In the veg plot – July

TheGardenShareCollective300pix1Time for this month’s veg plot update. We’ve not been eating nearly as much as usual from the veg plot this year, thanks mainly to pigeons, which have been a menace. They somehow managed to get in through the fort I’ve built around the beans, and have eaten all but one plant. Grrrr.

This little update is for the Garden Share Collective. Hosted by Liz from Strayed Table in Australia, this wide-ranging collection of blogs brings together lots of us growing food on many different scales (from back gardens to big farms), from Australia, New Zealand, the UK and beyond. I’ve found it very interesting to have a monthly peek into so many different gardens and veg plots. (And I’m not at all envious of the folks eating things like pawpaw and olives, while I’m tucking into my yummy spinach and chard. No, not envious at all….)

Harvesting:  Despite the pigeons, some things are doing well. After rabbits ate one pot of salad by the back door, the plants have regrown – including some lovely little edible viola flowers.

Sweet viola

Sweet viola

I have had to create a Lettuce Fort encased in wire, which does not look lovely but has done the trick. I added a toy windmill to deter bombardment by pigeons – I am getting devious!

Fort Lettuce

Fort Lettuce

The courgettes are flowering, and the sage has gone mad (we have enough sage for a lifetime…does anyone have good ideas for what to do with a sage hedge…?)

Sage-tastic

Sage-tastic

Well-defended courgettes - just in case!

Well-defended courgettes – just in case!

It is shaping up to be a bumper year for top fruit, thanks perhaps to the mild spring, with no late frosts. We have lots of lovely apples, pears, gages and damsons ripening nicely, including these beauties:

Discovery apples, always the first ones to ripen...

Discovery apples, always the first ones to ripen…

Grenadier apples - a useful early-ripening cooker

Grenadier apples – a useful early-ripening cooker

Pear - no idea what sort!

Pear – no idea what sort!

First crop of damsons from a tree we planted 18 months ago

First crop of damsons from a tree we planted 18 months ago

It’s going to be a good apple year – we don’t mind if the chickens pinch a few…

We'll just help ourselves, thank you

We’ll just help ourselves, thank you

Yum

Yum

Now I know this is not strictly in the veg plot, but our two pigs, Biscuit and Curly, are now part of our home composting system. That’s a fancy way of saying we feed them veg peelings as well as gone-to-seed plants from the veg plot. They eat these offerings with relish and turn them into ‘fragrant’ pig poop. Their paddock is going to be one well-fertilised bit of land when they’re done…

Pig love

Pig love

 

Mud, mud, glorious mud

Mud, mud, glorious mud

PJs and pigs - E on a pre-bedtime visit to take the pigs some treats

PJs and pigs – a pre-bedtime visit to take the pigs some treats

My jobs for July:

  • Harvest redcurrants and gooseberries, before the pesky birds do…
  • It’s still not too late to plant more seeds. I’m going to plant some nice leafy greens (probably more spinach and chard…!) that should last well into the Autumn, maybe even through the winter if it’s mild. I’m also going to plant another batch of salad and some more coriander, as I forgot the last lot and it got burnt to a crisp on the windowsill over one long, sunny weekend.
  • Plenty of weeding. We’re having lots of rain this summer, and the weeds are growing like crazy. I’m also going to put ‘weed mat’ (plastic mulch) down between rows, where I can, to help keep weeds at bay.
  • Have a think about what crops I can grow this Autumn and Winter – one of my goals this year is to get better at growing cold-season crops.

I hope all your gardens are faring well, and you’re enjoying your harvests, whatever they are…

16 responses to “In the veg plot – July

  1. I am in a race against the birds for our blackcurrants and am still crying because the blackbirds got under the netting and ate all my late strawberries.

    • Oh no…! It’s tricky isn’t it – I don’t mind the birds taking a bit, or even some of my harvest. But when they scoff ALL of it, then I start having a bit of sense of humour failure!! I’ve even netted the courgettes this year – I’ve never known anything to bother them before, but this year the pigeons have been on a rampage, and I don’t trust them not to trash the courgette flowers. Hope you do get to eat at least some of your lovely blackcurrants… 🙂

  2. Last year we planted turnips on July 7th. We picked a bunch of turnip greens for salads when we thinned, ate the turnips in soups, and let some turnips flower for the bees in MID JANUARY. It worked so well, we planted some today (exactly a year later).
    We don’t have much trouble with birds (I don’t want to jinx myself here), but we have to net most of our crops from deer, (netting on hoops over raised beds) and we have cats that like to hang out in the garden. We can hear the robins scolding the cats sometimes.

  3. Grrr indeed. I get annoyed when our local birds rearrange our compost all over the paths, but eating all the plants – unforgivable.
    The apples look lovely. We are just at the tail end of our apple season, so its lovely to see someone just beginning.

  4. Slugs have been my main problem this year. The pigeons really haven’t like my CD bird scarer and the mangetout have been relatively unscathed so far, so I’ll be using that next year 🙂

    Here’s hoping you get to enjoy more produce this month

  5. Awww, love your little pigs! I’ve remembered to get the winter veg on the go this year and you’ve reminded me to put a net over the bed. All sorts of garden pests are around this year – if it’s not pigeons, it’s aphids or slugs. That’s not putting me off though, oh no no! I might try some winter salad this year if it’s mild – here’s hoping! It’s great having a peek into gardens across the world, isn’t it!

  6. Those pigs are so cute, I can’t wait to get some – one day. Enjoy your fruit harvest – I wish I could grow apples, really. There is plenty of things in your garden that I cant grow to be jealous of. Happy Harvesting.

  7. Beautiful pictures! Great to see your chickens and pigs relaxing and enjoying the bounty. My favourite sage recipe is a sort of sagey homemade bean dish – lots of garlic fried until golden in lots of olive oil, then a couple of tins tomatoes along with lots of sage, reduce that, then two tins of cannelloni beans (plus chilli and kalamata olives if you like it tasty), cooked for a little longer and then served – great on a freshly laid fries egg!!

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