It’s at all times a fear once you go away in midsummer and go away the backyard or allotment to fend for itself, particularly with the fickle climate we’ve skilled this yr. I’ve been away for a number of days in beautiful Lancashire the place it rained quite a bit. (Vital for such a wonderful inexperienced county!) I collect heavy rain was not unique to the north so, as a precedence on my first day again, I went to evaluate the veg backyard.
|Pigeons or slugs – who’s the vandal right here?|
As ever in meals rising, there are thrills and spills. Can I blame rainfall for the devastation? Munching molluscs would have slithered simply in the direction of my brassicas (or was it pigeons?) – regardless, my cabbages have been totally loved right down to a stump, as have all my dwarf french beans and courgettes – even carrots are actually leafless. I am not completely satisfied.
Is it even price making an attempt once more with the beans at this late stage? The backyard is feeling distinctly autumnal however the climate may determine to provide us a bit extra summer season but. I as soon as grew a stunning mattress filled with Kelvedon Marvel peas within the late summer season and had a superb harvest earlier than the tip of autumn so I’m tempted to provide extra dwarf beans one other go however my reminiscence could possibly be as fickle because the climate.
Curiously, and fortunately, the celeriac and leeks have been ignored by the munch bunch – have they got a secret weapon, I’m wondering? Leeks had been planted out not too long ago, following the recommendation of Carol Klein to develop leeks in modules till they attain pencil thickness. Mine appeared extra like barbecue skewers than pencils however have plumped up properly since being transplanted. I could get solely child leeks however at this stage any veg can be one thing to sit up for.
|Did somebody say summer season pudding?|
However let’s not dwell on the negatives! Trying on the intense facet, as I love to do, the Swiss rhubarb is trying lush and wholesome, ditto my redcurrants and raspberries, plus there are candy juicy blackberries ripening within the hedgerows. I’m tempted by ideas of marrying these fruits with final yr’s frozen blackcurrants to make a summer season pudding (pink fruits cooked inside a bread crust which absorbs all of the juices – scrumptious with cream!). Just a few late picked stems of that pink rhubarb may additionally grow to be rhubarb and orange marmalade; a pal was given a jar not too long ago and made it sound so great that I went seeking a recipe. If I by no means converse of it once more, you may realize it wasn’t successful!
|As soon as bitten … (grrr)|
And what of the tree fruit? As occurs yearly in August, my Braeburn apples look temptingly tasty lengthy earlier than they’re correctly ripe. The consequence? They get picked, one chew taken after which the fruit is discarded; It’s so annoying. An indication is required when I’ve the time … presumably alongside the traces of ‘poisoned apples, eat at your personal threat’.
However now for some excellent news – hurrah! Regard the Solitary Plum. Sure! It’s turned purple. Whoop! A delicate squeeze has let me know that it’s not ripe for choosing but and I’ll maintain my fingers (and toes) crossed that nothing and no-one may have it away earlier than I can attempt it myself.
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At this time I’ve been to Suffolk to wander among the many veg and flowers within the trial fields of Mr Fothergill’s seeds. Anticipate images, new seeds for subsequent yr, extra images and some prime suggestions from the growers.