Sunday, 20 July 2014

It's A Jungle Out There

We're home from our holiday in Cornwall. The first thing I did before even unlocking the door was to have a quick glance around the garden, it was like a jungle, everything's grown so much whilst we were away. It didn't look good, the worst thing was the grass, so overgrown, but Mick's been out with the mower this morning so it's looking slightly better now.

I'd love to say that everything in the garden was rosy on our return, but unfortunately, it wasn't. My garden helper is a flower gardener rather than a vegetable grower so I can forgive her not pinching out my tomatoes, at least they were alive and thriving, but I've given them a good tidy up today. The first few tomatoes are now ripening.


The cucumbers had grown to gigantic proportions. My helper didn't realise that they are mini cucumbers and that she should have helped herself to them. Most of the Crystal Lemon cucumbers should be ok though, they're being passed on to my dad as he enjoyed them very much last year.


I was impressed with the fact that I'd remembered to sow my biennials this year. I was going to have a riot of colour at the allotment next year with beautiful wallflowers and sweet williams but alas, they are no more, they've been well and truly fried. Perhaps I'm not too late if I sow more now.


Not everything is doom and gloom, I haven't missed the blueberries ripening, they're just on the turn now.


The plums too are just starting to ripen.


The apples have grown whilst we were away. This is Gloster, a red variety. The Golden Delicious isn't looking too delicious at the moment, I'll have to see how it goes on.


Everything at the allotment was at the mercy of the elements as I didn't have anyone to look after things there. We popped down today and the weeds took our breath away, we'll have to put some serious time in to get things back under control. We did get a surprise as we looked beyond the weeds though, these beautiful poppies are popping up in the potato bed. Apparently, Mick's been pulling them out as he thought they were weeds, I've told him to leave them be now, a welcome sight amongst all the green foliage.


One thing we were expecting was the courgettes to have grown to comedic sizes and they didn't disappoint. I'd usually stuff them and use them like marrows if I miss harvesting them at the size they should be, but I think they're too far gone for that even.


The One Ball courgette variety are ok though, we've caught them just in time before they start ballooning.


The onions are looking good, just about ready for harvesting as their foliage is starting to topple. I think I've even managed some red onions this year, that'll be a first.


I planted four different varieties of beans this year, St George runner beans, Cobra, Blue Lake and Purple Cascade French beans. The slugs had a field day with them so I resowed all four and Mick planted them out two days before we went on holiday. The runner beans and the Purple Cascade French beans had hardly been touched by the slugs but the Cobra and Blue Lake had been decimated. We checked on the newly planted beans and the same has happened again, the slugs must enjoy green French beans more than runner beans or purple French beans. The first sowing of runner beans have done well and are now covered in flowers and tiny beans, they'll be ready for picking in days, and the second wigwam which Mick planted up will prolong the harvest.


The Purple Cascade beans were ready for harvesting today. We shall have some with our dinner tomorrow and some are going to my mum and dad's, I'm not sure what they'll think of purple beans.


We dug some potatoes up from the allotment today and I'm thrilled to say that not one had any slug damage. Perhaps we'll be able to do away with all the containers we grow them in and grow them at the plot now. The spuds we grew on our last plot were so riddled with slug damage that we gave up growing them there and decided to just grow them in containers, so this is a great result. I didn't mean to dig up any Pink Fir Apple yet, they're a maincrop variety so I was going to leave them a bit longer but I obviously haven't labelled the rows very well. Here we have Anya on the left, Pink Fir Apple above centre and Arran Pilot on the right. The Arran Pilots are going to my mum and dad, there's plenty of the other two to last us this week.


It's always worrying leaving the garden when going away on holiday, but I'm appreciative of someone helping me out and the odd disaster isn't the end of the world. There's definitely good things to come.

34 comments:

  1. It's always good to look at the garden after being away isn't it, and as you say the weeds sure do grow! Sorry to see your seedlings fried but hey....everything else is looking stunning! What a harvest you are having, I do like the look of the purple beans and can't believe you have tomatoes already, I don't have any ripe ones yet.xxx

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    1. I can't believe how fast the weeds have grown, it's going to take lots of hard work to get everything back under control again. I'm looking forward to trying the beans, I haven't grown this variety before and the tomatoes, well, there's only a few nearly ripe ones, the rest are well and truly green.

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  2. Welcome back, even if you've had some disasters you've still plenty of produce to eat.
    Love from Mum
    xx

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    1. I'm happy with the successes, some failures are only to be expected.

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  3. Things always take over quickly when you turn your back don't they? You'll soon have everything shop-shape and I'd definitely get some more biennial seeds in .

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    1. They certainly do at this time of year. The slugs got my purple sprouting broccoli seedlings before I went away so I think I shall sow some more of those as well as biennials, I know it's late really but I've got nothing to lose by trying.

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  4. Going away on holiday at this time of year is always a bit of a risk! I expect things will soon be back to normal.

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    1. It is. I know things would have been better had I been here to keep an eye on things, but I don't think things have fared too badly in the grand scheme of things.

