Plant on the shortest day, harvest on the longest day – in order to keep to this we dug up the garlic this week just a couple of days after the longest. Having never grown garlic before I wondered what we would find. We planted it six months ago, our first ever thing planted in an allotment we had only had for a week. This meant the quick digging over a small bit and sticking in the cloves. It was wet, and cold, and the winter remained mostly the same, and yet each clove sprouted and turned into a plant.
Using a fork, we dug them up and each one appeared as a garlic like you would find in the shop, maybe a bit smaller for some of them, but all looking pretty much as they should do. We cleaned the mud off a bit and laid them out raised off of the ground. I’ll keep an eye on the weather, I’m not sure how long they will take to dry out, but while it’s hot and dry they can stay where they are. The rest of the evening the plot smelled like a garlicky pizza shop.
Earlier on in the week we notice a lot of black and red currants which looked like they would be fine for picking. This time we noticed the birds had got there before us, the broken branches where heavy pigeons, fat on currants, had landed and helped themselves. Annoying, but pleasing too as it showed the bushes were viable and producing fruit (I had my doubts), we had seen it all. Next year… we will see what we can do about covering them over so that maybe we can get the currants instead. We did pick some, and one or two gooseberries (they are there one evening, gone the next).
We did pick broad beans however, which was good to see so many little pods appearing having through previously we had lost it all because the flowers had died. Little did we know at the time that it was a good sign. We probably picked them a bit on the small side, but it was exciting to see them and the sweet taste was not of any broad bean I had eaten before, normally cooked to destruction with the strict instructions that if you didn’t eat all your main course, pudding would not be coming.
I tested another turnip and found some which were the size of golf balls, and so dug them up – all I need to do now is work out how to cook them. Likewise we are picking two or three beetroots each time now, having eaten our first lot the other day.
A lot of watering was needed. The leeks had coped well having been transplanted and even with the really hot weather all week they all looked like they were coping well. The marigolds grown from seed in pots were looking a bit crispy and so we gave them a good watering. Likewise the mixed salad leaves which are probably going to suffer as they are starting to now be under the ever growing courgettes (currently three or four courgettes picked each week off of the two plants). Likewise radishes and spring onions. I knew the courgettes would grow large but wasn’t expecting them to get as large so quickly.
A regular picking of raspberries, Tom spotting them and me venturing in to pick them. Strawberries continue to give a number each visit, even though I keep trying to pinch the flowers off of one set of them in order to get them to put all effort into growing instead of fruiting.
Remaining at home are kale plants which were going pretty well up until this week when something started eating them rather quickly. The morning showed lots of detached leaves and some sorry plants. I decided to move them indoors overnight at which point I discovered a snail the size of a sod stuck to the side of one of the pots. I detached it, but still bought the plants indoors for safety.
The next visit during the day I decided to plant the remaining brassicas which were also still in pots at home. A hopped they would fit under the same netting put in place last week, which they just about did. The garlic was still drying, their old bed I re-dug in preparation for planting the kale out in a couple of weeks – leaving it bear to catch any weeds trying to appear. I re-sowed more spring onions (will we get to have a successful spring onion?) and a gap in the carrots which just won’t seem to grow anything. I blame ants, I forgot to put down any ant powder.