Allotment Diary (July – Week 5)
The hoped for heavy rain didn’t arrive this week, I think the predicted 35 mm turned in to 10mm which is almost always the case here. It was cloudy though so I didn’t have to water as much as usual.
I’ve done very little gardening this week, no sowing and only planting a few spares. I have however done a lot of harvesting.
Almost all of the onions are now up and drying, the second early potatoes have finished and I stacked those up – in their containers – to be harvested as we need them.
I managed a good hike and a cycle ride, but most of my energies have been directed at tidying up and weeding. The harvest highlight for the week has to be the peppers and tomatoes though. The outdoor Tumbler tomatoes have been exceptional again, easily beating the cordons in the polytunnel, despite being sown a month later. We also have a lot of winter squash ready, but we are leaving it to grow on as we still have plenty in the freezer to eat.
I’ve very little sowing to do in July, but everything that I have sowed is growing well, with lots ready to be pricked out next week. August sees sowing really accelerate!
I was surprised that our second earlies had died back about 2 weeks early. This week three of our main-crop plants were ready for harvest! My initial thoughts were of disaster, but having harvested one tub of them the yield was fine and we should have plenty.
All generations of the family are currently enjoying watching the caterpillars growing, although they don’t make it to butterflies if we catch them at it.
My strategy to shift harvests away from leafy greens (healthiest and most valuable crops) to summer fruits and staples is working reasonably well and it’s nice to see a harvest table with so much colour and variety.
We are a little short of salads right now, but that should resolve itself within a couple of weeks. Mid summer is always a bit tricky, sow too early and the lettuce runs to seed, sow too late and we have a big shortage, sow too much and we have a huge glut, at a time when we really want all beds full of winter veg.
I’ve a new way of tracking my first harvest dates now. The beauty of this new system is that it’s fully integrated with my sowing records, so I automatically get ‘sowing to harvest’ and ‘planting to harvest’ data. New firsts are at the top.
Here’s what I sowed this week:
We are now at full harvest volume, feeding everyone on our target list for this year and one lucky extra person as we have a bit of a surplus.
Here’s our harvests for the year so far, with the most recent at the top. We hit our target for last year and harvested over £12,000. We will never harvest as much again as we have less land now, our objective has changed now.
Here’s a list of the preserves for the year. Debbie is now busy making lots of preserves.
YouTube videos for the week can be found here: