it’s straightforward, tested and practical.
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I’m not much of a chutney maker usually but I’ve had to rearrange my kitchen cupboards to store all the stuff I’ve made from this book. Good, clear instructions and quite a range of things to try. A godsend in the middle of an allotment marrow and tomato glut. It would make a great present too – as do the jars of chutney! I might branch out into jam soon.
The Sungold are delicious as usual, still waiting on the Ailsa Craig and Black Russian ripening. The plants are doing well and looks to be a bumper crop. The bush tomatoes (Red Alert and Heartbreaker) in hanging baskets in the polytunnel are coming on well.
The Montello and Incas that went under the mini polytunnel which blew away are doing OK as outdoor plants. All depends on the weather with them.
Both greenhouse and polytunnel cucumbers starting. Burpless Tasty Green – great flavour.
Oh dear – they’re producing fruits but the plants have hardly grown since being planted out in the tunnel so volume of fruits will be reduced. I think it’s due to them being held too long in pots due to the weather. At least we’ll have have some.
Damn chickens ate them.