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  5. Welcome home, hope you enjoyed your time in Cornwall.
    It is always a little worrying leaving a garden. All in all yours did not do too badly.......I am sure you will have time to grow more perennials for the allotment next year.

    Tomatoes look good, as do those lovely apples :)

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    1. We all had a wonderful time in Cornwall. I don't think the garden's done too badly whilst we were away, at least there was something to harvest on our return.

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  6. Something ate lots of my French beans the other day too, I can't work out if it was slugs or rabbits. I didn't have anyone to look after the garden or allotment when I was away - thank goodness for the odd shower. I know what you mean about the weeds though, they were frightful. Those potatoes are looking pretty good, especially the Anyas.

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    1. Sorry to hear about your French beans, it's so annoying when they get eaten. I think you may just have time to sow some more if you need to, they should give you a late harvest. I really enjoyed the Anyas I grew last year, though I'm really looking forward to trying the Pink Fir Apple as it's my first time growing them.

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  7. Welcome back Jo. It's amazing how quickly everything seems to grow when you are away. It looks as if you have returned to some good pickings. I had some rather large courgettes too when I got back from holiday :) There's still time to get some more biennials in.

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    1. I can't believe how fast everything grows at this time of year, it's definitely going to take lots of hard work to get it all back in to shape. I'm going to sow some more biennials, such a shame the seedlings fried as they were looking really healthy when I left them.

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  8. It's nice to have you back. Even though there are all the weeds, it must have been a bit like a treasure hunt harvesting all that lot!!! Your purple beans look interesting, let us know what they taste like xxx

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    1. It certainly was nice to come home to some harvests. We shall be having the French beans with our dinner tonight, along with the Pink Fir Apple potatoes, both firsts for us so it will be interesting to try them.

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  9. Great harvest! I love to see so many different harvest from all over the world. I admire your courgettes, look so stunning.

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    1. It's a great time of year when lots of different things are ready to harvest. The courgettes are way past their best, I'm hoping that the plants carry on producing now that we're home again.

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  10. Wow so much growing, I expect if I considered what has happened in my own garden over the same period it is probably the same. Enjoy all your wonderful food!

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    1. Everything seems to grow so quickly at this time of year, plenty to harvest and eat. Unfortunately, the weeds grow at the same speed.

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  11. Welcome back, your courgette cheered me up x

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    1. It's inevitable that there'll be a few huge courgettes lurking when you return from a holiday, they didn't let me down.

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  12. We have been away for the weekend, and I went to the bottom of the garden before going into our house. Loving your harvest, going out to pick mine soon.

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    1. I couldn't wait to see how the garden had fared whilst we were away, everyone was waiting for me to unlock the door but I was nosing around my greenhouse. Hope you've got lots of lovely things to harvest.

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  13. Despite the few mishaps it's generally all looking, and sounding, good which must be a relief to you.
    Given the problems we've all had with slugs and snails it still looks like being a pretty good year for most vegetables. Flighty xx

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    1. I'm happy with how everything's fared whilst we've been away, with a few exceptions. It was nice to have some harvests to return home to, I shall enjoy the potatoes and beans with dinner tonight.

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  14. Welcome back, Jo - hope you had a good holiday! I've found that tidying is still top of the jobs to do in the garden, weeds are growing so fast and all the plants are shooting up. I only grew one courgette this year (the slugs got the other) but it's huge and today's flower will be tomorrow's edible courgette. I'm late with my beans, they're just about to go in as small plants (fingers crossed that the slugs will leave them alone). Definitely resow your biennials, this month and next are a perfect time to do it.

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    1. I don't think the weeding and tidying ever lets up in a garden, especially if your back's turned for five minutes. One courgette plant will probably be enough, they're so prolific, I don't know why I grow more each year. It's been a mixed year for beans for me, the slugs have had two sowings of two types but left two sowings of another two types alone. You win some you lose some. I shall definitely resow my biennials, I'm just annoyed that I have to resow as I had some lovely little seedlings, such a shame.

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  15. I have just returned home after ten days away - it takes while to catch up. I was not too worried that the tomato side-shoots had grown six inches, I immediately trimmed them out. Its not too late to sow some more wallflowers and sweet williams, Jo.

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    1. It does take a while to catch up but we've started the operation so that's a bit less to do now. My tomatoes had lots of sideshoots trimmed out and they got tied in too so they're all spick and span again now. I'll definitely be resowing my wallflowers and sweet williams, it's a shame really as they were sturdy little seedlings, I was pleased with myself for remembering to sow them at all and now this happens.

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  16. You have quite a bounty there! What a shame about your seedlings, I hope your re-sowings are as successful. Don't those poppies look beautiful amongst the greenery :-) .

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    1. I was pleased how my seedlings looked when I left them to go on holiday so it's a shame they haven't survived. I will sow more though so I'm hoping that I can still have some biennials next year. It was a surprise to see the poppies, I had no idea they were growing amongst my potatoes, a very welcome splash of colour.

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  17. It's all looking great jo...wish I could say the same for mine!!

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    1. I'm sure yours will be fine, I've never known you have a bad year yet.

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