20th June, 2008

What a contrast in weather, the last few weekends have been hot and dry; the clay soil is becoming concrete again. Some of the susceptible veggies (courgettes, runner beans and lettuce) and newly planted beetroot, dwarf beans and leeks have had to be watered regularly.

The first lot of the overwintered broad beans have been picked and they were delicious. If the beans are too old they have a dark mark on their side where the root and stem will emerge on germination; I think that is called the funicular scar. But the ones I picked were a good size yet still young and tender.

The overwintered onions are also being eaten. Some of them are tryng to flower and develop bull necks and the space is needed, so they are being used ahead of last year's stored onions. They are starting to bend over, which is also a good sign that they are ready.

The beetroot, leeks and dwarf beans were planted out. Some space was found for them although I fear that there won't be any parsnips. They have not grown very well in their loo rolls and there is really no more space.

The leeks above were planted into holes and then filled with water, no need to back fill with soil.

The strawberies were netted to prevent the birds eating them.

The warm weather is really helping growth.

There's going to be a good apple crop this year. I got the pruning right at last by encouraging those all important fruiting spurs.

Plus I got one of those apple pickers for Father's day, it's a very long pole with a bag on the end. Perfect!

And there will be some plums, not many as the tree is still on the small side.

I think the pears will be disappointing again though, I can only see one fruit developing.

The spring planted broad beans are doing well, there has been some blackfly. I spray I'm afraid but it is localised and offset by a wild garden area.

Next year I may not grow the spring planted broad beans, I think the kids would prefer I grow something else, like carrots or more dwarf beans.

The courgettes are flowering, soon I won't know what to do with them.

Notice that the grass cuttings are bing put to good use, what I can't fit in the compost bins (yes, they are full again, despite me emptying two recently) is used as a mulch.

Are the early pots ready for eating? I'm undecided when to try them. Strangely, they are not flowering, yet some of the maincrops are.

Some kolhrabi was dug and eaten. Boiled and mashed with carrots with a bit of nutmeg and butter. Yum.

Despite my concerns about the soil condition, the spring onion sets are excellent. I won't be buying onions for another year! They are growing where the leeks were, so that was not very good crop rotation as onions and leeks are in the same family.

The sage looks beautiful in flower, I'm going to transplant it into the front garden borders as it looks that good and then I can use the space for more strawberries.